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Keeping Your Dog Fit

March 15, 2024

Is your canine companion an animated, bouncy ball of fur? Or do you have a four-legged, barking couch potato? Regardless of whatever category Fido falls into, he will require frequent exercise to stay healthy. Of course, doggy exercise routines can differ tremendously. A local Cedar City, UT veterinarian provides some advice on this below.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Getting Enough Exercise?

Fido’s weight and physical condition are two good indicators of this. If you’re not sure whether your companion is overweight, underweight, or just right, speak to your Cedar City, UT veterinarian.

Additionally, there are certain behavioral clues to watch for. Dogs who don’t get enough exercise are more likely to engage in undesirable activities, such as digging and chewing. They may also be a little more rambunctious. If your canine companion has been misbehaving, he may not be getting enough exercise or excitement.

How Can I Make Fido More Active?

Have you heard the expression that you can lead a horse to water but not make him drink? That’s pretty much true here. Fido’s opinions and preferences should definitely be taken into consideration. You’ll have far better success if you do something that your pooch likes. You may need to experiment to determine what your canine companion prefers. Take Fetch, for example. Plenty of dogs pick this up spontaneously. Others will simply give you an adorable bewildered look if you toss a stick for them.

Walking is, of course, the norm here. Even taking your canine companion for a few short walks each day can help him stay fit. It will be good for you, too! 

How Can I Keep My Pooch Active Indoors?

There will come a time when bringing Fido out for anything more than a quick bathroom break is not necessarily enticing. If it’s chilly, rainy, or both, your pet may spend more time indoors than usual. However, you can still keep your furry friend active inside.

Here are a few choices:

Stair Runs: Go to the top of the stairs while holding Fido’s favorite toy. Call him to you, then toss the toy. When he brings you the toy, throw it down the stairs. (Note: This is only suitable for dogs who fetch and are in good enough shape to run up and down stairs a few times.)

Treadmills: Do you own a treadmill? If so, you can see if your pet enjoys it. Safety comes first, though. Be sure to take off Fido’s collar or harness. Start him on the slowest setting possible and keep a close eye on him. Never leave your pooch unsupervised! (Note: Some cats also utilize treadmills. If you haven’t seen the popular video of Fluffy jogging to Maniac from the Flashdance soundtrack, check it out. It’s pretty adorable.)

Workout Buddies: If you work out at home, consider including Fido into your regimen. Doing sit-ups? Pick up a dog toy and toss it when you’re sitting up. This can also be done with lunges and squats. Our canine companions aren’t the best yoga mates, but they certainly make exercise more enjoyable. (Fido may also interrupt you by licking your face, but that will at least make working out more fun.) 

Fetch: Fetch can be played indoors if there is enough space. avoid areas with breakable and/or harmful objects, and stay away from things like stairs and fireplaces.

Which Dogs Are The Least Active?

Proper activity is essential for all of our canine friends. However, some people need some encouragement to stay active, especially as they get older. Saint Bernards, Chow Chows, Basset Hounds, and Mastiffs are just a few examples of dogs who are prone to laziness. These guys may not be very interested in running or swimming, but they can still benefit from regular walks.

Which Dogs Need A Lot Of Exercise?

The size, breed, and health of your canine companion all play a role. Some puppies are just more active than others. If you’re thinking about adopting a dog, or have recently obtained a puppy, doing some breed research might be quite helpful.

Here are a few energetic dogs:

  • Australian Shepherd
  • Border Collie
  • Boxer
  • Dalmatian
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Siberian Husky

How Can I Keep a Senior Dog Active?

Fido’s activity needs will change as he gets older. He won’t have the same strength or stamina as he once did, and he’ll tire out much more quickly. Senior dogs are also more vulnerable to excessive heat and cold.

Walking and playing are suitable activities for the majority of senior dogs. Swimming may also be a good option, assuming your canine pal likes it and your vet approves. 

No matter what you do, you’ll want to be careful not to overwork Fido. Keep a close eye on him and bring him in when he becomes tired.

How Can I Tell What’s Safe For My Pet?

The answer to this question is going to change as your pet ages. Any health difficulties Fido has may also come into play. Your Cedar City, UT veterinarian is an excellent resource for this.

However, there are certain general guidelines to follow.

Some dogs should not be encouraged to exercise vigorously. Brachycephalic dogs, like pugs and Boxers, are a good example of this. Those pushed-in faces may be really cute, but they come at a tremendous cost to the pups. These dogs’ air passageways are really short, making it easy for them to lose their breath. Their physiology also makes it more difficult for them to cool down if they become too heated, as panting isn’t very effective for them. If you have a brachy, do not encourage Fido to run or play vigorously. Swimming is also out of the question, but your furry friend might like wading or splashing in a sprinkler or canine fountain.

Another factor that may limit Fido’s activity possibilities is the potential for hip dysplasia. This is extremely common among certain breeds, such as German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers, but any pooch can be affected. If your dog has arthritis and/or is in danger of developing hip dysplasia, your Cedar City, UT veterinarian and breeder may advise you not to encourage him to jump or stand on his hind legs.

Is Swimming Good For Dogs?

It can be. It ultimately depends on the dog. Some dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers, adore water and swim like fluffy, barking ducks. Others just don’t perform well in the water, and some are scared of it.

Swimming is not a good option for small dogs; brachycephalic breeds; many large and giant dogs; and pups with long, thin torsos, like Corgis and Dachshunds. (Corgis and Dachshunds are likewise unsuitable for jumping or high-impact exercises.)


What Are Some Dog Sports?

The AKC registry includes nearly 200 breeds. Each of them was originally designed to serve a specific purpose. (Even toy breeds had a job: be cute!) Fido’s breed may reveal a lot about what he is most likely to love.

That being said, if you and your furry friend are adventurous and up for a bit of a challenge, here are a few doggy activities to try:

  • Agility
  • Lure coursing
  • Earthdog
  • Doggy Dancing
  • Skijoring
  • Skatejoring (Skateboarding with a dog pulling you)
  • Dock Diving
  • Flyball
  • Treibball
  • Canicourse (Run with Fido)
  • Hiking

Ask your veterinarian for detailed guidance on what is appropriate for Fido. These aren’t going to be safe or suitable for every pup! 

How Can I Tell If Fido Is Overtired?

Whatever activity you and your canine companion are up to, make sure Fido does not become overtired. Man’s Best Friend is extremely loyal and will go to great lengths to please his humans. Here are a few warning signals to look for:

  • Panting
  • Lagging 
  • Drooling
  • Stumbling
  • Discolored gums

If you notice any of these things, immediately end Fido’s workout and give him water. Ask your vet for more information. 

Do you have any queries about your dog’s activity needs? Contact us, your local Cedar City, UT pet hospital, at any time!

Posted in Dog Care

533 North Airport Road
Cedar City, UT 84720
t: (435) 586-3400
Also serving Southern Utah, UT and surrounding areas. 

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