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Exercise With Your Dog

Exercising with your dog not only strengthens the bond you two share, it also helps control his weight and maintain a healthy heart, lungs and muscles.

   1. As you exercise with your dog, consider his needs and present physical condition. Leisurely walks may be best for an older dog while a young dog has ample energy for a vigorous exercise program.

   2. If your dog has more energy to expend than you do, teach him to fetch a ball or Frisbee. The activity may be just right for you and a challenging exercise for your dog. For walks or jogs together, keeping your dog on a leash gives you control.

   3. If, for whatever reason, you havenít exercised your dog regularly and decide to launch a regular exercise program, go slow at first. Begin with short periods of activity at slow speeds and gradually increase the time, speed and distance.

   4. Begin walking or running your dog on soft surfaces such as dirt, sand or grass until his pads toughen.

   5. Avoid exercising your dog immediately before or after heís eaten. A full stomach may cause digestive upsets. Provide only small amounts of water before and directly after exercise.

   6. Weather conditions are an important consideration. Dogs can suffer from frostbite and heat stroke just as people do. If you walk your dog in the snow, be sure to wipe the paw pads to remove any snow and ice buildup or possible salt that may have gotten caught. Remember that your dog's feet can be damaged by hot asphalt during the summer.

   7. If you walk your dog in wooded areas during the summer, check his eyes, coat and feet for foxtail, seeds and dirt. Also check carefully for ticks. Dogs with short, smooth coats may require the warmth of a dog tee, dog coat or sweater when they go outside during cold weather.

   8. Check with local authorities to find out what local laws allow. Your police department or animal control department can tell you more about laws in your municipality.

   9. As you walk your dog, train him to walk at your side to help control him so he won't jump on children, other dogs or adults.

  10. If your dog has a history of medical problems, work with your veterinarian to plan an appropriate exercise program. Whatever exercise program you pursue, remember that your dog loves to spend time with you and you can make that time special.

Don't forget the 'pick-up' bags!

19 Games You Can Play with Your Dog

Playing with your dog can keep both of you healthy by providing stress relief, exercise and fun. Equally important, playtime give you the opportunity to reinforce the canine-human bond. If you're playing with a small puppy, just remember to be gentle.

  1. Play fetch. This tried-and-true method of entertaining your dog is sure to make her happy.
  2. Play Peekaboo.
  3. Take your dog swimming, Some larger breeds have actually learned to bodysurf. Don't for get the life jacket.
  4. Play bullfight with your dog. All you need is a red cape and some attitude. But never tease a dog - teasing isn't fun!
  5. Play hide-and-seek.
  6. Play tug of war, at least with a small dog. Such aggressive play with a large dog can lead to aggressive behavior or a power struggle as you dog tries to determine who's the boss.
  7.  Take you dog for a joy ride. Strap her in. Open the windows. Watch her fur fly and smile on her muzzle.
  8. Give your dog a present. Almost anything will do. Dogs aren't picky.
  9. Leave a trail of small dog treats or popcorn for your dog to follow.
  10. Blow bubbles
  11. Juggle - If you drop the balls, so much better!
  12. Play the shell game using large plastic cups. Place a treat under one of three cups, then move the cups around. Your dog gets a treat if he chooses the right cup.
  13. Play "Clean Your Toys!" Spread a bunch of your dog's toys in a pile and have her put them away in a box.
  14. Play "Which Hand Is It In?"
  15. Hold a hula hoop upright on the floor. Have your dog walk through it. Raise the hoop a bit and have your dog jump through it. Keep raising the hoop and see how high she can go.
  16. Put peanut butter on your dog's tail and watch her spin with joy.
  17. Play "nose ball" Have your dog retrieve a ball for you by pushing it with her nose. This is great for a rainy day.
  18. Play soccer with your dog.
  19. Teach your dog a new trick - any trick.

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