The 6 Do’s and Dont’s of Dog Exercise and Fitness.

1)Starting from scratch with a rescued adult dog.

Firstly congratulations on getting your new dog and well done for rescuing a pet in need! Remember that your new friend may never have been for a walk on a lead before. They also might not have any experience of meeting other pets or strange people. This can all do very overwhelming for some dogs. Remember to take things slowly. If your pet is feeling scared in situations like this a socialisation or training class is an excellent place to begin. For more information on an excellent local training school click here

DO: Give your dog time to adjust to a new situation and allow them to move away from anything which scares them.

DON’T: Force your dog into a situation where they are scared as this can lead to them showing aggression.

2) Fitness and Exercising Puppies.

Puppies are little bundles of energy and curiosity. Everyone has a smile on there face when they get to play with one. But always remember that these little guys are so small that they don’t have huge energy reserves, so they tire quickly. They also need to sleep a lot more than adult dogs.

DO: Play with your puppy for short periods 5-6 times a day. Make sure they get plenty of rest in between.

DON’T: Bring your puppy on long walks. They can only cope with short periods of activity.

3) Adult Dogs: Maintaining a fit and healthy body.

Once they grow past the puppy stage adult dogs are able for more activity for longer periods. But it is important to think about keeping their bodies healthy right into old age. Some smart decisions now will future proof their joints. Keeping them moving and healthy.

DO: Take your dog to any area where they can safely run and play off the lead.

DON’T: Engage in high impact exercise like chasing a ball, running beside a bike or long road runs.

4) Senior Pets.

Seniors mightn’t be able to run like they used to. But it is still important for them to keep moving and enjoying walks. This keeps their joints in good working order. Remember that if your pet is lame after exercise it shouldn’t just be written off as “old age”. Lameness is a sign of pain and it’s a good idea to have it checked by a vet. Book here to see one of our experienced vets. They will advise you on the best options for your pets health and wellbeing.

DO: Bring senior pets for shorter walks 2-3 times a day.

DON’T: Bring your senior pet on a very long walk. It can lead to very sore joints.

5) Overweight Dogs.

Everyone gains a few pounds over the christmas season and dogs are no different. Carrying even a couple of pounds of extra weight puts your dog’s joints under additional strain. If you think your dog is getting a bit too heavy, check out this website for an easy way to tell.

DO: Cut out treats and snacks. Start with small walks and increase the length as the pounds drop away.

DON’T: Bring them for very long walks initially. This can cause injuries to you dog’s joints.

6) Dogs with a pre-existing medical condition.

There are many different medical conditions which can affect you dog’s ability and willingness to exercise. Each condition from diabetes to sight loss presents unique difficulties for every individual dog. Our vets can advise you on the best plan for your pet. Make an appointment here.

DO: Bring your dog to the clinic for a check and to discuss the best exercise plan.

DON’T: Assume that a pet with a long term medical condition doesn’t need or cannot exercise.

Eoin Whelan MVB, Vet at Petcare Vets
Eoin Whelan MVB
Eoin is nearing the end of his journey towards extra qualifications in small animal surgery. With a special interested in orthopaedic(bone and joint) surgery, he is our most qualified vet for keeping pets moving and assessing and protecting their joint health for a long and pain free life.

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