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Most people don’t exercise as much as we should therefore our pets probably don’t either. Exercise is often overlooked, but is so important to the overall health of our pets both physically and mentally. Often times “behavioral problems” like digging, chewing, and barking can be resolved through exercise. Not to mention, just like with humans exercise can help with obesity.

A few things to consider when exercising your pet:

Breed – Certain dogs require more exercise than others depending on their breed. According to the AKC (American Kennel Club) the top three most popular breeds in 2015 were Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. Less active breeds or smaller breeds may not require as much time as larger or more active breeds. A Chihuahua can run around in a small backyard or go on a shorter walk as opposed to a Labrador Retriever. Remember a lot of dogs were bred for hunting, retrieving, and herding!

Age and mobility – A young healthy one year old Beagle may be happy to play fetch for half an hour, while a 13 year old Golden Retriever with arthritis may struggle to walk down the street. Often times our dogs will communicate how much exercise they require through their body language and behavior.

Heat – when it’s really hot outside we have to be careful. Dogs can get over heated, experience heat stroke and heat exhaustion and burn their paws on the hot asphalt. Black dogs, dogs with longer hair and dogs with shorter muzzles (i.e. Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, etc) are more at risk for overheating. During warmer months walking early in the morning or late in the evening is recommended.

It’s important we make time for our pet’s health by exercising them daily. Sometimes it’s hard to make or take the time so fortunately there are options for the busy dog owner! Dog running/ walking services and doggy daycare are available at many places around Tulsa. Doggy daycare allows your pet to exercise and socialize while you’re at work or running errands. Some places around town even offer training during daycare. Help keep your pet happy and healthy with daily exercise and they’ll thank you for it!

Source: Jana Layton; Karen Marcile, Riverbrook Animal Hospital, Tulsa Oklahoma

Love, The PetsWell Team

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