How Long should I let my Dog Run
How much exercise and running is right for your dog will
depend on things like your dog's overall health and its size
and breed. Obviously a larger dog with longer legs is going
to be able to run much further than a breed of dog that has
short legs or a "teacup" sized dog, but there are other
considerations as well. For example, Great Danes, though one
of the largest breeds, don't require extensive exercise to
be happy and healthy, but the much smaller
will be nervous and destructive if it isn't given enough
exercise to work off its natural energy.
Giving your dog daily exercise is important. Keeping a dog
penned up in the house all day with no way to stretch its
legs causes it anxiety and general stress which can lead to
many kinds of health and behavior problems.
Another factor that you must consider when deciding how much
to exercise your dog is endurance. Dogs, like humans and
other animals, need to work up to big runs to be able to
make it through without getting exhausted or overheated.
Endurance also varies between dogs of different ages, breeds
and sizes, so you will need to know about both the
characteristics of your dog's breed and the activity level
of your individual dog.
Most experts agree that if you have a dog under one year
old, no matter the breed, you should not be taking it for
long runs yet. At that age a dog's muscles and joints are
still growing and long runs may cause long term bone and
Another consideration with dogs and running is the wear on
their feet. Depending on what type of surface the dog is
running on, a lot of running could cause damage to the feet.
If you plan on running with your dog a lot you must check
its feet often and make sure that there is not excessive
wear or cracking of the pads.
You should also always make sure that if your dog is out
doing any kind of high level of activity you have lots of
water on hand.
Before you start a strenuous exercise program with your dog
you should first take it to the vet for a checkup. They
should check its heart, lungs and joints and just generally
access its overall health to be sure the dog is up to the
Most dogs love to run, it is instinctive to them. Running
with your dog can be a great bonding activity if you
practice these safe steps. So remember to check its health,
work up to longer runs, protect its feet, and bring lots of
water to keep your pet hydrated. If you follow those steps
you can both enjoy runs together for good health and stress
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