Is your dog super playful and active? Or does Fido only come running when he hears a food wrapper? Making sure that your canine buddy is getting enough exercise is very important to his health and well-being! Here, a Scottsdale, AZ vet discusses keeping your furry pal in shape.

Playing

Playing is a great way for dogs to get their daily workouts in! If Fido has more energy than you do, opt for things like Fetch, or hold a laser pointer for him to chase. Your pup will do all the work, while you stay in one spot.

Running

Dogs can make great jogging buddies! Some athletic pups, like Greyhounds, love to run. Just take time to build Fido’s endurance up slowly. Start by just alternating walking and running. If your furry friend starts lagging behind and/or panting hard, take a break, give him some water, and head for home.

Swimming

Swimming can be a great workout for our canine pals. It’s especially beneficial for large breeds and senior dogs, as it’s easy on their bones and joints. However, swimming isn’t right for all dogs. Some dogs, such as brachycephalic pups, can lose their breath too easily. Other pooches just sink in water. That said, if Fido loves swimming, and your vet doesn’t object, indulge him! Just monitor him closely when he’s in or near water.

Breed Restrictions

Your dog’s exact exercise needs will depend on his age, weight, breed, and health. Chihuahuas may only need a short walk, while a retriever may require up to an hour of vigorous exercise each day. The type of exercise Fido needs will also vary. For instance, some dogs shouldn’t be encouraged to jump or stand on their back legs, because it puts too much strain on their bones and joints. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Senior Dogs

As Fido ages, he’ll slow down, and will spend more time napping and less time playing. For most older dogs, daily walks will provide enough exercise and stimulation. Just take care not to overexert your pup. Bring him in when he starts to seem tired.

Heat

Arizona summers are absolutely sweltering. Walk and play with Fido in the mornings and evenings when it’s hot out. Also, make sure he always has fresh water.

Do you have questions about your dog’s activity needs? Call us, your Scottsdale, AZ vet clinic, anytime!