- Step 1: Start slowly Start your exercise program gradually to build up your dog's stamina, especially if your dog is older, overweight, or a puppy.
- Step 2: Go walking Walk your dog for 30 minutes twice a day. Try to vary the route so they get to explore new territory.
- TIP: Train your dog to walk at your side to better control them from jumping on or lunging at people and other dogs.
- Step 3: Run Run or jog with physically fit, active dogs, increasing the length of the run and its intensity over several weeks. Start by running for a two-minute interval twice during each 30-minute walk, extending the running time by a minute each week.
- TIP: Stick with leisurely walks for older dogs and breeds that have short legs or that can easily get overheated
- : Never exercise your dog while riding in a vehicle, either with a leash out the window or with the dog running off-leash behind.
- Step 4: Check the dog's footpads Walk or run your dog on soft surfaces such as dirt, sand, or grass until their footpads toughen. Check them for excessive wear and cracking from walking on pavement or hot asphalt. Remove ice buildup between the toes in snowy conditions.
- Step 5: Watch out for over-exertion Stop exercising immediately and bring your dog to a shady place if you notice that it is panting heavily, breathing irregularly, or staggering.
- Step 6: Scoop the poop Remember to "stoop and scoop" when walking your dog. It's the law in most cities and part of proper pet etiquette.
- Step 7: Provide water Provide water on longer walks and on hot days by bringing a collapsible bowl for your dog and a water bottle for you to share. After all, staying hydrated means a more enjoyable - and longer - workout!
- FACT: At the 2009 Westminster dog show, a ten-year-old Sussex spaniel became the oldest Best in Show winner in history, proving it's never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.
You Will Need
- A leash
- A collar
- Plastic waste bags
- A collapsible dog bowl
- A water bottle