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Keeping Fido Fit

Is your dog a bouncing ball of energy? Or do you have a furry couch potato on your hands? Making sure Fido gets the right type and amount of exercise is very important to his health and well-being. In this article, a Livonia, MI vet offers tips on keeping your canine buddy in shape.

Safety

Vigorous exercise isn’t right for all dogs. For instance, brachycephalic dogs, which are those dogs with cute pushed-in faces, like pugs, lose their breath easily, and shouldn’t be overexerted. Small dogs, on the other hand, can tire out very quickly: these little guys have to work hard to cover ground on those tiny legs! Your canine friend’s exact exercise requirements will depend on his age, health, weight, and breed. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Active Dogs

Does Fido have more energy than you do? Keep your pet moving while you stand still by playing games like fetch. Or, hold a laser pointer so your furry buddy can chase after that pesky red dot. Another option is to get your pooch an automated ball launcher. (Note: because these use tennis balls, which can be choking hazards for large pooches, we don’t recommend them for big dogs.)

Active People

Do you like walking, running, or hiking? Fido can make a great trail mate! Just be sure to build your pet’s endurance slowly. Always keep an eye on your canine pal, and if he starts to look tired, give him some water and let him rest. This is especially important in summer, when hot weather can cause dogs to get heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Indoor Exercise

When the weather is bad, you probably won’t want to take your pooch to a park, or stand outside throwing a stick for him to chase. Keep your pup active with stair runs: stand at the top of the stairs with a doggy toy, and call your furry friend. When he reaches you, throw a toy down the stairs, and have him retrieve it. A few rounds of this can really give dogs a good workout! Some dogs can even learn to walk on a treadmill. Use the slowest setting, and supervise your pet carefully. Also, remember to take Fido’s collar off before his workout.

Please contact us, your Livonia, MI animal hospital, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are always here to help!

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