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Respected Contributor
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Registered: ‎04-17-2015

Re: How do you exercise your dog?

[ Edited ]

@HappyDaze wrote:

They get walks every day on the leash so I can keep them moving but then they then also free play outside at least once a day from a half hour to an hour (or more during nicer weather). During bad weather, we play inside and do shorter walks but more of them.


I read an article about how there are about three types of walks and dogs need all three kinds to not only keep their body and heart's healthy but also keep their minds alert and active. It was really good and something I'd never thought about. Kind of like doctors telling us to keep our minds active every day.

 

ETA: I also forgot to add that now that my dogs are older, they do Physical therapy exercises to help keep their hind ends stronger because dogs tend to get weak in the back end as they age. It has made a big difference in the tone of their hind legs and have regained alot of their muscle tone.


 That's so interesting HappyDaze.  My dog is 8 years old and on our last trip to the vet she mentioned that she felt some laxity in his rear knee joints.  Patellar luxation is supposedly common in his breed.  The vet suggested I put him on a glucosamine supplement ...but I was also thinking about PT that I might be able to do at home with him.  I haven't started researching that yet.  Could you share what you have been doing with your dogs?  I realize it may be difficult to explain in writing.   Thanks. :-)

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,570
Registered: ‎06-13-2012

Re: How do you exercise your dog?


@Justina wrote:

@HappyDaze wrote:

They get walks every day on the leash so I can keep them moving but then they then also free play outside at least once a day from a half hour to an hour (or more during nicer weather). During bad weather, we play inside and do shorter walks but more of them.


I read an article about how there are about three types of walks and dogs need all three kinds to not only keep their body and heart's healthy but also keep their minds alert and active. It was really good and something I'd never thought about. Kind of like doctors telling us to keep our minds active every day.

 

ETA: I also forgot to add that now that my dogs are older, they do Physical therapy exercises to help keep their hind ends stronger because dogs tend to get weak in the back end as they age. It has made a big difference in the tone of their hind legs and have regained alot of their muscle tone.


 That's so interesting HappyDaze.  My dog is 8 years old and on our last trip to the vet she mentioned that she felt some laxity in his rear knee joints.  Patellar luxation is supposedly common in his breed.  The vet suggested I put him on a glucosamine supplement ...but I was also thinking about PT that I might be able to do at home with him.  I haven't started researching that yet.  Could you share what you have been doing with your dogs?  I realize it may be difficult to explain in writing.   Thanks. :-)


 

Justina, when I get home I will spend some time answering your questions. A good canine PT should be able to give you some good exercises to do with your dog at home. I am fortunate in that a family member of mine is animal PT although he does not live in the same state. There are a few animal PT's in my area and they even do water exercises for elderly dogs to help them with muscle tone for those that can't go on long walks. I almost brought one of my boys in to do the water exercising but then we found out he had cancer and he died fairly soon after. He would have LOVED the water exercises. I wish I knew about it sooner.


Anyway, I will write later today with more details. I will see if I can find the info online too so you might be able to see pictures so it makes more sense.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 773
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: How do you exercise your dog?

I think it also has to do with your breed as well.

 

For instance, my dog that recently passed was 50% whippet (smaller version of a greyhound), and she would run and run and RUN. Even at 14yrs old, it was hard to get her tired. I would bring her to dog friendly parks, let her off leash, and she would run around like she was running a track.

 

Now my other dog..... he's well... should I say LAZY? lmao. The heat gets to him easily, even with a fresh shave, so walking long distances in the humidity is a no-go. He also poops out after a 30min brisk walk, even in nice weather. He also refuses to walk in the rain. He doesn't bark much either... I'd consider him to have the mentality of a fat cat stuck in a 50lb spaniel body. rotfl.Cat LOL

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Re: How do you exercise your dog?


@CaitlinH wrote:

I think it also has to do with your breed as well.

 

For instance, my dog that recently passed was 50% whippet (smaller version of a greyhound), and she would run and run and RUN. Even at 14yrs old, it was hard to get her tired. I would bring her to dog friendly parks, let her off leash, and she would run around like she was running a track.

