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I’ve always been an active person, so I admit I never felt I had to exercise. I didn’t need a gym; we live on a ranch, and I happily tackle my chores, which has always given me both a mental and physical break from sitting in my home office.
While I’m outside breathing the fresh air, I haul out the Chuckit and help our dogs get moving too. An active mind in an active body is the ideal, for pets and people both.
A few months ago, though, I decided that although I was doing OK, I knew I could feel even better. Fortunately for me, my wife, Teresa, is an expert on diet and exercise, and she has long practiced what she preaches. I took my wife’s advice (and my doctor’s) and joined her for workouts in our home gym. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
See, I thought I had my fitness under control, but I needed to take a fresh look at what I was doing and make some changes. The same is often true when it comes to your dog: No one form of exercise fits every dog, and even then, what worked at one time might need changing now and then.
No matter what age, size, shape, breed or mix of dog you have, you can’t just push him into an exercise program until you know he is healthy. That has long been the advice for people wanting to improve their diet and physical condition, and it makes just as much sense for dogs. So see your veterinarian before you start adding new activities to your dog's day.
Once your veterinarian gives you the go-ahead, look at your dog, For some dogs, the true multi-sport athletes in fur, almost any kind of exercise is great and more of it is even better. With other dogs, however, you have be careful: Some kinds of exercise are just not suitable for certain types of dogs. Two kinds of dogs in particular are likely to be intolerant of some kinds of exercise: Dogs with short faces, and dogs with short legs and long backs.
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