"The pug is living proof that God has a sense of humor."
"Since each of us is blessed with only one life, why not
live it with a cat?" (Robert Stearns)
FUN WAYS TO EXERCISE WITH YOUR DOG
Regular exercise is important to help keep your dog's
heart, lungs, joints, and muscles healthy. It also helps
their minds stay healthy and happy and can alleviate behavioral
problems. Exercising doesn't mean you have to go running
with your dog every day; there are many fun ways to get
exercise while enjoying quality bonding time with your
- Walk, run, or hike with your dog: mix it up once in
a while and try a different route or a new area, or
invite a friend and her dog to come with you.
- Go to the dog park! Provided your dog is healthy, well-
socialized, and has reliable recall, a dog park is a
great place to let him play with other dogs. Click here
for a list of dog parks and beaches.
- Enjoy a good round of "fetch". Many dogs like to
retrieve objects and it's great exercise! Get your
dog a lightweight, soft object for him to fetch --
they are safest in that they will minimize and
hopefully prevent damage to your dog's mouth and
teeth. Jumping can cause soft tissue injuries, so
keep your tosses low to the ground.
- Play games! Games can give your dog the opportunity to
exercise his brain as well as his body. For example,
you can play "hide and seek" with your dog. While
inside the house or in a safely fenced area, ask your
dog to "sit and stay", then go hide. When you're ready
call him to come and find you. You can also play this
game using one of your dog's favourite toys or a treat.
- How about a day at the lake? Many dogs enjoy swimming
or splashing about in the water (not all dogs are
natural swimmers so don't force your dog to go in if
he's scared). You could join your dog and have fun
together! Some beaches are designated as "dog beaches"
so it's like a dog park and a swimming hole all-in-one.
- Ski with your dog! Skijoring is basically cross-
country skiing with your dog. The dog is harnessed
to the skiier and helps to pull them along. There
are courses you can take to introduce you to
skijoring and to show you how to safely enjoy the
sport. Most instructors say that dogs should be at
least 15 kg to skijor.
- Dog sports such as agility or flyball, which are
immensely popular. They provide a way for dogs to
expend energy while also forming a closer bond with
their people, since the two of you work together.
Additional exercise tips:
- Start slowly, especially if your dog isn't accustomed
- Take into consideration your dog's physical abilities
and preferences. Senior dogs or dogs with health issues
may not be capable of lots of strenous exercise. And
some dogs simply don't enjoy water. Keep it fun and
your dog will look forward to his next outing.
- Watch out for other recreational users. Try to stay off
trails meant for snowmobiling, ATVing, or other sports
where there is a risk of a serious collision between
your dog and another person or vehicle.
- Don't exercise your dog in weather conditions that are
too hot or too cold. Dogs with pushed-in faces, such
as Pekingese or Pugs, are especially susceptible to
heat stroke and humidity. In cold temperatures you
may need to provide your dog with boots and a sweater
to keep him warm. Dogs get cold too -- even with fur
- Try to maintain a regular exercise routine. Dogs that
are mostly sedentary during the week, then let out for
a wild run on the weekend, for instance, are more
prone to injury because their bodies are unaccustomed
to the exercise.
- Always have plenty of fresh water on hand to keep your