No two dogs are exactly alike or have the exact same needs in terms of their daily exercise. The amount of exercise a dog needs varies based on their age, breed, current physical fitness level, individual ability, and their medical history. Plus, your dog’s exercise and activity needs will change throughout their lifetime.
Why Exercise Is So Important for Your Dog
Daily exercise is essential to both your pet’s physical and mental health. Regular exercise keeps a dog’s body strong while also maintaining a healthy weight. Obesity prevention is essential to preventing secondary health problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and injury.
Exercise also provides your pet with enrichment that keeps them mentally happy and healthy. Dogs with pent-up energy tend to have behavioral problems as a result of boredom and releasing excess energy in undesirable, aggressive, and/or destructive behaviors.
4 Tips for Exercising Safely With Your Dog
1. Mind Their Age
Exercise abilities vary greatly with a dog’s age. While adult dogs can safely enjoy one longer exercise session during the day, puppies are the safest and happiest exercising in several short bursts throughout the day. Senior dogs might need to have their activity slightly restricted by going for long walks and preventing them from running or taking them out to swim since swimming is gentler on their joints.
2. Start Slowly
If your dog hasn’t been active for a while, then start out slowly with short walks and gradually increase duration and intensity to prevent injury.
3. Pay Attention to the Weather
Depending on your dog’s breed and tolerance, the weather affects how much outdoor exercise your dog can handle. On particularly hot days, be active indoors instead.
4. Keep a Close Eye on Your Pet
While exercising watch your pet for signs of pain or fatigue (heavy panting or limping) and stop when the time is right.
Nutritional Counseling and Weight Management for Pets in Fort Worth
Maintaining your pet at a healthy weight is an integral part of their overall health and wellness. Our veterinarian at South Meadow Animal Clinic will work with you to create a personalized weight management plan for your pet designed to balance their exercise and diet to help them achieve optimal physical and mental health.
To learn more about managing your pet’s weight, providing them a healthy diet, or the kinds of exercises that are most appropriate for your dog’s age, breed, and medical condition, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian in Fort Worth today.
At South Meadow Animal Clinic, we are dedicated to providing the highest level of veterinary medicine along with friendly, compassionate service. We treat every patient as if they are our own pet, and give them the same loving attention and care.