Preparing for Springtime Fun With the Family Dog: Safe and Healthy Ways to Get in Shape

February 21, 2019

Preparing for Springtime Fun With the Family Dog: Safe and Healthy Ways to Get in Shape

Ease the Family Dog Into Springtime With Simple Exercises for Every Age

Wintertime in Lakewood can be cold for many months at a time. It’s the springtime when the family dog wants to frolic and enjoy nature. The pup may not be too active during the winter, however. Those muscles and bones need to slowly work up their strength for a fun springtime. Explore the activities that the family can do with the dog in order to ease it into an active spring and summer. Jumping and running are just part of the fun.

Explore Warm-Up Exercises

A dog daycare expert would suggest a warm-up session before any activity is introduced to the pup. The winter gives way to overweight and lazy dogs. They want to get moving, but control the behaviors.

Try a warm up by guiding the dog in a circle or figure eight around the legs. The pup sees the activity as a fun, bonding period with the owner. In reality, the owner is encouraging small movements within the dog’s body so that injury isn’t the result of the first playtime.

Start Out With a Basic Walk

Put the leash on the dog and explore the Golden neighborhood. Limit the first walk to about 10 or 15 minutes. The area should be relatively flat too. The dog needs to work up to longer walks, especially if there are hills involved.

Be sure to take the pooch on various surfaces. Sidewalks and grass will give the dog some variation as it enjoys the emerging springtime. Avoid puddles and leftover snow so that the walk remains comfortable throughout its duration.

Get Used to Water Fun

When the weather is warm enough, pull out the garden hose. A dog training professional might turn the hose on and wiggle it around to the delight of the canine. Dogs love to frolic in the water stream, drink it in and chase it around.

Consider a child’s plastic pool as another water activity. Fill it up to a shallow level, depending on the dog’s size. Pups who’re unsure about swimming in a pond or lake will often like the kiddie pool. They can still stand and splash around without floating.

Step it up With a Short Hike

When the pooch masters basic walks, challenge the entire family to a short hike. Lakewood residents might venture to a hilly area where they spend 30 to 60 minutes exploring the natural areas. Bring plenty of water and treats for the dog because the effort will require some energy.

Continue with slightly longer hikes on subsequent days. The dog will regain its strength through small challenges with its owners.

Remember to Play Fetch

With the dog in good spirits, play fetch as one of the most popular activities around. Throw a ball or disc, and the pup brings it right back. A dog daycare professional suggests that any toy thrown should be tossed at a distance that’s safe for the pup’s health. A terrier might overexert itself by running after a ball thrown for a German shepherd’s stride length, for instance.

Get in Shape With Vaccinations

Although a trip to a Lakewood vet isn’t always exciting from a canine’s perspective, it’s incredibly important from a health standpoint. With springtime fun comes outdoor excursions. Insects and microbes are enjoying the warmer weather too. Dogs need the most current vaccinations in order to stay healthy on their outdoor adventures.

Discuss where the dog will be taken during these activities. Certain vaccines might be suggested based on the location and activity type.

Connect With the Household Stairs

The spring isn’t always sunny and warm. There will be days in Golden where rain pours down. On rainy days, try a stair workout if your home has a second floor or basement. Be sure to monitor the pup on the stairs. It shouldn’t trip on the different levels. This exercise is great for heart health and coordination. When the weather improves, stairs at a park are a great alternative to keep up the effort.

Be Aware of Limitations

The winter months can be long, which leads to limitations in the dog’s movements. A chronic disease, such as arthritis, may have set into the bones. During any spring outing, dog daycare experts suggest observing the canine. If there’s any unusual movements, limping or fatigue, stop the activity. Consider a trip to the veterinarian. The dog may need medication, an evaluation or just more exercise. The vet can make the determination so that the family can plan out the exercises with health as the main goal.

Attend a Dog-Exercise Class

Golden residents may be surprised to hear that there are dog-exercise classes available in the community. Try yoga or aerobics with the family dog. These classes focus on basic movements and fun with the canine. There might be various levels to the classes, so be sure to choose a beginning level. A dog that’s been cooped up indoors during the winter will need some time to stretch out before the spring’s fun intensifies.

Begin a Training Course

The spring is a great time to learn new skills. Ask a dog training expert about available courses. There might be beginner or advanced classes available that teach the pup about certain skills or behaviors.

Every dog can learn something new. Some pooches simply take longer than others to complete the skill sets. There are many classes to choose from so sign up early. The dog will love the activity and praise that comes along with it.

Regardless of the dog’s breed or age, get the pup moving in the springtime. Remaining sedentary only leads to obesity and chronic disease. Take a cue from dog training professionals and get active. The entire family will benefit, including the loving canine.