How to Safely Get Your Dog Back into Shape

How to Safely Get Your Dog Back into ShapeDaily walks, jogs, or play sessions can significantly improve your dog’s health. Not only will exercise help keep your dog fit and trim, regular activities can help channel your dog’s energy into a positive direction, rather than a destructive one.

Regular exercise can have a tremendous impact on your dog’s overall well-being. Dogs that get regular workouts enjoy a higher metabolism, smaller appetite, better muscle tone, and even better temperature regulation. 

Unfortunately, not all dogs get enough exercise. Whether you’ve recently rescued an overweight dog, extenuating circumstances have prevented you from working out with your dog, or you just haven’t yet worked out the right exercise routine, don’t give up. There’s always time to improve your dog’s health, and here are some ways that you can get started.

Consult Your Vet

Exercise needs can vary widely based on age, breed, and sex, as well as a dog’s individual health. If your dog is between six and eighteen months and is a sporting, herding, hound, or terrier breed, their exercise requirements are likely high. However, strenuous exercise can cause problems in some dogs, especially those that are not fit or are very young or old. Talk with your vet before taking on any new exercise routines with your dog.

Be sure to go easy on hot, humid, or cold days, and take plenty of breaks. If your dog is lagging behind or struggling, head home and make the next exercise session  slower and shorter. Go slowly when introducing your dog to a new exercise routine, gradually building for the first weeks as they adapt. It’s always best to ask your vet’s advice on how to safely increase your dog’s activity level.

Get Moving

There’s a plethora of ways to fulfill your dog’s exercise requirements, so try different activities to find which ones suit you and your dog’s needs.

Common canine workout activities are:

  • Walking or jogging
  • Fetch
  • Running off leash, where safe and appropriate
  • Swimming
  • Playing with other pets
  • Tricks for low-calorie treats

Make a Workout Plan

You and your vet are responsible for creating a routine that will give your dog proper exercise. For walks, work your way up to a brisk brief walk or jog twice a day. Sometimes introducing another dog is the key to encouraging more exercise activity. If you’re running short on time, hire a dog walker or schedule play dates at a doggy daycare. Visits with a other’s dog can also really help your dog meet his exercise needs.

Feed Him Healthy Food

It can be difficult to resist your dog’s puppy-dog eyes at the dinner table, but constantly giving your dog treats or scraps from your meals can lead to unhealthy weight gain. It’s recommended that you restrict your dog’s food intake outside of meals, and look into lower-calorie treats. In addition to helping your dog to maintain a healthy weight, this will help to prevent stomach or digestive issues.

If your dog is new to the outside world, make sure you have pet liability insurance, such as our Canine Liability policy. There are endless stimuli when you take your dog out, and you never know when something or someone could cause your dog to lash out.

About FIDO

There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.

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