Sunday, September 20, 2009

Exercising with health and safety in mind

Is your dog overweight? Even if your dog is young and fit now, you should think about how to keep him that way. Like people, dogs have varying exercise needs. But how do you know how much your dog needs to stay healthy?

Veterinarian Susan Nelson from Kansas State University has put together a useful guide for determining the exercise needs of your dog, along with some great tips for keeping your pup stimulated, happy, and healthy.

Here are just a few of her tips:
  • Running free on their own is not enough for dogs...they should get out for an uninterrupted walk or run once or twice a day.
  • You shouldn't run long distances with your dog until they are at least 12-15 months because their bones are still growing.
  • Running and walking are not the only activities you can try--fetch and frisbee also provide great stimulation and exercise. Swimming is a good workout for dogs with joint problems.
  • Don't feed your dog right before or after exercise because it puts certain breeds at risk for bloat (AKA twisted stomach).

[Image courtesy of PhotoBucket]

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