Exercise With Your Dog

Exercise can help your dog family live a happy, healthy life together. So, get off the couch and get fit as a family! Grab a ball and play a game. Throw a flying disc in the backyard or go for a swim. Make an after dinner walk your new family tradition. Get creative and find activities that you enjoy doing together. Not only is an exercise routine good for your health (and waistline), spending this extra time together will strengthen your bond as a family, too!

Tips to Remember:

• Always have your dog checked out by a veterinarian before you start any new and demanding activity with your dog. Some breeds require extra care when exercising. Once you get the go-ahead, have fun!

• Start out slow. As with any new exercise routine, you’ll want to gradually increase your time, speed and distance of the activity as you go.

• Avoid exercising your dog immediately before or after feeding time, as this may cause digestive upset: so plan your exercise routine accordingly. Provide only small amounts of water before and after exercise.

• Weather conditions are another important consideration as you begin to exercise with your dog. Dogs can suffer from frostbite and heat stroke just as people do. If you do exercise with your dog during winter months, try to avoid, ice and salt as it can be dangerous for both you and your dog. Your dog’s feet can be damaged by hot asphalt during the summer months, so be sure to exercise during cooler hours of the day such as morning or evening.

• If you exercise at night, make sure to place a reflective collar on your dog and use a bright-colored leash to alert passersby of your approach. It’s also smart to wear white or light-colored clothing after dark.

Following an outdoor workout, check your dog’s feet for burrs, foxtails, seeds, grass, thorns, rocks, or ice and snow—all of which should be removed. Remember to check his eyes and coat as well.

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