Is your dog a furry couch potato? Or do you have a four-legged bundle of energy on your hands? Our canine pals all require some form of activity to stay healthy. In this article from 30th Street Animal Hospital, serving the Lawrence area of Indianapolis, IN, a local vet discusses keeping Fido fit.
Daily walks are great for dogs of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Even if Fido has a yard to run around in, he’ll still benefit from the stimulation and activity of regular walks. Small dogs and older dogs may only need a short stroll, while other pups may do best with long, vigorous walks. Ask your vet for more information.
If your dog has more energy than you do, keep him moving by playing games like Fetch, which will have Fido running around while you stay stationary. You can also use a laser pointer to play with your pup. Another option is to get your canine buddy an automated ball launcher. Just be sure to choose one that is the right size for your furry friend.
Swimming can be great exercise for dogs. It’s especially beneficial for senior dogs and large breeds, because it’s so easy on their bones and joints. Just keep in mind that, while some pooches are excellent swimmers by nature, swimming isn’t right for every dog. For instance, brachycephalic dogs, like pugs and bulldogs, lose their breath very easily, and can quickly get into trouble in the water. Always put safety first: never leave Fido unattended near water.
Do you enjoy jogging or hiking? Some dogs make great trail mates. Just build Fido’s endurance up slowly, so you don’t overexert him. Also, bring plenty of water for him when you are out and about. Keep an eye on your pet’s paws as well, especially in hot weather. Doggy paw pads are very sensitive, and Fido could easily burn his feet running or walking on hot surfaces.
Dogs all have their own activity needs. Some pups need at least a half hour of vigorous exercise, while others only require a short walk. Fido’s age, weight, breed, and health will all factor in to his workout requirements. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you have questions or concerns about dog care? Contact us at 30th Street Animal Hospital, serving the Lawrence area of Indianapolis, IN, today!