Your pet dog certainly needs exercise. However, there is a time and a manner in which it should be done to benefit your dog.
I am sure you will agree when I say that certain precautions must be taken and your environment must be taken into consideration.
Each one of us loves our dog and wishes nothing but the best of health for it which translates into regular exercise for both the pet and its owner.
So I have created some safety tips for exercise with dogs.
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Top Safety Tips For Working Out With Your Dog
There are so many topics that I would like to mention but I have limited time.
Dogs are such lovable and willing partners that we do need to do our best for them.
Keeping them healthy with regular exercise is the best way but we must exercise caution so as not to cause our dogs any harm.
#1 Your Veterinarian Should Be Your First Person To Contact Before Exercising Your Dog
If you are unsure of your dog’s health condition, it is best to take him to your veterinarian for a check-up.
This will ensure that you do not lose your dog in a heart attack or any other sudden accident that may cause his demise.
You would be surprised what could occur if your beloved dog is not healthy enough for a routine of exercise that you may choose.
Think about how you feel when a cramp sets in while you are sleeping at night.
#2 Consider Your Dog’s Breed
There are some breeds of dogs that cannot cope with certain types of exercise.
We must find the types of exercises that are compatible with the breed of dog you are raising.
You may not be aware of the breed of dog in your house.
Please do some research to find out if you have a boisterous outside dog or a dog that will be quite okay with a lap around your house or apartment building and then plopping themselves back on your sofa.
#3 Do Not Just Dive Into An Exercise Routine
Research, research, research! This is vital for the health of your dog.
Connect the breed of your dog with trending exercise routines and you will find out which ones are suitable for your dog. In that way, your pet will be happy and you will be proud of your workout.
If you love your dog you will do this before exercising with him.
Related Readings: How Much Exercise Does My Dog Need?
#4 Before Exercising With Your Dog, Make Sure That They Are Physically Fit Enough To Handle It
Look at your dog. Check its body for any wound, tender muscle, or any impending cause to deter it from exercising.
Again you do not wish for your pet to be miserable going through this process. Test your dog on a few runs to find out if he can endure long-distance running or fetching.
Is your dog a good swimmer? You may be thinking of going for early morning swimming as a form of exercise.
I have met many owners swimming in the sea with their dogs in the mornings.
#5 Your Environment Should be Conducive to Your Dog’s Health
Is it raining cats and dogs? The heat is too sweltering for man, let alone beast or dog. Consider these two extremes when planning an exercise routine with your dog.
Remember, this dog is with you for the rest of its life. You are to ensure that that is a long period of dog years.
#6 Do Not Feed Your Dog A Large Meal for 2 Hours Before Exercise
Now I am sure that if you eat a large meal then exercise will be far from your mind. You would then prefer a siesta after a large meal. This rule also applies to your furry friend.
A dog will fall asleep after you have fed it a large meal. So do not feed your dog just before going out to exercise. A small snack and water will be enough until you both return.
#7 Always Warm Up Your Dog With A 10 Minute Walk
If you know anything about working out, you know that there has to be a warm-up period before vigorous exercise is done. Your dog will appreciate being offered this same courtesy.
Do not treat your dog like your photocopier. He is a creature of God with a great deal of intelligence.
#8 Ease Into it
It takes time to get into an exercise routine. This should be a bonding time between you and your best friend. Do it with lots of love.
Start with a little test run then increase the time and activities on a weekly and daily basis. Watch for reactions of discontent or fatigue. These will alert you to needed changes to ensure a happy best friend.
#9 Don’t Push It Too Hard
If you notice that your dog is objecting to the type of exercise you are doing, don’t push it.
You do not want a disgruntled dog by your side. You are not training a dog for the police academy. Your purpose is to promote a long healthy life for your friend.
Many dogs outlive their owners if they are treated the right way.
#10 Harness Versus A Collar
In my humble opinion as a dog lover and having read so many commentaries; a dog harness brings dignity to a dog out for exercise.
A collar tends to choke the dog and creates a tug-o-war between owner and dog.
You do not wish to have citizens thinking that you stole the dog which is why it is resisting you all along the way.
#11 Be Kind To Their Feet
Being kind to the feet of your dog means watching out for broken glass, deep holes with debris, and other harmful items.
It also means that if the streets are too hot the exercise may be left until a later and cooler time of the day.
This may seem strange to you but dogs can get hurt if their feet come into contact with harmful items.
#12 Some Dogs Need A Little More Time Before You Exercise Them
There is some age of dogs that cannot be taken on long walks.
