April is Canine Fitness Month! Just like people, dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy. Keeping your dog active is very important! Below, a Las Vegas, NV vet discusses keeping Fido fit.
Your pet’s activity needs will depend on his age, weight, size, breed, and health. Not all exercises are right for every pooch. For instance, brachycephalic dogs, like pugs, should not be encouraged to run or swim much, as they lose their breath easily. Big dogs, on the other hand, can put excessive strain on their bones and joints by jumping or ‘standing’ too much. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Swimming can be a great activity for dogs! Just be sure to follow some basic safety precautions. Never leave Fido near water unattended. If you are taking him to a pool, immediately show him where the stairs are, and make sure he remembers. That way, if he falls in by mistake, he’ll be able to get out again.
While running isn’t right for all dogs, some pooches make great jogging buddies. Build your pet’s endurance up slowly, by alternating walking and running. You’ll also need to pay close attention to Fido’s paws. Your canine pal can get painful burns and blisters by walking or running on hot ground! Use paw balm to protect your pup’s feet.
Hiking can also be a fun way to keep Fido in shape. Just don’t bring your canine pal near potentially dangerous areas, such as steep cliffs or spots that look like they could be housing wild animals.
As you’ve probably noticed, Nevada summers can be scorchers. It’s very easy for dogs to overheat on hot days. After all, Fido is already wearing a fur coat! On sweltering days, try to walk him in the mornings and evenings, when it’s cooler out. Always bring plenty of water with you, enough for both you and your pet. (Tip: get a doggy water bottle with an attached dispenser.) It’s also important to watch for signs of heat exhaustion, such as panting, drooling, red gums, and trembling. If you notice any of these warning signs, immediately stop, give your furry friend water, and get him out of the heat. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Please contact us, your Las Vegas, NV pet hospital, with any questions about your dog’s exercise needs. We’re here to help!