Due to some unforeseen health issue, this heat (triple digits with heat index), swim lessons, and a schedule conflict with Leelynn’s naps, we haven’t been able to keep up with our walks.
The pups really aren’t happy about it, but on the really hot days I think they understand.
How to Get Back Into Shape
Once this weather cools down, or we can open up some time during the cooler hours of the day (whichever comes first), we’ll start walking again.
Just like human athletes have to train up for marathons or to maintain fitness, our pets need to work up to those distances and speeds too. Particularly with very young or senior pets, and those with chronic joint issues.
Puppies are so full of energy they can start off at a run, right? NO!
Young pups especially need to be paced. Now I know you can’t slow that ball of energy down, but you can refrain from pushing them past their limits.
Pups are still growing, so you don’t want to add the stress of vigorous running when they really need all that energy to develop nice strong bones and ligaments. If you push them to hard to soon you can actually severely injure your pups’ growth plates or cause a bad sprain that could become a chronic condition.
Talk to your veterinarian for advice on the appropriate timing for your pup.
Seniors need similar considerations as well, but they aren’t young pups so may be slowing down, as long as they are in good physical condition, go at their pace and again don’t push to hard.
Older pups need to stay active to avoid stiff joints, maintain a healthy weight, and keep everything running smoothly, I would suggest a daily joint supplement to help with mobility and help keep any stiffness at bay. If their joints are okay but they seem to have trouble keeping their footing check out Dr Buzby’s Toe Grips.
Another thing to keep in mind is to do your work outs on level (no hills, holes or soft spots) and manicured areas and avoid any hazardous conditions (wet, gravely, or slippery areas).
Chronic Joint Issues or Injuries
If your pup is prone to injuries, like a lot of seniors are, you will definitely need to go slow and work up their strength and endurance with the aid of your veterinarian.
If you are worried about your pup gaining excess weight while on low-activity injury restrictions you should discuss with your veterinarian about low impact activities such as a swimming, or discuss a possible diet switch to something lower in calories.
Much like with Senior dogs, you should also make sure you limit activities to level and manicured areas and avoid possible footing hazards to minimize causing an unwanted sprain or other injury.
Regardless of age, you should keep in mind the ground temperature. If its hot and sunny out, you should be aware of how hot the asphalt or concrete is on your pups paws. A good rule of thumb is: If it’s to hot for you to hold the back of your hand to it, it’s to hot for your pup to walk on.
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