Is Your Dog Getting Enough Exercise?

As the saying goes, an object in motion stays in motion. That could not be any truer when it comes to our dogs. Exercise is a key ingredient in keeping our pups looking and feeling their best. There are many ways for our fur-ever friends to get their daily amount of required exercise.

Indoor Versus Outdoor Activities

Exercise is exercise. The key is keeping your pup moving which helps to speed up his heart rate, use all of his muscles and burn calories. Most pups enjoy the smells and looks of nature but on certain days (heavy rain, lots of snow, or extremely hot weather) indoor activities can be just as fun and beneficial.

Basic Outdoor Activities

The most common basic outdoor activities include a brisk walk, a fun game of fetch, or play wrestling with your dog. Dogs love human interaction and when fun is mixed into it allows for a better experience. It also provides a very good bonding experience which dogs naturally tend to seek.

Basic Indoor Activities

Some fun basic indoor activities include tug-of-war, hide and seek, and learning new tricks. Although these types of activities are not as active as outdoor activities, they will still allow your four-legged friend to burn extra energy and keep mentally alert. Remember, activity time is not just to stay physically fit, but mentally sharp too.

How Many Minutes A Day Should I Spend Exercising With My Dog?

Although every dog is different, one thing most people agree on is each dog should be on the move for at least thirty minutes a day. Certain breeds, like Retrievers, Spaniels, Collies, Pointers, and German Shepherds require more activity time than breeds such as the Bulldog, Basset Hound, Shih Tzu, Pug, and Chihuahua. Although each breed is different, thirty minutes a day is a relatively good goal to strive for. If your dog seeks more playtime, go for it!

Dog Exercise

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know If My Dog Reached His Activity Limit?

It is normal for dogs to pant while running and playing but this is a sign they are getting tired. Watch your pup’s tail. Is it wagging or straight down while he’s playing? A wagging tail is generally a sign that your dog is content, comfortable, and happy. Consider breaking the play time up into intervals and allow your pup to sit or lay down for a few minutes every fifteen minutes or so. This will also give you a small break to catch your breath too!

Will My Dog Overheat?

Heat exhaustion certainly is something that every dog owner needs to watch for. The most telling symptom of heat stroke in a dog is excessive panting. Other common symptoms may include general signs of discomfort, excessive drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea, mental dullness or loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse. Should your pup ever reach this level immediate medical care is needed. The key, however, is to monitor your dog while outside playing before he begins to overheat.

What Can I Do to Keep My Dog Feeling Good During Activity Time?

Fresh water! Water is essential as it hydrates your dog and helps to keep him cool. Although providing him with water during activity time is very important, making sure he is properly hydrated before and during activity, time is also necessary. Don’t wait for your pup to show signs of dehydration before giving him a refreshing bowl of water.

Is Activity Time in Cold Weather Safe?

Outdoor activity time in the cold is safe, however, proper precautions should be taken. A very overlooked aspect of this has to do with what we focus on in the warm months, hydration. During the cold winter months, the humidity levels in the atmosphere are much lower. With the lower humidity, your dog can easily become dehydrated if he or she is not drinking enough water. Keeping your dog bundled up, preferably with an insulated dog sweater is a great start. Properly sized dog shoes also will also help to keep his paws warm and dry. You wouldn’t want to walk outside on snow or ice without protection and neither does your pup!

Practice Makes Perfect

Establishing a good routine for your dog while he’s still a puppy will allow him to grow into a healthy and active adult dog. Forming good habits at a young age will also help to assure many years of feeling and looking great. Take the time each day to show your pup why he’s known as man’s best friend!

Tips For Taking Your Dog on Vacation

Tips For Taking Your Dog on Vacation

It’s that time of the year when many of us take our annual vacation. For those of us who plan to bring our fur-legged friend on vacation, it is wise to plan ahead to ensure your pup has an enjoyable experience. Whether it be a road trip or a flight, proper planning will help make your vacation easier and safer for your dog.

Road Trip Vacations.

Traveling with a pet by way of motor vehicle involves more than just having him hop in the back seat and taking off. This, especially if you will be driving for an extended period of time. Here are a few car travel safety tips to help you prepare for a more enjoyable and comfortable journey.

Prepare, prepare, prepare. For first-time dog travelers, a good way to get your dog accustomed to long road trips is by taking him for shorter trips ahead of time. Building up his tolerance to car rides before taking him on a long trip is a good way to start.

If you are traveling to another state, it is a good idea to bring a copy of your pup’s vaccination records. Each state has its own set of animal laws, and having a copy of these documents readily available will save time and effort should they be needed.

Have a pet travel kit prepared before leaving. Inside this kit include a few of your pup’s favorite toys, a leash, a collar, a small backup bag of dog food, and a few bottles of drinking water. For dogs who prefer to ride on the car’s seat versus in a crate, consider a properly sized safety dog harness. Buckle up for safety!

It is also important to make sure to double-check your dog’s identification tag on his collar. If in the event he escapes your care, the person who finds him will be able to more easily identify who he is and who to contact. You should also take into consideration your pet’s potty needs. If you plan to pull off of the roadway to allow him to do his business, make sure you have disposable waste bags and a disposable container to put the waste bags in after use.

Traveling By Air

Air travel is certainly a quicker method of transportation but much more stressful for your dog. It will require him to be away from his family and in a crate in a different and loud environment. Many dogs do not handle air travel well and this form of transportation for them should only take place if absolutely necessary. Below are some travel tips for dog owners who plan to fly their dogs.

Book a direct flight to your destination if possible. This will allow your dog to get situated in one area versus having to be transported from plane to plane. It will also limit the amount of time he has to be in a crate and away from his family.

Consider purchasing a USDA approved dog transportation crate. The crate should be large enough for your pet to comfortably stand, turn around and sit in. Inside the crate, include one of your t-shirts. Your pup will be comforted with this due to him being able to smell your scent while he is away from you. Be sure to secure at least two forms of identification on this crate which include your name, phone number, and address. Make sure your dog doesn’t overeat leading up to the flight. Chances are the flight will cause him stress and an upset stomach could lead to vomiting and or diarrhea.

Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe After You Arrived

Scope out the area where you are staying before letting your pup explore. Certain destinations will have areas designated just for dogs to play in. Be sure to keep him well secured on a leash and collar and be mindful of other dogs in the area. Remember, not all dogs are as friendly and outgoing as yours. Even though you are all on vacation and most likely taking the day as it comes, try and keep your pup on his routine feeding schedule. This will allow him to feel a sense of normalcy and better his chances of keeping his outdoor potty time schedule the same.