Every dog needs at least 30 minutes of fun, engaging, playful activity per day. The same goes for humans, really. But just like humans, there are a lot of factors that come into play when we’re designing the right exercise regime for our pets. Their breed, age, size, lifestyle, and health, are all considerations that play a vital role. Check out Part One in this series where we discuss dog breeds and exercise. Part Two takes a closer look at the often surprising role of age in our canine companion’s activity needs. And for those interested in getting a jump start on a healthy approach to Fido’s fitness, try EcoDigestive probiotic and enzyme support formula. This supplement can make all the difference in Fido’s energy, nutrition, and overall health.
Size And Doggy Exercise Needs
For those who read Part One, we know that breed plays a crucial role in a dog’s daily activity needs. And we may have also noticed that the size of the breed doesn’t always correlate with the amount for exercise Fido needs. For example, pugs are considered a low-energy small dog breed, while boston terriers are considered a high-energy small dog breed. Many assume large dog breeds are automatically either low or high energy, but again, the breed plays a role. Australian shepherds are considered a large dog breed with high energy, and bull mastiffs are a notoriously low-energy, large dog breed. Knowing which breeds are genetically predisposed to high- or low-energy can make a crucial difference in how we plan our pup’s lifestyle and routines. But knowing hos their size plays into this is also crucial.
Size really determines the types of exercise, more than the duration. Because of their breed, personality, and disposition, they may prefer more or less activity, but their size can really tell us whether they are built for long hikes on rough terrain or several short walks throughout the day.
Body Basics: The Anatomy of Doggy Exercise
Every dog is built a little differently, but when it comes to size, there are some indicators that can tell us the intensity and type of exercise that’s best for our canine companions.
Love Those Legs. Some dogs are long and lanky; some are short and stubby. While the adorable-ness factor is strong with all of these, endurance is gonna be a little different for everyone. For those who love long hikes, a pup with short stubby legs, like a chihuahua or a dachshund, may not be the best way to get exercise. In fact, it will lead to joint problems in the long run and a sore body the next day. That doesn’t mean hiking is off limits. Just bring an outdoorsy backpack to carry the little one, so they exercise in intervals. When considering a doggy backpack, be sure it’s comfy and restful for the little one. If they have to brace themselves or hold themselves up while in there, it won’t be nearly as restful and will defeat the purpose. It’s also crucial that the bag is ventilated and stay cool inside. Overheating is one of the leading causes of canine illness during the hot months. The right backpack will lead to quality intervals of exercise on those long trips. Interval exercise, such as multiple short hikes and walks, is best for the little ones.
Ears For Days. Most people don’t think about ears when they think about the type of exercise their dog is built for, but it’s surprisingly vital to their health. Dogs with long ears, such as beagles, hounds, and spaniels, are more likely to get ear infections. Because their ears lay over their ear opening, they often trap water and dirt inside the ear, leading to ear infections. Also, many dogs with long ears are also short enough that their ears may drag along the ground during their explorations. This is another way they may pick up dirt and grime that will get trapped in their ear canal. This means we may need to take a few precautions such as keeping them on sidewalks during rainy seasons to avoid ears getting drug through puddles and muddy areas. Or we can be sure to clean their ears regularly to help prevent ear infections. And, of course, it’s just smart planning to keep an all-natural ear infection remedy on-hand at all times to limit the amount of time our ear-infection-prone pups have to go without walks because they’re ears are inflamed and painful. EcoEars is an all-natural ear wash that’s powerful enough to quickly fight painful ear infections, while gentle enough to be used as a regular, preventative ear wash for dog ear infections.
Rotund And Heavy Dogs. There are a few reasons to exercise our pups. It keeps their minds healthy and engaged. Activity is great for mood and behavior. Plus, it wards off common illnesses and diseases related to poor health. For canine companions who have put on a bit of weight and who may look more like a round barrel or a small footstool, exercise is crucial. However, jumping into an aggressive routine will lead to injury. While we want to get that excess weight off to relieve pressure on the joints and avoid damage, we also want to make sure we build up to an exercise routine that will lose the weight and keep them healthy, instead of sore and achy. Begin with easy exercises like indoor games and activities. Add on outdoor games and walks in short bursts throughout the day. Then work up to longer walks and playtime. For those who can’t do this every day, we might consider doggy daycare or a dog walker two-to-three days a week, followed by time with us, their faithful, caring guardians, on our days off and one or two other days a week.
Putting together a clear activity plan for our pup relies on several factors. So far we’ve covered breed, age, and size. Watch for future articles in this series that include lifestyle, health, and how to design the perfect doggy fitness plan.