Tips for Exercising with Your Dog

Photo: Richmond SPCA

Exercising with your dog is a great time-saver and not to mention stellar for you and your best friend's health. But before you tie up those laces or take your dog on that bike ride, check out this list of tips to ensure that you and your pooch are getting the most out of your exercise together in a safe and healthy way.

Consult the Vet
Just because your dog seems healthy doesn't mean there isn't a health concern beneath the surface that could be preventing her from performing vigorous exercise. Before you and your best friend head out on that road to running a 5K together, make sure you check with your vet to see if your dog has any health or breed-specific limitations that may hinder her physical activity.

Build a Base
Just because you can run a mile effortlessly doesn't necessarily mean your pooch can. Unless you've been exercising regularly with your dog since he was a puppy, make sure to start slow and build a solid base with your pooch. Even the most basic things such as the pads on his paws will need toughening up before he can go long distances.

To the Left, to the Left (or to the Right)
Make sure you train your dog to stay on one side of you while you're exercising with her. Constantly switching sides is bad for her neck and presents the possibility of choking, not to mention could catch you off-balance. Keep your dog to one side of you at all times and if she tries to switch, correct her immediately.

Keep Hydrated
This applies to both you and your pooch! Make sure you bring enough water for both you and your dog—be diligent in keeping an eye out for signs of dehydration in your dog. If he starts excessively panting or slowing down in pace, immediately stop for a water break.

Post-Workout Checkup
Make sure you check your buddy for any cuts, scrapes, or sharp objects that may have become lodged in her paws. Check her for any ticks, burrs, or other foreign objects, and don't forget to rehydrate her fully after the workout. And don't fail to schedule in rest days—even your workout buddy needs to take a break!
 

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Published on by Beatrix Chan.

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