Exercising with your dog is a wonderful way for you and your K9 companion to stay healthy and build a bond. Once your dog becomes accustomed to being your workout partner you will see that they can be a great motivation to go exercise. We at WonderWoof believe in and promote a healthy, active lifestyle for dogs and have pulled together some tips to help you and your dog get the most out of your exercise routine.
Proper workout plan
Some dogs, just like us humans, are more limited when it comes to the types of exercise that they can do. This is why it is important to determine beforehand what type of exercise routine is best for you and your dog. A great way to do this is to bring your dog to the vet to get their physical condition assessed. Once you have that information you can plan an appropriate workout routine.
Ease into it
Allow your dog to build up his or her stamina by easing into your workout routine. Start with slower, easier workouts and build your way up to harder ones. Exercising too quickly or for long intervals can lead to injuries for your dog. If your dog is panting heavily or seems tired, make sure to end your workout session for the day.
Different exercises for different breeds
Certain exercises are better suited for certain types of dogs. For example, Pit Bulls have high endurance and are great to take on longer walks while Terriers get a good workout from quick fifteen to twenty minute walks mixed with indoor play. For a complete list of workouts for different types of breeds click here: http://www.pedigree.com/All-Things-Dog/Article-Library/The-Best-Exercise-For-Your-Dogs-Breed.aspx.
Timing is everything
When planning your workout, keep your dog’s physical needs in mind too. Avoid slick conditions such as rain, snow, or ice as it could cause you or your dog to slip which may lead to injuries. Try to not exercise if it is too hot to avoid risk of dehydration and always remember to bring water for both you and your K9 companion. A good way to avoid the heat, especially in the summer months, is to exercise early in the morning or in the evening after the sun goes down.
Hot asphalt, rocky areas, and hard pavement take a toll on your dog’s paw pads. Do your best to avoid these types of surfaces and opt for grassy soft surfaces to exercise on. This will limit this risk of cuts and burns on your dog’s paw pads.
Keep your dog by your side
No matter the type of exercise you are doing with your dog, it is important that your dog is by your side and not in front of you yanking the leash. This yanking of the leash could cause damage to your dog’s throat and also could make you trip leading to potential injury to you and your dog.
Hands free leashes can make it easier to go for long walks or hikes with your dog. There is also equipment that makes it safe and easy for your dog to run with you while you are biking. Having the proper equipment for your dog so they can accompany you is essential, so make sure you have everything you need before heading out the door with your furry friend.
Glow in the dark
If you are planning on exercising at night, it is important that you and your dog can be seen by traffic. This can be achieved by getting your dog a reflective vest or collar so he/she can be clearly seen by any motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians you encounter.
After exercise checkup
After your exercise session make sure to check your dog’s paw pads for any cuts or burns. If you were working out in grassy or wooded areas, make sure to inspect your dog for ticks and any foreign objects that may have become embedded in their fur or skin. After doing this, give your dog plenty of water and rest. Don’t forget to give yourself some too!
If you keep all the above in mind, you and your dog will be staying healthy and fit all while having fun and building a strong bond. The WonderWoof BowTie is a great way to keep track of your dog’s exercise routine and how it develops over time. However you decide to exercise, we think bringing your dog along is the way to go!