If you have a dog or puppy, or plan to get one, it’s important that you let them exercise on a regular basis. Exercising is not only good for their physical and mental health, but also helps them to socialise with other dogs and puppies, which is crucial to their behavioural development. What’s more, exercising with your dog or puppy is a great way for the two of you to strengthen your bond and be active together!
There are some safety precautions you should take when exercising with your pet.
Prior to exercising with your dog or puppy, here are some things to consider:
- Assess the exercise needs and fitness level of your pet. Dogs have different exercise requirements depending on their individual needs, e.g. more active dogs may require more exercise each day compared to an average pet dog. Most dogs need a walk or visit to the dog park once or twice a day.
- Some dogs with short snouts can find it hard to breathe and exercise can exacerbate their breathing difficulties or older dogs may have joint problems that can slow them down or make it uncomfortable to exercise, so ask your vet about your own individual pet’s requirements.
- Also ask your vet for advice about when puppies can safely go to the park according to their vaccination status.
- Check the temperature outside. Dogs can over heat if exercising in warm temperatures. A dog only sweats through their pads and they lose body heat through panting, so exercise in the morning or late evening when the temperature is cooler is advisable during the warmer months. Hot pavement or sand can also burn your pet’s feet.
- Don’t exercise your pet immediately before or after they’ve eaten, as this can cause problems such as bloating, especially in deep-chested dogs.
- Talk to your vet about how to protect your pet dog from paralysis ticks which can be picked up when exercising.