Keeping Fido Fit

Is your dog a bouncing ball of fur? Or is your canine pal a laid-back pooch, that prefers napping to vigorous exercise? Exercise is very important for your dog’s health and well-being! In this article, a McHenry, IL vet discusses keeping Fido fit.

Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is great for your dog! Proper activity will keep Fido in good shape physically, and help prevent him from becoming obese. It will also burn off excess energy, leaving you with a calmer, better-behaved pet.

Fido’s Fitness Regime

Our canine friends all have different activity needs. Fido’s age, weight, and breed will all play a role in his exercise requirements. Some dogs, such as German Shepherds and large breeds, should not be encouraged to jump or stand on their back legs, as it may increase their risk of getting hip dysplasia. On the other hand, brachycephalic breeds, such as pugs and boxers, lose their breath easily and can overexert themselves very quickly. Senior dogs, puppies, nursing mamas, and dogs with medical issues are also not good candidates for strenuous activity. Ask your vet to recommend a suitable exercise regime for your pooch.

Fun With Fido

Dogs can make great exercise buddies! There are lots of fun things you can do with your furry friend. Bring you pup to a park, or explore some new trails with him. Fido may also enjoy swimming, running, or even dancing. You can even incorporate your pooch into your workout routine by tossing a toy for him to fetch while you’re doing lunges or sit-ups. Just be careful not to overexert your canine pal. Start slow, and let Fido gradually build his endurance. It’s also important to make sure your dog gets plenty of water.

Compromise

If your four-legged buddy has more energy than you do, choose activity options that make Fido run around while you stand still. Playing fetch is one good example. You can also get your pup moving by controlling a laser pointer, so he stays busy chasing that little red dot while you relax in your favorite chair. Automated toys, such as mechanized ball launchers, are another option. (Note: since these use tennis balls, which can present choking hazards to large breeds, we don’t recommend them for big dogs.)

Do you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local McHenry, IL animal hospital, anytime.

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