Michelle Bridges’s top tips for exercising your dog
Michelle Bridges, a fitness icon and animal lover who is passionate about animals, shared her top tips for exercising with your dog’s best friend/family. What she said:
Everyone knows I love to exercise. It lifts my mood, gives me confidence, and keeps me physically fit. I believe everyone can benefit by adding exercise to their lives.
It is the same for our dogs. Regular exercise will result in a healthy and happy dog. If your dog is like Banjo, a walk with you will be the highlight of their day. Banjo’s wag never gets louder than when I take out the lead to go for a walk.
Dogs need exercise just as much as people do. Training is essential to keeping your dog happy and healthy.
Stop puppy play
You may have noticed that puppies seem to be bursting with energy. While it may be tempting to allow your puppy to play and walk to their heart’s content, you can easily over-exercise young dogs.
Overexercising a puppy can damage their musculoskeletal structure for years. Owners should gradually introduce exercise to their puppy, starting with short walks using a harness and lead and increasing the intensity and duration of each walk. Even though it may be tempting, you should never take your puppy on a run or jog. Wait until your puppy is fully grown and older.
Be careful when exercising dogs that have health problems (such as flat-faced breeds or brachycephalic breeds ). It’s best to consult a veterinarian for each dog with a specific health issue.
The off-lead period is important.
All dogs should spend regular time off-leash. Banjo is a dog who loves to play in the off-leash park. (Read the RSPCA post on dog park etiquette). It gives dogs a feeling of freedom, and it boosts their self-confidence. It is important to socialize a puppy proactively so that they are able to relate to people and other dogs.
If you can’t let your dog off the leash in public places, spend some time throwing balls or toys in the back can’t to get them moving and burning off extra energy. Banjo loves tennis balls, so I spend 15 minutes a few times a week throwing one for him to play with. You should limit the amount of ball catching and throwing for puppies. It may seem like puppies can play catch all day long, but they could easily hurt themselves if they overdo it or land awkwardly. A high risk of injury makes it a good idea not to throw sticks.
Rest and hydrate when necessary
Keep an eye out for your dog’s signs of dehydration or fatigue. It is important to allow them to rest when needed. Give your dogs some time to rest if they sit or lie down on their walk.
Some dogs are so addicted to playing with toys and balls that they don’t even know when to stop. Banjo (Cough, Cough… Banjo ) Take note when your dog becomes excessively tired. Stop the game. Avoid any “forced” exercise, such as running along with your bike, taking your dog on a long or fast walk, or “call” if they are not used to it.
Bring a portable bottle of water with you if you plan to spend a lot of time in a dog park or at the beach or garden. This will ensure that your dog stays hydrated. Banjo comes with a portable water bowl, which I fill with water whenever I visit my local park.
Walk with your dog to raise money for animal cruelty
When you set a goal, exercise is more enjoyable. Sign up for RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk: Walk This May to make your dog walks more enjoyable.
You can raise money for RSPCA ‘sCA by registering to Walk this May and logging your dog walks in May on the Million Paws Walk Pawdometer. Registration is free, and you can relax knowing that each time you walk your pet, you’re helping the RSPCA to end cruelty towards all animals.