Most Americans live pretty busy lives between their work obligations and their family responsibilities. It can be difficult to find time to accomplish some of the fundamental things like exercising our own bodies, let alone exercising the dog. A little planning and discipline go a long way, however.
Always remember that dogs need exercise just like humans do. This can be accomplished in a variety of fun activities like playing fetch, jogging, or even bicycling. Swimming is a particularly great exercise for retriever dogs (such as the Labrador retriever and golden retriever) who were bred to retrieve game during hunting.
Be Creative With Exercise
A little creativity can make it much more feasible to exercise your dog on a regular basis. Perhaps on a given day, you may be too busy to run with your dog, or you may have experienced a recent injury that precludes athletic activity. If you have a well-behaved dog, your neighbor or other friends may be willing to bring him along during the jogging session.
Bicycling with a dog has become more popular in recent years as new products have come on the market that makes this activity safer and easier for both you and your dog. These products are designed to attach your dog’s leash to the bicycle while allowing you to use both of your hands to control the bike’s handlebars.
The amount of exercise needed will vary significantly depending on your dog’s breed, age, and personality. All dogs, however, will need some regular exercise even if it is simply a comfortable walk two or three times a week. We can make some general recommendations based on your dog’s breed.
Sporting Dog Breeds
The sporting group of dogs, for example, includes retrievers, spaniels, and setters. These dogs were bred to be active, and they will require a high amount of exercise to remain healthy and well behaved. You should provide them at the very least with three 30 minute aerobic sessions each week, but they might be happier exercising every day for 30 minutes (or even an hour every day).
On the other side of the spectrum would be the toy group of dogs which, because of their miniature size, are much easier to exercise. A brisk walk or a game of fetch in the hallway may be all you need to provide these small canine friends with a good aerobic workout.
Remember that your dog may have specific needs depending on his health issues, breed, and temperament. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian for more specific advice. In most cases, however, you owe it to your dog to provide adequate physical activity.