With many of us living under lockdown restrictions due to CoVid-19 we are collectively appreciating and increasingly grateful for our time spent outdoors. Especially on the warmer days, it’s great to be out and about with your dog. Whether you’re a stroller or on a walking mission, a refreshing walk around the block admiring nature and breathing some clean fresh air is a good tonic for the soul.
We all know that physical exercise is good for us and our dogs. But …can your dog be injured by over-exercising or exercising incorrectly? The answer is, YES!.
There are those among us who are mad keen on fitness and they often love exercising with their dogs. Sometimes running, hiking, sledding, mountain biking, disc sports, in fact there are so many different pursuits I’d be flat out mentioning them all here. These activities can be great fun for your dog, however there are some important things to consider:
- the outside temperature,
- any activities that have taken place immediately prior to your adventure,
- your dog’s existing fitness level,
- the environment including any surfaces your dog will be running on or traversing,
- any pre-existing ailments or injuries your dog has and
- your dog’s conformation.
Not fanatical about fitness or intending on participating in any strenuous adventures? These are the important steps everyone should take before you head out and about with your dog. If your dog has been lazing around at home, make sure you get them up and moving a little to stretch their body before you take them out for some exercise. A simple slow walk and stretch helps to warm up all those important muscles. Without a simple warm-up, injuries can occur. Particularly when dogs go from lazing to excitedly jumping in and out of the car, running full speed at the dog park or playing with other dogs. Although the dogs appear happy and full of life they can pull up lame and sore fifteen minutes later.
As a responsible and caring dog owner you should ensure your dog eases into speed gradually. You can do this by getting them up and moving, then walking, ease into a trot for a few minutes and then let them off-lead. Remember, BEFORE you let your dog off-lead it’s your responsibility that your dog is under effective control and will come back to you when you call.
Happy adventuring and don’t forget your poo bag!