Just as it would be hard for you to go out and jog for 45 minutes if you haven’t worked out in 6 months, it’s also hard for your dog if it is not used to a regular exercise period. Be sure to get your veterinarian’s okay before beginning your pet’s exercise routine. Pat Robbins from the RVPets forum offers these tips to help you get started:
a. Start slowly, gradually increasing the time and intensity of the activity. This will safely strengthen your dog’s muscles, aerobic capacity, and footpads.
b. Pay attention to how your dog is feeling. Signs that your pet needs to slow down or stop include drooling, stumbling, trouble breathing, and a long, droopy tongue. Take a break and consider making tomorrow’s workout shorter. Also remember that in hot weather your dog can’t sweat like you do to keep cool.
c. Concrete and asphalt [and different sized gravel, pebbles and stones found in many RV parks] are tough on your friends’ paws–especially on hot days. Try to walk or run on dirt paths (or grass) as much as possible.
d. The longer you work out, the more water Fido needs. Bring along a collapsible water dish to help your pet stay hydrated.
e. Be realistic about your pet’s limitations. Many smaller breeds love going for a brisk walk, but you’ll probably have to carry them on a strenuous hike. Animals with a thin coat will not tolerate cold weather very well, whereas dogs with thick coats don’t do well in the summer heat.
f. You should avoid strenuous exercise with your dog until he is finished growing (after 9-12 months for most dogs).
Time Involved: At least 10 minutes every day
Body Benefit: Healthy heart and lungs for both of you
Feel free to pass on – Pat in So Central TX
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