Covid-19: can you over-exercise your dog?

With our lockdown restrictions starting to be lifted, we are now allowed to exercise as much as we like, providing we follow the social distancing rules.

This is great news for our mental health and physical fitness, but what about our dogs?

Most dogs require two walks a day of around 40 mins each time. These walks generally consist of on and off-lead exercise.

While it might be a great excuse for every member of the household to enjoy some time outdoors with their dog, excessive exercise could cause both physical and mental issues for your pooch. Remember, an overtired dog can be a grumpy dog.

If you obtained a puppy or young adult dog, you need to be careful not to put too much strain on their soft and growing joints. Over-exercising a pup that hasn’t finished growing can lead to development issues as they get older.

At the other end of the scale, older dogs start to feel aches and pains. If they are stiff after resting following a walk, they are doing too much and may well need some pain relief to keep them comfortable.

Some breeds can cope with more exercise than others. Their shape and size often dictates just how far they can go. Consider what your chosen breed was bred to do for an idea of how much stamina they may have. Short-nosed breeds ‘for example’ often struggle with long walks due to their inability to breathe properly.

With the weather getting warmer, we all need to take great care not to exercise our dogs during the hottest part of the day (10am-6pm). All dogs struggle in hot weather, and the consequences of not recognising this can lead to tragic consequences.

And finally, dogs are creatures of habit, they thrive on routine. If or when you return to work, and further down the line, resume a busier social life, you need to consider how such a big change to your dog’s exercise routine will affect them. To get started, here’s how to make an activity box which may make the transition a little easier.

Need more advice?

If you are looking for more help with your pet, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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