‘Walkies’ is an exciting time for all beloved pups! However, whilst exercise is essential for dogs, it can be difficult to know how much is too much exercise for pets. Keep these tips in mind when you’re walking your pawfect pooch.
How many walks?
If you have multiple people in your household, how many of you are taking your dog out for their daily walk? Three family members all taking one walk a day with the dog, equals three walks for them. Be careful to not overdo it. Creating a daily walking checklist may be useful so that everyone is aware who has walked the dog that day, and who is to walk them that morning and evening.
Now that lockdown measures are easing slightly, we are now able to enjoy large open areas with loved ones. It is tempting to arrange a distanced picnic with a few friends and your dog, but with temperatures rising, you need to ensure your dog doesn’t get too hot. Avoid the hottest time of the day – bring plenty of water, seek shaded areas and be careful of other people enjoying the open space. Try not to allow your dog to get too close to others.
Now the mornings are getting brighter too, you may wish to start running with your dog earlier in the day when it’s cooler. This is a great bonding activity for both of you, but try to keep at a steady pace and try not to overdo it.
If you have a senior dog, it is especially important to avoid taking them out during the hottest time of the day because their ability to regulate their body temperature deteriorates as they age. It is advised to keep regularly checking their health and stamina whilst on walks as well – are they tiring out quicker than usual, or hesitant to exercise? Do they struggle with getting up? Things like this could mean you should start to adapt their exercise routine. If you’re worried, you can speak to your local vet for advice.
It is important to be careful with a growing puppy, as too much exercise could result in joint problems. It is recommended to exercise a puppy gradually in 5 minute slots for every month of their age. So, for a 3 month puppy, 15 minutes of exercise would be suitable, and 20 minutes for a 4 months old pup. You can continue with this method until they reach 12 months. It is strongly advised to not take them out for more than 2 walks a day.
Every breed is different
Understandably, every dog is different and as their owner you likely know what is best for them. Pay close attention to what situations they manage well in, and the ones they perhaps do not. Some dogs love a long walk, such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers to name a few, however some could suffer serious health issues if over exercised, such as pugs and French Bulldogs.
If you are ever unsure about anything written in this article, contact your local veterinary practice. If you’re still isolating, make the most of your garden or flat. There a lots of fun ways to entertain your furry friend in the flat and plenty of games to play with them in the garden, on our website.