Physical Exercise! Playtime and Health

Just like humans, most dogs and puppies need regimented physical exercise routines. This is especially true if your dog stays indoors most of the time. An unexercised dog can become destructive, disobedient, and obese. The key to keeping your dog healthy is to maintain a regular but varied exercise program tailored specifically to your dog and to the climate.

Dog Breeds:

The Weather

None of us live in places with perfectly consistent climates or weather. The seasons bring changes in temperature. And within each season, there is a variety of weather patterns: rain, snow, wind, etc. All of these things affect our ability to give our dogs and puppies exercise. It is important to remember to take the weather seriously, especially the heat. Many dogs die from heat exhaustion because their owners aren't sensitive enough to the temperature and climate.

When it rains, you should have a variety of indoor games for your dog to play. It doesn't really matter what, so long as she stays active. Of course, you don't want to incourage wild behavior indoors, so make sure that the games are more in the spirit of hide and seek (which actuall includes a mental component as well). You can even lead your dog throughout the house on an indoor walk. That may seem silly, but it works. The key is to get your dog to be active over a 20 minute period of time.

When it is hot outside, make sure to provide plenty of water for your dog and don't go on any extended walks or runs. If your dog starts to pant heavily, she definitely needs to rest in the shade or indoors and get a nice cold drink.


The most common physical exercises are walks, runs and games of fetch. Dogs do all of these things naturally. Another game that dogs love is "keep-away." If you don't mind chasing your dog around the yard, she'll love to have your try to get the ball or stick out of her mouth. Of course, some people think that the encourages disobedience. We don't agree. Dogs know that what they are doing is a game. Keep-away is a good game because it has a strong mental component. Your dog will have to strategically figure out which way to run as you approach. You can make her decision more complex by moving slowly at first and fully spreading out the wingspan of your arms.

When you take your dog on walks, make sure that the walk is sustained enough to contribute to the well being of your dog or puppy. A 5 minute walk really doesn't do much good. Try to keep your walks to between 20 and 40 minutes. Several walks per day for 20 minutes would be ideal.

Before you take your dog on a run, make sure that she can run at your pace. If your dog is prone to setting the pace too fast, then you'll need to first train her to let you lead. Another option for running is to have your dog follow you on a bike. This option is for well-trained dogs only who can run in the open without a leash. Never ride your bike while holding a leash or else you could sustain major injuries. Also, if your dog is prone to chasing animals or people, this option won't work.

As your dog gets older, you may also want to consider training her to do agility, flyball or other well-defined sporting events. Doing so will simultaneously provide your dog with both physical and mental exercise.


Dog Resources

Raising Your Dog

Dogs By Size

Dogs By Group

petside media network

Breeds: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z