Exercising with your dog is one of the best ways to strengthen the bond between pet and owner. Dogs love nothing more than running or walking on an open road, park or beach. It is also beneficial for owner and dog alike as it is a sure way of promoting a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is known to have a positive impact on overall health and wellness, and this is true for us humans and our furry friends. Here we outline 6 things you should know before embarking on an adventure with your dog.
1. Health Check
Bring your dog to your local vet for a health check before engaging in any exercise. It is important to check your dogs health status before introducing them to an exercise routine. Your vet will let you know what type of exercise your dog is able for, the length of exercise advisable and also tips for care and recovery post-exercise.
2. Know Your Dog
It is important to know the ability of your dog as different dogs are suited to different types of exercise. For example, small dogs will prefer short distance walks whilst large dogs prefer a lengthy walk or jog. But, overall the owner knows best.
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3. Build-up Slowly
Start with a small amount of exercise and gradually build it up over time. If your dog is new to exercise then start with a short 5-10 minute walk, and increase the length of time spent walking over a couple of weeks. Once your dog is able to walk for 20 – 25 minutes you can then introduce him/her to a jog.
4. Be Consistent
Choose command words for your dog, depending on the activity you are engaging in. For example, if you are cycling choose commands like ‘Left’, ‘Right’ and ‘Stop’. This will teach your dog about how to behave when running beside you on a cycle.
5. Stay Hydrated
It is very important to stay hydrated during and post exercise. If you are planning a long walk, particularly during warm weather, bring water for you and your pooch. It is also important to allow your pet time to rest if needed. Post exercise, give your dog a nourishing snack and water.
6. Safety Equipment
It is the responsibility of the pet owner to ensure both you and your pet are safe during exercise. Thus, you must ensure that the correct safety equipment is worn. High visibility clothing is a must at all times, a strong lead, collar and harness will help to train your dog to walk or run beside you and if cycling, wear a helmet and knee pads. After all, safety comes first.
Introducing an exercise routine for you and your dog may just be the best thing you do this year. It is sure to bring you both happiness and enjoyment. It will also leave you feeling healthy and energetic. Are you interested in starting exercising with your dog? If your answer is yes, call into your local Petworld Store where our helpful and knowledgeable staff will be happy to get you started. If your interested in learning more about the benefits of exercising with your dog, check out our post on dog walking here.
Date For Your Diary: On July 29th we will be hosting our Annual Furry 5K. It is a great event for pets and pet owners where we hit the roads for our chosen charity Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland. This event will be taking place at locations across Ireland. Stay tuned for further details.