Exercising with your dog
Many of us make a New Year's resolution to get healthy after indulging on all the delicious food over Christmas- most of them end up failing, in fact by the second week of February 80% have failed, so what is the best way to make your New Year's resolution work?
Dogs always love to be out and about, running around and playing, especially if you are beside them. So why not find fun ways to exercise with your dog? This way you can improve the health of you and your dog, whilst enjoying quality time together.
Currently pet health professionals believe we are in the midst of a pet obesity epidemic, with the rate of pet obesity diseases significantly rising in the last 30 years. A recent survey revealed 22% of pet owners believe their pet is overweight, yet 86% still feed their pets with table leftovers and snacks outside typical mealtimes.
Pet obesity can lead to many diseases such as liver disease, diabetes as well as joint problems, another reason why it is just as important to exercise your dog as well as yourself.
How to start an exercise plan with your dog:
- If your dog is not used to regular exercise it is best to start gently.
- You can begin with short exercise periods at slow speed; if you are just starting to get back into the exercise routine this will also benefit you.
- Make sure the exercise level is appropriate for your dog's breed, size and weight as every dog will be different.
- Don't forget to consider the surface and footing; pads will need to toughen, so it may be best to start on softer surfaces such as grass.
When walking, running or taking part in any activity outside with your dog, you will need to take extra care in certain weather conditions.
In the summer avoid taking your dog out at the hottest time of the day to prevent heatstroke and sunburn. It may be best to take them out very early in the morning or later in the evening when surfaces have cooled. Take a look at Sunblock 4 Pets, to provide reliable protection against sunburn.
Your dog will also face challenges in the winter such as frost bite and if you are not careful de-icing products can burn your dog's paws. To prevent this, make sure you wash your dog's paws after taking them out.
It is important to gradually build up your dog's exercise to avoid joint problems. If they have had previous joint problems, it may be best to consult your vet who can recommend an exercise plan. Lillidale's ProJoint 4 Dog's has been specially formulated to provide optimum levels of active ingredients to support the active dog, as well as growing and ageing dogs.
If you have a puppy remember they only need a small amount of exercise. As a rule of thumb, a good ratio is five minutes of exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until they are fully grown, for example a 3-month old puppy would only need 15 minutes twice a day. This is because over exercising a growing puppy can overtire and damage developing joints.
Research has indicated that if you own a dog, you are 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week than people who do not have a dog. So why not keep that New Year's resolution going throughout the whole year to benefit you as well as your furry best friend!