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Throw Your Dog a Ball: Exercise Tips for a Healthy Dog

Just as with humans, fur kids need regular exercise to stay healthy. The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on several factors such as age, personality, physical ability/build and energy level.

Here are a few tips on how to give your dog the activity he needs to thrive:

  • For some dogs, a brisk 20 to 30-minute walk twice a day may be enough. An adolescent sporting dog may require more exercise. A senior dog may need less.
  • Monitor your dog’s behavior. If your dog is showing signs of pent-up energy, it’s likely he is not getting adequate aerobic exercise.
  • Before a high-energy run or a rollicking game of fetch, it’s always a good idea to warm up your dog with some light tricks to prevent pulled or strained muscles. One good exercise is doggie sit-ups. Ask him to sit and then lie down a few times in succession. Not only does this ready your dog for his workout, but it also reinforces basic obedience.
  • Avoid overexertion. If your dog tries to stop or shows signs of slowing down, let him.
  • Be sure your dog is well hydrated, but don’t let him drink lots of water right after a long stretch of high-energy exercise. And wait at least 20 minutes before feeding your dog a meal.
  • On rainy days, offer your dog mental stimulation to use up some of the energy he would normally spend outdoors. Play hide-and-seek in the house, practice some obedience training or invest in an interactive dog toy that encourages your dog to think for his treats.

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