Sunday, January 31, 2010

Exercise Limits?

Is there such a thing as TOO much exercise for a dog? For puppies?

According to Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, he has always adhered to the theory that, as long as you are careful, the dog is the best one to tell you what is too much exercise. Puppies often do not have enough muscle tone to take long runs, but there are always exceptions. Most dogs and puppies will tell you when they have hit their limit, and it is important to resist pushing them beyond this point.

Even if your dog or puppy wants to keep going, some things you should be cautious about are:

1. Be sure that your dog does not overheat. If you are too hot, assume they are. Provide water or try to run in a cooler area.

2. Be consistent with exercise. The weekend marathon after a week of couch potato life is very hard on the joints.

3. Be cautious with your dog's feet. Running on cement (especially hot cement) can cause sloughing of the foot pads, so try to have breaks on softer surfaces or at least work your dog up to the harder surfaces to give them a chance to form the necessary calluses.

4. Be aware of your dog's limits. Until you understand your dog’s stamina, be sure that you are able to stop when your dog starts to lag behind. (i.e., Take the short route 5 times instead of the long route once.) If you feel that he or she is not able to go as far as they should, consult a vet to see if there is a reason for the intolerance.

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