December 18, 2019

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Pet Health

Dog Exercise: The No-BS Guide to a Healthy Pet

Author: Taylor Ritz

Dogs need daily exercise to remain physically and mentally happy and healthy. Just how much exercise, and what kind, depends on a seemingly unending number of factors. Factors like the age, breed, temperament, and the health of your dog play into their exercise needs. In addition to your dog, determinants such as the weather, facilities, toys, tools, and training play a large part in the daily exercise routines of both you and your dog.

Download E-Book: Dog Exercise: The No-BS Guide to a Healthy Pet

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need Every Day?

This can be a tough question to answer. How much exercise your dog needs to be healthy depends on several different factors. How old is your dog? Younger dogs are usually much more energetic than older dogs, and too much strenuous activity can actually be detrimental to the health of a senior dog. What is his or her temperament and breed? Different dogs have different energy requirements. Some dogs may get tired after 5 minutes of fetch, while some can run alongside your bicycle for hours on end. Does your dog have a health issue? Many health problems, such as hip dyspepsia or arthritis, can severely limit the amount of daily exercise your dog should have.

How to Trick a Lazy Dog into Exercising?

Whether it’s old age, health issues, or plain laziness, some dogs just don’t seem interested in exercising. Sometimes a dog we think is lazy is really just unmotivated. To engage your dog in the exercise, sometimes you have to get a little creative and make physical exertion fun. Here are a few considerations to get your dog up and moving.

Is it better to feed a dog before or after exercise?

It is always advisable to feed your dog after the walk but not immediately after the walk. Leave a considerable time, say half an hour to 45 minutes, before you give him his meal. Feeding your pet while he is still warm and panting from his walk can cause digestive problems.

Everything you need to know about Muscle Building in Dogs

If your dog has the potential but he/she hasn’t built the muscle, then they might need a little bit of an exercise. If your dog is still a puppy then you might have to give them some time as puppies grow at a different rate.  But, if your dog is about 1-2 years, then it is time to concentrate on muscle building.

Exercise Tips for an Overweight Dog

According to the Obesity Prevention study, 55.8% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. That number equals about 50 million dogs. As we go through our busy lives, we humans often push exercise to the bottom of the to-do list for ourselves, so it is not surprising that so many of our dogs are suffering from obesity, too. Fortunately, exercising your overweight dog can be simple and fun for both of you.

Best Dog Exercises By Breed

While all dogs require exercise to live healthy, thriving lives, not all breeds are equal in this arena. Exercise programs should be catered to a dog’s breed, temperament, size, and confirmation. Some breeds, like the Border Collie, are high-energy working breeds that require immense amounts of exercise to remain physically and mentally healthy. Other breeds, like Great Danes, are very low-energy animals. In addition to the intensity and length of exercise, the type of exercise (agility, scenting, hunting, running, jogging, hiking, swimming, etc) should be catered to your dog’s breed as well.

Indoor Dog Exercises

When the weather is poor or the temperatures are too extreme to go play outside, you may be faced with an overactive, under-stimulated, bored dog. This can be a recipe for disaster, as bored dogs will find ways to entertain themselves in ways you may not like.. To mitigate this situation, it’s best to find something to occupy your dog before he or she finds something for you. There are many indoor exercises you can do with your dog to get both their mind and their body working hard, and hopefully, tire them out in the process. After all, a tired pooch is a well-behaved pooch.

Mental Exercises For Dogs

Dogs develop disastrous habits when they’re bored. Whether you have a puppy or a senior, a speed demon or a lazy boy, mental exercises are beneficial for all dogs. Great for days when you may be stuck indoors or in a small backyard, mental exercises can be just as tiring as physical ones. Using challenges in training, cognition, and problem-solving can get the gears grinding in your dog’s brain. All that thinking is hard work and hopefully will lead to a better-behaved, tired-out dog. Even better, these exercises will get you engaged with your dog and deepening your overall bond and understanding.

Cardio Exercises for Your Dog

Did you know that 56% of all dogs were considered to be obese?  According to the Association for Pet Obesity, 50 million dogs in the United States are significantly overweight, leading to an increased risk of arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer.

Fortunately, dogs can lose weight by decreasing the calories they consume and exercise, just like we do as humans. It is extremely important to always check with your vet on how to reduce calories without starving your dog or before starting any new exercise program.

