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DOGS - HEALTH

How to keep your dog fit
Published 2012/08/07

 

 

Different dogs need different amounts and types of exercise. For owners to determine which sports or physical activities are most appropriate for their particular dog, they must first consider their age, state of health, and fitness level. They should also keep in mind that while exercise is very important, meeting their dog’s emotional needs and keeping them mentally stimulated will go a long way toward ensuring their overall well-being.

Today’s article focuses on physical fitness, which is as good a place to start as any! Before choosing a sport for your dog, you have to be realistic about his physical strengths and limitations and his genetic predispositions to ensure the activity is fun for both of you. While there are many canine sports out there and many ways of practicing them, the goal with each is to enable your dog to release pent-up energy. Here are a few you may want to consider:  

Agility trainingis a sport where owners command their dogs to pass through a series of obstacles such as jumps, ramps, tunnels, swings, slaloms, fences, steps, etc.

Though rarely practiced in Quebec, musical canine freestyle is a fun sport where dogs are taught to spin around their masters to the beat of music. It’s is a mix of obedience training, game-playing, and creative dance, requiring a deep connection between master and dog. 

Flyballis another interesting sport that combines agility and speed, only without commands. It’s a relay course involving two teams of four dogs on two identical parallel paths.

Canicrossis a cross-country run where master and dog attempt to finish the event first while hitched together.

Skijoringis cross-country skiing while being pulled by one or more dogs.  

And then there’s Doga, doing yoga with your dog, either indoors or outdoors; as you do your stretches, massage exercises and meditation, your dog mimics your every move! 

A very simple activity that you can enjoy with your dog is hiking; there are many sites in Quebec that allow dogs, which you can easily check out online.    

If you don’t have time to do sports with your dog or can’t, running on a treadmill is another good option. You can use a treadmill specifically designed for dogs or a regular treadmill, which often works just as well. Dogs can be easily trained to use a treadmill, and it’s a way for them to get the exercise they need from the comfort of their own home.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of physical activities that dogs can enjoy to keep physically fit, so why not make the most of them? 

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