Check the age of your dog before exercise time or you may find yourself carrying your pet home.
If he is too young you must wait a few months for his muscles to be able to manage long walks.
#13 Whatever You Do Ensure That Your Dog Remains On One Side Of Your Person
While you are on the streets, walkways, or in the park with your dog, train your dog to remain on one side of your body. This will prevent you from tripping.
This will also help you to avoid accidents with other people using the same space.
Mutual respect is very important. Do not take a wild dog on the streets to cause trouble.
#14 Use The Sidewalk
The sidewalk is a good route for exercise with your dog in the early morning or the cool of the evening.
This will need some training for your dog to remain on the sidewalk and not run after passers and other dogs.
A leash attached to your dog’s collar or harness would provide some guidance and keep your dog out of trouble.
#15 Avoid Forced Exercise
If your dog is not willing to exercise, do not force it. This may mean that he has an injury or is not feeling in tune with the weather.
It may also mean that your dog doesn’t like being outside and you need to change the type of exercise.
Your dog will not be pleased if you force it to exercise. This should be a beneficial and pleasant event.
#16 Use The Proper Safety Equipment
There is safety equipment for yourself and your dog. This is to ensure that if there is an accident you are both protected.
Wearing the proper footwear, knee pads, helmet, and visor is important for you to be safe.
Use the right type of leash and do not attach it to your body. This may cause your dog to pull you along too quickly on the route.
#17 A Good Massage Can Be Helpful To Your Dog
Before and after a good workout you can take your dog for a professional massage or do it yourself by following instructions.
Such a massage can relax tense muscles and prepare your dog for a workout.
After the workout, a massage can check for and relax overextended muscles.
Your dog will thank you.
#18 Guide Your Dog With A Leash
Using a leash is important to stay in close contact with your dog.
It can be attached to the handlebar of your bicycle or a hook on your key ring.
This way, harm will not come to your arm if your dog suddenly bolts after a cat or a rabbit in the park.
#19 When The Sun Peaks Is Not Exercise Time
There is a phrase that says, “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun”. You may laugh but this kind of heat is not good for man or beast.
The heat will blind your eyes, breathing will be difficult for both you and your dog and either of you can suffer from heatstroke.
#20 Direct Sunlight Is Not Good For Exercising Dark Coated Dogs
If direct sunlight can affect all other dogs, imagine what it can do to black dogs.
Black dogs have a higher incidence of having a heat stroke than other dogs.
Science teaches us that black absorbs heat.
Pay attention and protect your black dog from the direct sunlight. He will lick your face with gratitude.
#21 During The Summer, A Cooling Jacket May Be Suitable For Your Dog
If your dog is very sensitive to the heat and the rays of the sun during summer, a cooling jacket may help.
What is a cooling jacket you may ask?
It is a lightweight mesh that a dog can wear which reduces the effects of the sun’s rays and helps your dog to feel comfortable.
Your dog will be able to move around and take walks with the use of the cooling jacket.
#22 A Place Of Rest Is Essential For Your Dog After Exercising
Somewhere under a shady tree or inside your home would be a good place for your dog to rest after returning from your workout.
This will allow for his heart to slow down to its normal pace and for its muscles to relax.
Just as you need a cool down, so does your dog.
#23 A Water Bottle And A Dish For Your Dog
Yes, of course, your dog needs to be hydrated constantly too.
Have you seen your dog with its tongue hanging out? This means it is time for a dish of water.
So pack a knapsack with a water bottle and a dish for your dog. Whenever you feel the need or your dog’s tongue is hanging out; it is time to hydrate.
#24 After The Workout
This is when both you and your dog can do cooling down breathing exercises.
Move slowly and allow your dog to do the same.
A drink of water would be most beneficial.
You can also give your down a massage to relax his muscles after a workout.
#25 Now Take Your Poop Bags Along With A Scoop
Now you would not want to be embarrassed by poop, would you?
Pack a poop bag and a scoop just in case your dog does what is perfectly natural to him.
Although this is my last tip for working out with your dog, I need you to take it seriously when taking your dog for a workout.
Let us have a leave no poop on the ground or sidewalk policy.
Over To You
Which tip raised the most concern for you? Have you been negligent when walking your dog?
It is important to take care of our dogs even though it is instinctive for dogs to run and play. Dogs protect us and are our friends for life. Therefore, we should look out for them likewise.
How many of these tips have become a regular part of working out with your dog? Please reply in the comments section of this article.
Feel free to share this article with fellow dog lovers and if you have any tips that have not crossed my mind; place them in the comments section as well.
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