pitbull exercising your dog
Exercising your dog: A Pit bull exercising with his owner. Pit bulls love to stay active. If you have an active life style this is the breed to own. Despite of the myths that surround this breed, they can be a great addition to any family.

Exercising Your Dog is in important part of keeping them healthy, building muscle in dogs, and keeping your dog happy. By exercising your dog you can keep them active for many years and avoid health problems and expensive vet bills down the line.

Table of Contents:

  • Exercise Tips for Dogs
  • Exercising Your Dog
  • Warm Up Tips
  • Poison Control Tips for Dogs
  • Training Your Dog To Avoid Poison
  • Avoiding Certain Types of Bad Foods
  • Dog Vitamins
  • Links and Resources

Exercising your Dog

Since we were young, we’ve all been told time and time again that getting enough daily exercise is vastly important to maintaining good overall health. This isn’t just true for humans, but for all animals with whom we share the earth. Some of us have taken in one or a few of these fellow planet inhabitants and are for them as our pets and furry family members. So it’s of the utmost importance to make sure that our animal companions get the proper exercise they need, too. Outlined below, you’ll find some helpful tips and tricks for keeping your canine pals in tip top shape.

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You may have heard the phrase, “A good dog is a tired dog” once or twice. This definitely rings true. If your dog is properly exercised, you might find that he’s much calmer when simply lounging at home. Not only will you see a decline in any past hyperactivity, but a veterinarian would happily tell you that proper exercise will ensure that your dog’s bones and joints remain healthy, and his heart and lung functioning will improve. If perhaps you enter your dog into show competitions, the judges will be able to tell that your pup’s muscles are in good shape with a simple touch.

Just as with humans, regular exercise benefits not only the body but the mind. Stimulating your dog’s brain will help him in a variety of ways. Be sure to remember, though, there’s always a point of excess. Too much physical strain can upset your dog emotionally as well. It’s important to make sure your dog is happily exhausted after an exercise session, not panting in desperation. Along these lines, remember that a long walk with your dog could be even better than an exhausting run the same distance. Playing fetch can be quite fun, but remember not to throw the ball so high that your dog might land awkwardly from a jump and hurt himself.

Besides general moderation, there are some other factors to consider when deciding when and how much to engage in exercise with your dog. Heat is a factor we have to take into consideration more for dogs and with humans. Some dogs have somewhat inefficient cooling systems in their bodies. Specifically, an older dog would become exhausted more easily than one in the prime of his life. A long haired, black dog would be very much at risk for overheating on a hot, sunny day.

Another commonality between human and dog exercising: Dogs should be given the chance to warm up a bit before engaging in strenuous exercise. Walk briskly for a bit before breaking into a full run with your dog, or throw a ball a short distance a few times before asking your dog to “go long” time after time.

The amount of play and exercise necessary will clearly differ from dog to dog. Puppies and older dogs need less than an adolescent dog. Smaller dogs won’t require as much of a work out as the larger breeds of dogs descending from working breeds. The exercise method you choose will very between dogs as well. More powerful breeds may enjoy engaging in weight pulling, or pulling weighted carts across a certain length. Weight pulling is a great way to build muscle in dogs. Others, such as Huskies, might want to revisit their roots as sled dogs. If you live near a body of water, your dog might enjoy taking a swim in the ocean or lake with you. Many others just want a simple walk or game of fetch.

Remember that this is not simply a physical or mental health activity for your pup. This qualifies as a bit of exercise for you, too! This is also a chance to spend some quality time with your furry friend and increase the bond you share.

Dog Poison Proofing / Poison Control for Dogs

Note: If your dog is showing signs of being poisoned contact the poison control center immediately. The link is at the bottom of this page.

When you bring infants or toddlers into your home, it’s essential to keep anything poisonous out of their tiny reach. The same holds true for the canine companion with whom you share a home. Just like babies, they can’t read labels and won’t know if they’re getting into something dangerous or fatal. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure you keep your furry friend out of harm’s way.

It’s also important to make sure that other people can’t be responsible for putting poisons into your pup. This can be an issue for guard dogs, since a burglar who has checked out his prospects and knows that you have a tough dog also knows that he’ll have to get past said dog. He could easily poison a piece of meat and give it to the dog upon his arrival. So what can you possibly do to ensure that your dog won’t accept this “treat?”.

Some methods might originally seem like a good idea, but when you really think about them you’ll find that they’re rather impractical. Someone might suggest teaching your dog only to eat when fed by his owner or the owner’s family. However, what happens when you’re off on a family vacation? Another tactic would be only feeding from the left hand. Again, this seems alright until you consider that there have to be left-handed burglars out there. The same goes for other “only take food from ___” methods. You could teach your dog to only eat from a certain bowl, but what happens when this bowl is lost or broken?

One method that seems to work in a variety of cases is relatively simple. You can train your dog to never eat or even lick anything from the floor. This is a good first step, but you have to consider that poisons could be administered just as easily from a hand or from a bowl. Since this is the case, it’s also a good idea to train your dog only to eat on command. You can pour him a bowl of dog food, but instruct him not to chow down until he’s sitting and then given a command as simple as “Okay, eat.”

Just like housebreaking your dog or training him to fetch, teaching him to avoid any potential poisons takes time and patience. The first step, and potentially the most important aspect of training in general, is to have a good relationship with your dog. If he’s already obedient from prior classes or personal training, you’re well on your way to having a poison-proofed dog. If this isn’t the case, you should start with teaching your dog some simple obedience commands.

You can start by keeping your dog on a leash during feeding. Being on a leash is a normal constraint that your dog probably associates with being in a subordinate position to his owner. To start, always make sure you feed your dog in the house, never the yard. You can place a bowl of food in the yard, allow him to sniff it but don’t allow him to eat any. You can use the command “Leave it” to cement this in. Take a few laps around, practicing sitting and other simple commands. You can reward him with praise, not treats, which would prove rather counterproductive. You can also put out “bait” on the house floor that he’s restricted from eating. Make sure you ask him to sit at his dish before you give him the okay to eat. Once he’s sitting, you can tell him, “Okay!” in a vibrant tone. Only then should he be allowed to eat.

To amp it up a bit, you can put a few bowls outside with some foods that are really delectable to dogs. This can consist of hot dogs, cheese, random leftovers… really whatever your dog really goes for. As training goes on, your dog should slowly begin to completely ignore the outside food. Continuing on, you can leave the bowls out of the equation and simply put food on the ground or floor. You may even want to practice at a friend’s house or in a park, so your dog really gets the idea that he can only eat from a bowl and when given the go-ahead to do so.

It may be something that never occurred to you to do, and it’s a task that can take several months to truly accomplish. However, poison-proofing your dog is a very worthwhile endeavor, and one day it might just save his life.