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As a general rule, active dogs are healthier dogs. Regular exercise can help prevent your dog from putting on extra weight, while helping to maintain muscle tone, limber joints, and general cardiovascular well being. In today's modern world, though, many dogs have become the canine equivalent of a couch potato. The following tips can help you add more activity to your pup's life while helping their general overall health.
Tip #1: Exercise Together
A joint routine can be just what both you and your pooch needs. Begin a morning walking or jogging routine with your pooch, or get in the habit of short hikes together a few times a week. To avoid excuses, make sure you have the right tools for this exercise plan, such as an attractive leash for the dog and good shoes for you. Having an exercise partner, even if it is your dog, may even make you more apt to work out since you will want to avoid letting your pet down.
Tip #2: Find a Play Place
More and more cities are opening up dog-specific parks, which are a wonderful option if your dog likes to socialize. These parks have fenced in off-leash areas that are much larger than the average backyard. They can run around with other dogs, or you can bring a ball or frisbee for a rousing game of catch. Just keep in mind that these parks are only a good idea if your dog is up to date on all vaccinations and flea treatments and if the park is well maintained.
Tip #3: Get a Cool Toy
Sometimes a dog needs a little bit of convincing to get up and exercise, and a new toy may be just the ticket. Ball throwers are a popular option for the catch and fetch lovers – these devices allow you to fling a ball several times as far as you can on your own and they are a lot less stressful on your shoulder. If you have a dog that is less fetch minded and would rather explore, consider hiding healthy treats around the house or yard to keep them moving on a scavenger hunt. Or consider purchasing a new toy or rope for that perfect game of tug-o-war.
Tip #4: Reorganize the House
Unless your dog is older and has mobility issues, the trick to more exercise may lay in a bit of reorganization around the home. For example, if your dog spends most of his time downstairs in the living room, move his food bowl upstairs so he will need to climb the stairs several times a day to eat. Or, place his box of favorite toys on a platform so he has to step up to get a new chew. The more you can encourage moving around during regular daily activities, the healthier your pet will be.
For a vet in your area, contact an office such as Elizabethton Veterinary Clinic.