As the saying goes, an object in motion stays in motion. That could not be any truer when it comes to our dogs. Exercise is a key ingredient in keeping our pups looking and feeling their best. There are many ways for our fur-ever friends to get their daily amount of required exercise.
Indoor Versus Outdoor Activities
Exercise is exercise. The key is keeping your pup moving which helps to speed up his heart rate, use all of his muscles and burn calories. Most pups enjoy the smells and looks of nature but on certain days (heavy rain, lots of snow, or extremely hot weather) indoor activities can be just as fun and beneficial.
Basic Outdoor Activities
The most common basic outdoor activities include a brisk walk, a fun game of fetch, or play wrestling with your dog. Dogs love human interaction and when fun is mixed into it allows for a better experience. It also provides a very good bonding experience which dogs naturally tend to seek.
Basic Indoor Activities
Some fun basic indoor activities include tug-of-war, hide and seek, and learning new tricks. Although these types of activities are not as active as outdoor activities, they will still allow your four-legged friend to burn extra energy and keep mentally alert. Remember, activity time is not just to stay physically fit, but mentally sharp too.
How Many Minutes A Day Should I Spend Exercising With My Dog?
Although every dog is different, one thing most people agree on is each dog should be on the move for at least thirty minutes a day. Certain breeds, like Retrievers, Spaniels, Collies, Pointers, and German Shepherds require more activity time than breeds such as the Bulldog, Basset Hound, Shih Tzu, Pug, and Chihuahua. Although each breed is different, thirty minutes a day is a relatively good goal to strive for. If your dog seeks more playtime, go for it!
Frequently Asked Questions
It is normal for dogs to pant while running and playing but this is a sign they are getting tired. Watch your pup’s tail. Is it wagging or straight down while he’s playing? A wagging tail is generally a sign that your dog is content, comfortable, and happy. Consider breaking the play time up into intervals and allow your pup to sit or lay down for a few minutes every fifteen minutes or so. This will also give you a small break to catch your breath too!
Heat exhaustion certainly is something that every dog owner needs to watch for. The most telling symptom of heat stroke in a dog is excessive panting. Other common symptoms may include general signs of discomfort, excessive drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse. Should your pup ever reach this level immediate medical care is needed. The key, however, is to monitor your dog while outside playing before he begins to overheat.
Fresh water! Water is essential as it hydrates your dog and helps to keep him cool. Although providing him with water during activity time is very important, making sure he is properly hydrated before and during activity, time is also necessary. Don’t wait for your pup to show signs of dehydration before giving him a refreshing bowl of water.
Outdoor activity time in the cold is safe, however, proper precautions should be taken. A very overlooked aspect of this has to do with what we focus on in the warm months, hydration. During the cold winter months, the humidity levels in the atmosphere are much lower. With the lower humidity, your dog can easily become dehydrated if he or she is not drinking enough water. Keeping your dog bundled up, preferably with an insulated dog sweater is a great start. Properly sized dog shoes also will also help to keep his paws warm and dry. You wouldn’t want to walk outside on snow or ice without protection and neither does your pup!
Establishing a good routine for your dog while he’s still a puppy will allow him to grow into a healthy and active adult dog. Forming good habits at a young age will also help to assure many years of feeling and looking great. Take the time each day to show your pup why he’s known as man’s best friend!