Exercising with your dog is one of the best ways to strengthen the bond between pet and owner. This week we have some top tips on how to keep it safe and enjoyable for both of you.
1. Check up
Before you begin to introduce an exercise regime to your dog, take them to you local vet for a check up. He will advise you as to how much is too much and give you some tips on doggy care and recovery.
2. Type of Dog
Different dogs are more suited to different types of exercise. Small dogs with short legs will not last long on a long distance jog where as large dogs with long legs will go the distance.
3. Build up slowly
As with humans, you should never jump into a hardcore exercise regime so always start slow and gradually build it up. Once your dog is able to walk for 20 – 25 minutes you can then build up to a jog.
4. Be consistent
Before you begin, choose command words that are suited to the activity. If you are cycling, commands like ‘Left’, ‘Right’ and ‘Stop’ will soon teach your dog what you want him to do. Always keep you dog on the same side as you.
5. Stay hydrated
If you are planning a long walk, particularly during warm weather, bring a dog friendly drinking bottle and allow your pet time to rest when needed. Pack a small doggy snack to help keep your pets energy levels up.
As with any outdoor exercise, your safety and that of your pet is paramount. Helmets and knee pads are especially important when starting off cycling together. High visibility clothing is a must have, and a strong lead and harness will help to train your dog to walk or run beside you.
7. Know your Dog
Heaving panting, foaming at the mouth and glazed eyes are sure signs that your pooch has overworked. Take a break. Always give plenty of water after exercise and allow plenty of time for rest and recovery.