April is Canine Fitness Month! Some pups are basically furry, four-legged bundles of zoom. Others? Not so much. No matter what end of the spectrum your cute pet falls under, he will need proper activity to stay healthy. A local Wichita, KS vet offers some tips on keeping Fido fit below.
Most dogs get their activity in through daily walks. This is perfectly fine! In fact, walking is a great way for Fido to burn off both extra calories and extra energy, and enjoy a change of pace. Even if your furry friend has a yard to patrol, he’ll still appreciate and benefit from daily strolls.
Swimming can be great, particularly for large dogs and pooches with mobility issues. Because the water supports Fido’s weight, it’s very easy on his bones and joints. Dogs’ opinions on swimming are somewhat divided, however. Some, like retrievers, have long been renowned for their natural swimming abilities. These pups usually love the water, and take to it like furry ducks. Others, including small breeds and brachycephalic dogs, are scared of and/or unsuited for water, and can get into trouble quickly.
Playing can also be a fun doggy workout. Plus, it’s cute to watch. Take a few minutes a day to throw a ball for Fido, or hold a laser pointer for him to chase.
If you enjoy running or hiking, you may enjoy taking your pooch along with you. Dogs make great trail mates! Just take time to build your canine pal’s endurance up slowly. You’ll also need to watch for signs of fatigue, such as panting or trailing behind. The moment Fido starts to seem tired, stop and give him some water. Then, head for home.
While the activities mentioned above are the most common doggy workouts, they aren’t the only options. If Fido loves swimming, he may also enjoy dock diving. Pups that love to run may also do well with agility, while more flexible, bouncy dogs might even like dancing. However, it’s important to stick with activities that are appropriate for your canine buddy’s age, weight, size, and health. Some pooches shouldn’t jump or stand, while others shouldn’t be encouraged to exercise vigorously at all. Ask your vet for specific advice on this.
Do you have questions about your dog’s ideal fitness routine? Contact us, your Wichita, KS veterinary clinic, today!