 

Now my other dog..... he's well... should I say LAZY? lmao. The heat gets to him easily, even with a fresh shave, so walking long distances in the humidity is a no-go. He also poops out after a 30min brisk walk, even in nice weather. He also refuses to walk in the rain. He doesn't bark much either... I'd consider him to have the mentality of a fat cat stuck in a 50lb spaniel body. rotfl.Cat LOL


Absolutely! How much exercise your dog needs depends on the breed. For example, Australian Cattle Dogs need much more exercise than a Great Dane or a Mastiff. Please make sure you are aware of your dog's particular breed and what their exercise needs are. You can actually cause issues (both physical and emotional/behavioural) for your dog if they are under or over exercised.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,120
Registered: ‎04-17-2015

Re: How do you exercise your dog?

Hi HappyDaze.  My dog isn't exhibiting any signs of a problem now so I don't think it's necessary for me to bring him to a PT on a regular basis but I thought it would be a good idea to do something preventive before he starts to show any signs.  Of course I'm not going to do anything that could potentially harm if it requires the expertise of a vet or PT.  I figured there might be something simple I could do with him at home.  TIA.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,478
Registered: ‎03-20-2010

Re: How do you exercise your dog?


@HappyDaze wrote:

@CaitlinH wrote:

I think it also has to do with your breed as well.

 

For instance, my dog that recently passed was 50% whippet (smaller version of a greyhound), and she would run and run and RUN. Even at 14yrs old, it was hard to get her tired. I would bring her to dog friendly parks, let her off leash, and she would run around like she was running a track.

 

Now my other dog..... he's well... should I say LAZY? lmao. The heat gets to him easily, even with a fresh shave, so walking long distances in the humidity is a no-go. He also poops out after a 30min brisk walk, even in nice weather. He also refuses to walk in the rain. He doesn't bark much either... I'd consider him to have the mentality of a fat cat stuck in a 50lb spaniel body. rotfl.Cat LOL


Absolutely! How much exercise your dog needs depends on the breed. For example, Australian Cattle Dogs need much more exercise than a Great Dane or a Mastiff. Please make sure you are aware of your dog's particular breed and what their exercise needs are. You can actually cause issues (both physical and emotional/behavioural) for your dog if they are under or over exercised.


The point of the articles was that most dogs are extremely under exercised.  Unless there are physical limitations, dogs can and should be conditioned much like people.

I do agility competitions with my dogs.  I see a wide variety of breeds and many more combinations (mix breed dogs).  I have a friend with a 5 lb poodle who runs the exact same course as my 60 lb dog.  The jump height is different, however the distance is the same.  Just like people some dogs love to exercise while others need to find activities they enjoy that get them moving. 

Someday, when scientists discover the center of the Universe....some people will be disappointed it is not them.
Respected Contributor
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Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: How do you exercise your dog?

I have 2 very small chihuahuas, Mr. Oreo  is 3 lbs 11 ounces and Miss Shad-O is 4 lbs 5 ounces and I just let them out in the back yard several times a day and they chase birds and after each other.  If it's cool, I leave them out 30 minutes to an hour.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 20,570
Registered: ‎06-13-2012

Re: How do you exercise your dog?

@Justina- yes a few of the exercises are definitely safe to do at home now even without a PT approval. They are easy and safe. The only one I'd be hesitant about you trying without asking your vet first is the one I will mention using an exercise band. I have one dog who showed great improvement in muscle tone using the band method but now he has a bad back and in order to help prevent flareups, we are discontinuing the band method on him. But we will continue the other exercises. One of my dogs was not showing any issues but, like you said about your dog, the vet said during a routine visit that he had a little decrease in muscle tone in the hind legs which is normal for a dog his breed and age.

I find it interesting that when our vets notice these things, they don't mention having them see a PT I order to teach an owner exercises they can do at home to help prevent further muscle atrophy and, hopefully, help increase what was lost. Doctors do this for us humans but not our beloved pets. I thinks PT for animals for preventative measures or non-injury reasons is fairly new but starting to pick up steam. Or we can hope! Smiley Happy
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Re: How do you exercise your dog?

I've read that a larger dog the size of a golden, collie or German shepherd should get the equivalent of 11 miles a day of exercise.

I can't do much walking because of a back condition but a do have a mobility scooter and that's how we take "walks". I can manage two at a time and they trot nicely along side the scooter as we go up and down our quiet neighborhood streets.
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Re: How do you exercise your dog?

I have an Australian Labradoodle.  He's 19 inches tall and 35 lbs.  We take two 2 hour walks a day on the trails down along the beach.  He goes to doggy day care once a week, and has two one hour play dates off leash twice a week.  We also play ball in the yard every day for 1/2 hour.  It's easier in the summer.  In the winter when it's rainy and cold, we go out when we can.  We play more inside.  He's a good cuddler, too!  Smiley Happy

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