When you think about it, our companion dogs have a pretty good deal. They get their food delivered in a bowl and are able to lounge on the couch or lie out on the lawn most of the day. This way of life can unfortunately lead to weight gain and boredom so it's a good idea to check in regularly and ask yourself, "Is my dog getting enough exercise?"
Many pet owners assume that if their dog has access to a yard, she’s getting enough exercise. But dogs generally aren't that good at running laps by themselves and it's the interaction with you that makes all the difference.
The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on her breed, size, age and the condition of her health. Arthritis, heart and respiratory conditions can all be exacerbated by incorrect levels of exercise so it's a good idea to arrange a check up with your vet before you embark on any new exercise regimes with your pet.
As a general rule, dogs need 60 minutes of exercise daily. Split this in to morning and evening sessions for mental stimulation and to break up the day.
OUR TOP TIPS:
• Socialise with other dogs - this is a great way to stimulate your dog's mind and burn some energy. You might make some new friends too!
• Try to exercise your dog’s brain. Inspire her with food puzzle toys, hunting for dinner, obedience training and chew toys. The best games are those that require mental and physical effort.
• Play games that make your dog run around such as fetch or hide-and-seek. But avoid repetitive ball chasing as this can wear out your dog's joints and lead to painful arthritis later in life.
Always ask your local vet if you have any questions about exercising your dog.
Advice in this article is of a general nature and should not replace specific advice given by your veterinarian that pertains to your pet.