Fetch With Fido: How to Know When Your Dog Gets Too Much Exercise
Here at Mission Pets, we encourage taking everyday adventures with our dogs. The key is figuring out what kind of journey is best for your furry friend. Many experts recommend that dogs get between 30 mins and 2 hours of exercise daily. There’s no magical amount, but it’s important to know your dog and his limitations.
The amount of exercise for your dog will vary based on its breed, age and general health. It might be hard for dogs to sense they are over-exerting themselves, so as owners we must step in and prevent this from happening.
Herding and working breeds such as Border Collies and Rottweilers need the most exercise. They will respond to lengthier activities, such as running or playing fetch for 30+ minutes. Don’t forget the lighter side or playing either, taking an hour or so out for walking or other low-impact activities.
Flat-nosed breeds like Bulldogs and Pugs can overheat easily and can have trouble breathing. It’s important for dogs like this to be active, but that may mean they respond better to brisk walks rather than runs.
Breeds with narrow and deep-chested bodies such as Dobermans and Great Danes have a tendency to bloat after eating. Avoid exercising with these breeds for at least 30 minutes after eating.
For smaller dogs, consider the length of their legs. Chihuahuas take a few quick steps for one regular human step. Try shorter walks, or going at a slower pace so your furry friend can keep up.
Starting a puppy out with vigorous exercise could lead to joint problems later in life. At such young ages, puppies don’t know their own limits, so it’s important to not work them too hard, or play too rough.
Senior dogs need exercise just as they did in their younger days. As your dog ages, the amount of physical exercise will decline. Rather than taking them for long walks, take them to a dog park and let them decide the amount they wish to be active.
If your pup is a little overweight, you’ll have to begin slowly with an exercise routine. Try beginning with short walks. If your pup responds well, try lengthening your walks, or take on a short hike. If your dog is able, try taking them for a short run.
Dogs don’t have the same system for cooling down as we humans have. It’s important to keep this in mind to avoid over-exerting our pets. If it’s a rather hot day, try going first thing in the morning or later in the evening.
On colder days, smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas and Terriers might prefer to stay inside, or wear protective wear like a sweater or coat. Some dogs, such as Siberian Huskies, perform best at very low temperatures. They may prefer to take it easier on warm days, and play more on colder days.
Other helpful tips
It’s important to pay attention to signs of fatigue when your dog is exercising.. If your dog begins limping, slowing down, or heavily panting, try a lighter activity or a shorter walk next time.
When exercising with your furry friend, it’s important to have plenty of water. Try carrying around an extra water bottle just for your pup. When taking a drink break, try letting them check out nearby trees. They’ll be able to take a break in the cool shade.
As you can see from these pics, we love being active with our dogs.
What’s your favorite activity to do with your dog?
- Laura Figueroa