Is your canine pal a furry bundle of energy? Or do you have a four-legged couch potato on your hands? Whether your pooch loves to run and play, or is more interested in napping, your dogs does need proper activity to stay healthy. Read on as a Roanoke, VA vet discusses keeping Fido fit.
Your Dog’s Activity Needs
Your canine companion’s activity needs will depend on his age, weight, breed, and health. A Chihuahua can get a pretty good workout just running around the house on those little legs, while an Irish Setter may need as much as an hour of exercise a day. It’s also important to understand that not all exercises are right for every pup. Some pooches, like brachycephalic dogs, shouldn’t be encouraged to run or swim, while others—especially large breeds—can damage their hips by jumping or ‘standing’ too much. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.
Running can be terrific exercise for both people and pets, but there are some stipulations. First, build your dog’s endurance up slowly, by starting out with shorter distances, and alternating walking and running. Keep a close eye on your pet’s paws as well: Fido can get painful abrasions by walking or running on hot or harsh surfaces. Use paw balm to protect those furry feet. Also, make sure never to overexert your dog. If Fido is out of breath, and/or starting to lag behind, take a break and give him lots of water.
Does your canine friend like water? Swimming can be great exercise for dogs. It is particularly beneficial for large dogs, as it’s much easier on your furry buddy’s bones and joints than other activities. Just be sure to put your pet’s safety first: never leave Fido unattended near water, and don’t take him to places with strong currents. If you have a pool, keep it gated off when it isn’t in use.
Man’s Best Friend is quite playful, and can get a great workout in just by running and playing. If you’re not as energetic as your pup, play Fetch with him, or hold a laser pointer for him to chase. Mechanical ball launchers are also great. Just be sure to get one that is the right size for Fido.
Please call us, your Roanoke, VA pet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re always happy to assist!