In the meantime, here are some fun cardio exercises for you and your dog to do together.

Dog Exercise Equipment

When it comes to our dogs’ health, there’s not much we won’t try, especially in terms of physical exercise. Did you know there is exercise equipment for dogs? Canine exercise equipment is great for any dog to use inside, but is especially useful for dogs that have undergone surgery or otherwise require closely-monitored physical therapy. Older dogs can also benefit from utilizing exercise equipment, as they may not be able to sustain the energy for long walks or strenuous play sessions.

Ways to exercise your dog during winter!

Winter season is not ideal to spend a lot of time outdoors but your pets still need to burn off the energy and relaxHere are some of the ways by which you can help them get their exercise during winter.

Signs & Symptoms of Over Exercising in Dogs

Exercise keeps your dog fit. It helps your dog with various mental and physical benefits. It helps maintain muscle mass, which prevents injury, decreases obesity and maintains cardiovascular health.

 

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Pet Health

Why is my dog shaking?

Read Part-1 of this series “Why is my dog doing this?

Read Part-3 of this series “Why is my dog doing this?

Head Shaking

  •  Ear Infections

Most dogs shake their heads back and forth when they have debris in their ear or have an ear infection. You can often see signs of an ear infection, as their ears will sometimes be red and inflamed and have a black, tar-like substance in them. Experienced dog owners can also usually smell an ear infection, as infected ears have a unique yeasty odor.

  • Stress Relief

If you took your dog through obedience school, you may have noticed that he/she shakes their head sometimes during intense periods of training. This is because shaking their head is one way that dogs alleviate stress, it is a bit of a reset for their mind. Learning to do this is actually beneficial for your dog because it means that they can regroup and reset without their anxiety turning into a behavior like a bite. If you see your dog doing this frequently, you may want to pay attention to the things that stress your dog and avoid putting him in this position. Most dogs do not like being grabbed or hugged, so you might see your dog shake his head if you invade his personal space.

All Over Body Shaking or Trembling

  • Fear

Shaking or trembling can be a fearful response in a dog. As their owner, if your dog starts shaking during certain situations or when a particular person is in the room, chances are the shaking is fear based. It is important to guide your dog through the fearful situation in a positive way that neither punishes them nor accidentally reinforces the fact that the situation is something to fear. If your dog is frequently afraid of certain situations, you can work with a trainer on positive training methods to socialize your dog and help her become more confident in a variety of situations.

  • Pain/Illness

Shaking or trembling can also be caused by pain or a medical condition. If your dog is not cold or in a fearful situation, you should consult your veterinarian and make note of other behaviors that might help determine the problem. Possible causes include nausea, distemper, Generalized Tremor Syndrome, seizures, poisoning, cancer, kidney disease, or a variety of other serious medical problems that require professional medical attention.

  • Cold

Some dogs are less hearty when it comes to cold temperatures. Breeds like the Chihuahua, Greyhound, Whippet, Chinese Crested, and other sight hounds and toy breeds typically get cold faster than Labradors or German Shepherds. If your dog is shaking and it is cold outside, it is possible that they are shivering to warm up just like we do when we are cold. If that is the case, you can purchase dog sweaters, coats, or beds made for burrowing.

Panting

When dogs pant, moisture and heat evaporate and helps them cool their bodies. Dogs usually pant as a cooling mechanism when they are been exercising or are too warm because of environmental factors. However, panting can also be caused by stress and anxiety. As a dog owner, you can usually tell from the situation if your dog is overheated or if they are anxious.

When panting is accompanied by attempts to vomit, overall restlessness, and a bloated abdomen, it is likely that your dog is suffering from bloat, or Gastric dilatation voluptuous. Bloat is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach stretches and flips. It requires immediate veterinary attention.

Panting and Shaking

If your dog is both panting and shaking, it could be one of many potentially serious medical conditions. Because your dog cannot explain to you what they are feeling, it is recommended that you reach out to your veterinarian (or an emergency clinic if your veterinary office is closed) right away if your dog begins to pant and shake.

Overall, as a dog owner, you can usually determine from your dog’s environment and personality if shaking, trembling, or panting is because of their environment, their mental state, or a medical issue. When in doubt, pet owners are wise to always err on the side of caution and contact their veterinarian.