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Monday, October 14, 2013

Exercise Part VII - Old, Young, and Smooshed-Faced.

Caution: The below is information is just a guide - a starting point for discussions with your vet.

When my former spouse and I got our first dog - a 4 week old puppy - we did a lot of things wrong (for one thing 4 weeks is way too young to be taken away from Mom)

One of the things my spouse did wrong was not allow enough rest.  If he caught Cisco sleeping during the day, he would wake him up and engage him. His "logic" was that if the dog was busy all day, he's sleep through the night. But young puppies should sleep during the day and night.

All dogs require adequate rest -especially growing puppies.  And because they are growing and their bodies are changing, their exercise should not be continuous. Don't take puppies on long walks. Several walks a day is fine but make sure they are short.  If the puppy does stop, then stop with the puppy. Don't encourage him/her to keep going. Let him/her take breaks.

Do not take puppies jogging, nor biking. Well if the puppy likes it and if it's safe, an enclosed bike trailer would probably be acceptable (check with a specialist), but do not make the puppy run alongside a bike. It's just too dangerous for their growing and changing joints and bone plates.
They might not appear to be hurting at first. The effects of harsh or continuous exercise will become more evident as the pup gets older. Some things might even affect them in old age.

Elderly dogs also have special requirements when it comes to exercise.  We shouldn't over exercise them;  but frequent, short walks can be good for their arthritic joints.

Dogs who look like they have been hit in the face with a frying pan or brachycephalic dogs (like pugs) also have special exercise requirements. Temperatures that might seem comfortable to a normal dog - like 75 degrees - might be too warm these dogs. Speak with your vet about the safest way to exercise these dogs.

If you have several dogs who are different ages or have different physical conditions, consider walking them separately.  See more on: Walking Old and Young Dogs Together

Also see more on Walking Dogs Separately.

See other posts on exercise.

Tell us about your young, old or smooshed-face dog in the comments section below

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  1. Judging by the way I feel now, I think my parents must have made me run and lift weights a whole lot when I was a baby.

  2. Hit in the Face With a Frying PanOctober 15, 2013 at 5:52 AM

    Another winner - thanks! Maybe it's just me, but I think it's mean to breed brachycephalic dogs - I had asthma when I was young and having trouble breathing is a tough way to go through life. I wouldn't wish that on anyone or any dog.

    1. Thanks Marathon and Hit. LOL "when you were a baby"
      I know a senior lady who had her hip replaced. She thinks her hip problems in old age are a result of all the athletic stuff she did as a teenager.

      @Hit, I understand your concerns about brachy. dogs. They also have other medical issues - eye problems, teeth problems, etc..