A tired dog is a good dog! Is your dog getting enough exercise?
Dogs of all sizes need exercise appropriate to their body type. Walking is not aerobic enough for many. Most dogs live an existence where their main jobs are to live a long life, behave and not chew your favorite suede boots or jump on your father-in-law when he stops by.
However, depending on their breed, they may be built for more strenuous activity. Some dogs have generations of training in hunting, chasing, burrowing and herding. Dogs fulfill every day tasks for the military, farmers, First Responders, and people with physical needs. All these tasks require good aerobic capacity and self-control to perform.
Running your dog regularly will go far toward creating a well-behaved member of your family. If you are one who enjoys running, you have found yourself a devoted running partner. Buster is going to be an inspirational trainer for you; and, Fido is not going to leave you hanging because he was out playing ball too late the night before.
Unfortunately, running is not for everyone due to a wide variety of reasons. This creates the need for ingenuity. Other options for exercising your dog to a high level include; teaching them to walk on a treadmill, rollerblading and bicycling.
It is important to understand some key points for each alternative.
- Treadmill Walking – This is a good for dogs who live in harsher climates. Or, those dogs whose owner has trouble getting out of the house due to time or physical limitations. It us important to remember that the treadmill doesn’t replace fresh air and sunshine.
There are many websites including; www.vetstreet.com and www.petsadvisor.com that can give you step-by-step guide to success. Make sure you follow instructions and don’t rush your dog. Lead them, but remember each dog has it’s own learning curve.
- Rollerblading – Running your dogs while in-line skating should only be attempted by those who are highly proficient at this type of exercise and have high confidence in their pet’s obedience training. Given the speed that can be obtained with a strong animal and the ease of wheels, your morning exercise session could become a wild ride, if you are not up to the task.
Bicycling – This is an activity best suited for dogs over 25 lbs. Pugs, bulldogs and other breeds with flat faces don’t have the breathing capacity and would overheat quickly. Long bodied dogs with short legs should also be considered as inappropriate for this form of exercise. Bikes with wider tires such as cruisers and mountain bikes are ideal. Make certain to bring plenty of water for hydration and always let your dog set the pace in the beginning. Specialty leashes can be purchased online. However, these are not necessary for most dogs.
Finding the ideal exercise for your dog is a very important part of ownership. Always check with your vet before dramatically increasing your animal’s distance. Videos for each form of exercise can be found online.
Helping your furry friend to reach their ideal tiring point will dramatically lower behavioral problems due to pent up energy and boredom. Remember though, it is equally as important to give your pet plenty of time to meander down the sidewalk or park pathway, sniffing the smells of the world.