Exercise does a dog good

Be Fit BR Dec. 2012
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Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle for your pooch is as necessary as it is for you.

From Heidi Ganahl, founder of Camp Bow Wow, comes these suggestions for getting your dog (and you) moving:

Walking: It’s a simple and beneficial practice for both humans and pets. When walking your pet, try to stay on dirt or grass paths. Too much walking or running on concrete can stress joints and irritate your dog’s foot pads. If it’s cold, bundle you and your dog up and get outside, but always be sure to keep Fido properly hydrated.

Hiking: If you go for a hike, bring Fido along. Most dogs love to explore the outdoors. Like walking, you’ll need to maintain a brisk enough pace to elevate you and your pet’s heart rate. Be sure you both stay hydrated, especially during extended excursions. Carrying a collapsible water bowl will help make it easier to get your dog water.

Jogging: Jogging is a great form of exercise, but not all dogs are built to jog. If you want to be able to jog with your pet, choose a breed that is suited to distance-running. Your jog with Fido should include 5 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of jogging, and 5 minutes of cool-down.

Frisbee: A game of Frisbee provides a classic canine workout and some outdoor fun for both you and your pup. You might even be able to join a “Disc Dog” team. Participating in competitions may give you and your dog greater motivation to practice regularly.

SENIOR PETS: Consider the age of your pet when developing an exercise routine. Senior dogs in particular need adequate exercise, but routines should be adjusted to their abilities. A mere 15 minutes of massaging and stretching every day will raise your dog’s sense of well being. Jogging with your dog may not be appropriate if he or she is arthritic.

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