Summertime is just around the corner and exercising with your pup is a great way to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Did you know that a daily walk with your dog can benefit your immune health, cardiovascular health, and weight management? All the more reason to get out there and exercise with your dog!
Here are a few tips and helpful reminders when exercising with your dogs this summer. Heat is a big concern over the months of June through August; however, you shouldn’t let that keep you from playtime outside. According to the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition (WCPN) in Leicestershire England, they suggest that you slow the pace or take a break if your dog begins to lag or pant excessively in the heat, not completely avoid it. “Canines have a much better sense of their physiology,” says James H. Sokolowski, DVM, Ph.D., professional services manager for Waltham USA in Vernon, California. So, don’t be afraid to take them outside, just make sure you pay attention to their cues and take rests when they need it.
It is important to let your dog acclimatize to the exercise routine you will be doing as well. Dogs need time to adjust and get in shape just like we do. Make sure your dog is equipped for the work out. If your dog isn’t used to going out for a three mile jog, don’t start out with three miles. Start out slowly and progress mileage over weeks at a time. “Older dogs should do something like a ‘runner’s stretch’ warm-up before exercise,” says Sokolowski. “Take them for a brisk walk up and down some stairs before doing your usual exercise program.” It’s important to take care of their paws too (think about how much your feet hurt after a long day). To reduce wear and tear on paw pads, exercise on grass or other soft surfaces. If that is not a possibility then you might consider toughening their pads before exercise. Sokolowski suggests checking with your vet or local pet store for astringents, as they encourage callous production that can help with the wear and tear on paws.
Dog friendly attractions in Manhattan this summer
-City Park: 1-mile walking trail
– Fairmont Dog Park: Fenced off leash Dog Park
– Cico Dog Park: Fenced dog area
– Annenberg Park: 1.5 mile walking trail
– 13th Annual Weenie Dog Races and Paws on Poyntz Saturday June 6th
(more info at www.downtownmanhattanks.com)
-Pet Poolooza at Cico Park Sunday, Aug. 9th
Exercise with your dog: a fun way to get in shape.” UWIRE Text 26 Oct. 2013: 1. Academic OneFile. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.
“Four-legged fitness.” American Fitness July-Aug. 1997: 14+. Academic OneFile. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.
Mathis Physical Therapy & Hand Center