Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
As we all know, dogs make wonderful companions and are usually content to do whatever their owners are doing, from taking a ride in the car to lounging around on the sofa on a lazy Sunday afternoon. However, having a canine companion gives you a great excuse to
get out and exercise! Whether that means taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood or running along a park trail, you and your dog can both benefit.
Of course, before you initiate your shared exercise regimen, visit your physician and take your pet to his veterinarian. Your doctors can make sure there are no underlying health concerns that might prevent either of you from exercising and even recommend exercises that are right for you and your pooch.
Besides getting in better cardiovascular and physical shape, walking or running with your dog can also help:
Running or walking with your
dog isn’t just
good for you, it’s also good for your dog. Exercising helps keep his heart, lungs, joints, and digestive and circulatory systems healthy, and it helps him control weight and expend energy. If you’ve ever noticed your dog racing extra fast around your house or yard (sometimes referred to as zooming), you’ve witnessed him trying to burn excess energy.
Regular exercise can also help keep your dog’s not-so-fun behaviors that may be associated with boredom under control. For example, it may help prevent
digging, and can help calm anxiety.
Some dogs can run (or walk) farther and faster than people, but that doesn’t mean they should leap off the sofa and run for miles. Like people, if they’re just starting out, they need to build distance gradually.
It’s also a good idea to keep puppies from exercising too strenuously or for too long to avoid damaging their developing bones and joints. Your veterinarian can tell you when it's
safe to start exercising with your puppy and what type of exercise and duration are best. In addition, dogs who are older, may have arthritis or are recovering from an injury or illness will need to take it a little easier or exercise for shorter periods of time. For instance, you can switch from a 30-minute run to two shorter, low-impact 15-minute walks. Especially for older or recovering pets, swimming can be a good alternative to running or walking.
To prevent your dog from getting
heat stroke, avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, especially if you own a
brachycephalic breed. Dawn, dusk and after dark are often the best times to run or walk.
Running or walking with your dog can keep you motivated to stay on track, so you get healthy together. Plus, what could be better than spending quality time with your best friend?
Tips for Protecting Your Dog's Paws
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Repetitive behaviors like tail chasing and
excess paw licking can indicate that your
animal has a compulsive…
From Alaskan Malamute to Xoloitzcuintli,
here's our guide to pronouncing the most
tongue-twistery dog breed names.
Weaving through your legs can be an
endearing habit, but sometimes it's a
sign of a behavioral or medical issue.
Minimize the risk of a bad trick-or-treat
interaction by brushing up on your dog’s
manners before October 31.
The Schapendoes (aka Dutch Sheepdog)
is known for his incredible jumping skills
and cheerful personality.
Parasites are no fun for dogs. Learn how
to protect your canine from heartworms,
hookworms, whipworms and more.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.