How to exercise with your dog - KLFY News 10

How to exercise with your dog

Updated:
© iStockphoto.com / Jose Gil © iStockphoto.com / Jose Gil
  • From The Dog DailyMore>>

  • The best way to clip your dog’s nails

    The best way to clip your dog’s nails

    Being a dog owner means sometimes taking on tasks that might not be that pleasant -- for either you or your dog. Nail clipping, in some cases, is one of the tasks. More >>
    Being a dog owner means sometimes taking on tasks that might not be that pleasant -- for either you or your dog. Nail clipping, in some cases, is one of the tasks. More >>
  • 5 fun ways to show your dog you love her

    5 fun ways to show your dog you love her

    There are many ways to show your dog that she is your best friend and an important member of your family.More >>
    There are many ways to show your dog that she is your best friend and an important member of your family. From doing activities together to creating a space just for her, these are some easy ways you can strengthen your bond with your four-legged friend.More >>
  • Prepare your dog for guests

    Prepare your dog for guests

    Inviting guests to your home when you have a new or energetic dog can prove to be challenging. Just a little training -- for both your dog and your guests -- will make visits more enjoyable for everyone.More >>
    Inviting guests to your home when you have a new or energetic dog can prove to be challenging. Just a little training -- for both your dog and your guests -- will make visits more enjoyable for everyone.More >>

By Kim Boatman
 

The best workout partners never complain, bring unfailing energy to your exercise sessions and stick by your side rather than racing ahead or trailing behind. If it sounds like it would be tough to find someone to fit that description, it's time to consider a four-legged workout partner.

"For the most part, any dog can be a runner," says Lindsay Stordahl, a professional dog runner and walker who operates Run That Mutt in the Fargo-Moorhead area of North Dakota. Stordahl has covered more than 4,200 miles with clients' dogs. "People get too caught up over whether or not their dog can run. If you are not sure, then simply try."

It's also possible you might find another exercise activity to enjoy with your dog, such as swimming, which is low-impact for joints, says Dr. Amber Andersen, a veterinarian at Point Vicente Animal Hospital in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

A dog-focused activity such as agility training can also provide workout benefits for both you and your dog.


Before You Begin a Workout Program

Of course, it's not simply a matter of grabbing a leash and heading out the door. Before you begin working out with your dog, experts say you should consider these factors:

Your health and your dog's health. It's a good idea to check with both your veterinarian and your physician before you begin a workout program.

Your dog's breed. Stordahl runs with all manner of breeds. However, short-faced (i.e., brachycephalic) dogs, such as English bulldogs and pugs can overheat easily. "They have an already compromised respiratory system," says Andersen. "Monitor them closely." An English bulldog will likely be happier walking because of its heavyset body.

Your dog's age. "Many veterinarians will stress that a large-breed dog should not run until it's about 18 months old, because the dog's bone structure will not be fully developed until that time," says Stordahl. Check with your veterinarian to determine when a young dog is ready to jog, then keep to a modest pace and distance. Older dogs, like older humans, can suffer from arthritis or other health conditions.

Weather conditions. Extreme temperatures and weather conditions can impact your dog's ability to work out. Be particularly conscious of your dog's water needs in warmer weather.


Working out With Your Dog

"Gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise over the course of a few weeks," says Andersen. "Be consistent and committed so both you and your dog can build stamina." Exercising with your dog will work better if you do the following:

Let your dog be a dog. "Usually our dogs are allowed to stop and sniff on daily walks, so they will want to do this during more intense jogs or runs," says Andersen. "Before you start running, let your dog have ample time to relieve itself as well as sniff around. During the cooldown after your run, let your dog do this again."

Use a harness and ditch the retractable leash. A harness allows for greater control, and you'll want to keep your dog on a short leash.

Do regular paw-checks. "If your dog is new to running, you should stop and check its feet at least every five minutes until you know how much it can handle," says Stordahl. "If the paws look pink or tender, then slow to a walk and head home." Bleeding paws mean a few days' rest, though they should heal on their own. Your dog's feet will naturally toughen.

Know when to stop. If you see a wagging tail and your dog is alert and responsive, it most likely is enjoying the activity. It's time to stop when you see any respiratory distress or lameness or when your dog starts dragging behind or slowing down.


Be creative and patient as you find a workout routine you both enjoy.

"Exercising is vital to both human and canine health," says Andersen. "Finding a way to incorporate your dog's fitness routine with your own will make you both happy and can be a huge time-saver."




Copyright © 2012 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • Today's Celebrity Pet!

    Today's Celebrity Pet!

    GWEN STEFANI The singer and her pup hit the beach for a day of sun and fun in Marina del Rey, California.More >>
    BETTY WHITE The Golden Girl shares a sweet cuddle with pooch Delilah while attending the Saturday American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.More >>
  • Cat Quote of the Week

    Cat Quote of the Week

    "The more people I meet, the more I like my cat." -AnonymousMore >>
    "The more people I meet, the more I like my cat." -AnonymousMore >>
  • Dog Quote of the Week

    Dog Quote of the Week

    "The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog." -George GrahamMore >>
    "The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog." -George GrahamMore >>
  • WOOFSTOCK! Sunday, April 6!

    WOOFSTOCK! Sunday, April 6!

    COME JOIN US for our 1ST ANNUAL WOOFSTOCK FESTIVAL OF ACADIANA. Acadiana residents and their pooches can now party likes its 1969, when Giles Nissan hosts Woofstock Festival of Acadiana, celebrating canineMore >>
    COME JOIN US for our 1ST ANNUAL WOOFSTOCK FESTIVAL OF ACADIANA. Acadiana residents and their pooches can now party likes its 1969, when Giles Nissan hosts Woofstock Festival of Acadiana, celebrating canineMore >>
  • Thank You from Camp Bow Wow!

    Thank You from Camp Bow Wow!

    Here's a message from the staff at Camp Bow Wow to all those who took part in their recent 5K-9 and Pet Adoption Day: We wanted to thank everyone who came out to our first Camp Bow Wow 5K-9 at GirardMore >>
    Here's a message from the staff at Camp Bow Wow to all those who took part in their recent 5K-9 and Pet Adoption Day: We wanted to thank everyone who came out to our first Camp Bow Wow 5K-9 at GirardMore >>
  • Missing "Special Needs" Dog

    Missing "Special Needs" Dog

    Have you seen this dog? This Brownie, an 8 year old Cocker Spaniel, who is spayed and up to date on immunizations. She is missing from her home on Allen Road in Maurice. Brownie has only one eye,More >>
    Have you seen this dog? This Brownie, an 8 year old Cocker Spaniel, who is spayed and up to date on immunizations. She is missing from her home on Allen Road in Maurice. Brownie has only one eye,More >>
  • Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month"

    Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month"

    Meet Mandy, a young pit bull terrier mix who is our Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month" for October! Mandy had a bit of a rough start to life but is happy as can be now that she is out of theMore >>
    Meet Mandy, a young pit bull terrier mix who is our Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month" for October! Mandy had a bit of a rough start to life but is happy as can be now that she is out of theMore >>
  • Could Your Dog Be a TV Star?

    Could Your Dog Be a TV Star?

    Hello, everyone, it's Blue here. I'm excited to announce that as of today, we are starting a special partnership with Camp Bow Wow, who is our newest sponsor of Blue's Pet Page! To kick off this specialMore >>
    Hello, everyone, it's Blue here. I'm excited to announce that as of today, we are starting a special partnership with Camp Bow Wow, who is our newest sponsor of Blue's Pet Page! To kick off this specialMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLFY. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.