Should a Dog be Walked in the Rain?

Your dog needs to be walked every day but you can’t always depend upon the weather being cooperative. Rain is one of the most common problems a dog owner encounters when the weather turns bad.


Should your dog be walked in the rain or should you try skipping the dog’s regular walk and just let it outside for a few moments to take care of its biological functions?

Almost every veterinarian will agree that there’s nothing wrong with walking your dog in the rain if you take certain precautions. Sometimes your dog has to go potty and there is no other option.

Most dogs do not appreciate taking a stroll in the rain, particularly if the downpour is heavy. Most humans won’t appreciate it either.

Some dogs do love the rain, especially if they are retrievers or other dog breeds used to water, but most dogs want to avoid the rain and skip the walk. If you really want or need to walk your dog in the rain (if you live in an apartment or home where there is no yard to let the dog out into), you’ll need to make the experience as comfortable as possible for your dog.

If it’s raining and the weather is cold, you’ll need to be sure your dog is protected from the rain as much as possible and remain warm. Excessive exposure to a cold rain can result in hypothermia.

Always ensure your dog stays warm enough if the temperature outside drops to a really cold level.

One of the easiest ways to make it painless for both you and your dog when you have to walk in the rain is to look for areas with shelters that will block the rain. If you can find a covered area or one that has trees that block out some of the rain, it will limit the amount of rain that your dog – and you -have to endure.

If you live where it rains a lot, you might consider purchasing some rain protection for your dog that can make walking in the rain more tolerable for your pet.

Dog rain coats help your dog stay dry in the rain. These coats are usually made from vinyl and are wind-resistant and waterproof, and come with Velcro straps to help keep the coat in place.

Dog rain boots will help keep your dog’s legs and paws from getting wet, although many dogs will refuse to wear them.

Pet umbrellas are not as common but they attach to your dog’s collar and will keep your dog protected from the rain.

After walking your dog in the rain, be sure to dry it off thoroughly using a towel. If you have a long-haired dog you may need to use a hair blower to dry both the top coat and undercoat of your dog.

Deciding whether to walk your dog in the rain is a personal decision, but if done properly and with the right apparel, it can be painless and easy for both of you, and your dog may even learn to enjoy an outing in the rain as much as it does on a dry day.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

Hip Dysplasia in Rottweilers

Rottweilers are known to be very strong and sturdy animals, but unfortunately, hip dysplasia in this breed is a fairly common health problem.

HIP DYSPLASIA IN ROTTWEILERS – WHAT IS IT?

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative condition, which can affect any dog. Although the causes may vary, the effects are always the same: loss of mobility, increasing pain, impaired gait, even behavioral and mood-changes in your dog, including snappishness and depression.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HIP DYSPLASIA?

Hip dysplasia robs your dog of its most fundamental drive as an animal: to run. Our domestic pets share common roots as hunting pack-animals, like wolves. While many breeds of dogs have developed specialties, such as the ability to burrow, dig, and swim in the pursuit of prey, all dogs are literally born to run. However, hip dysplasia makes running and even walking painful, sometimes to the point where the animal has difficulty rising from a sleep-position, and resists movement. Playtime with other dogs and humans becomes too excruciating to bear. This lack of activity may result in weight gain, which compounds the discomfort of hip dysplasia. The condition may even make the dog’s hips and lower back too sensitive to touch, during brushing, grooming, bathing—even hugging! So, your dog becomes less active, isolated, disconnected, and often low-energy.

SIGNS THAT YOUR ROTTWEILER MAY HAVE HIP DYSPLASIA:

  • Hobbles, or walks/trots with an irregular gait
  • Tries to keep weight off one of the rear legs
  • Starts to slow down or limp on a favorite walk or run
  • Stays in bed instead of playing outdoors
  • Whimpers or yelps when climbing stairs
  • Flinches when hip area or lower back are touched

In short, hip dysplasia can reduce your feisty, sparkling companion and playmate to a diminished creature, which barely leaves its bed.

 WHAT HAPPENS IN HIP DYSPLASIA – WHY DOES IT HURT?

Dysplasia is simply the dislocation of a bone from its proper place. “Plasia” is the Greek word for molding, so it’s easy to visualize an architectural form, like a beam or column, separating from its stabilizing molding.  Hip dysplasia or displacement is one of the best-known types of dysplasia in dogs.

The degenerative process of hip dysplasia is gradual, and so the onset of symptoms—the pain, specifically—also is somewhat gradual, taking place over the course of years. In simple terms, the two bones of the hip joint shift out of alignment. The structure of a dog’s hip bones is similar to our human hip formation, consisting of a precisely fitted ball-and-socket joint. This is called a “spheroidal” joint, referring to the spherical head of the distal or articulating bone, which fits into the cup-like cavity of the accompanying bone.

The purpose of joints is to provide movement to the body. A healthy canine spheroidal joint controls this movement with the support of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The ends of the bones are covered in tough cartilage, and lined with synovial membrane, with contains a small amount of synovial fluid as lubricant. In fact, the ball and socket joint is the most mobile in the body – in both dogs and humans.  The design allows the articulating or distal bone to rotate around three main axes with a common center, allowing the leg (or, in the case of the elbow ball and socket, the arm) an extremely versatile range of movement. The ability to swivel, pivot and rotate with speed and agility is what makes dogs great hunters.

In the case of the hip, the articulating or distal bone is called the femur. The cup-shaped socket bone is called the acetabulum, located on the pelvis.

Perhaps because they are such hand-working structures, the ball and socket joints are prone to disease, and to simple mechanical wear and damage over time. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula, two products for dogs developed by a naturopathic doctor, offer support and relief for many conditions affecting the joints, including hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases which also are common in dogs, attacking the cartilage, muscles and membrane linings of cartilage and joints.


 

HERE’S THE BREAKDOWN:

  • Hip dysplasia results in several symptoms which reduce mobility and cause pain:
  • The muscles and joints become lax, and the joint capsule, a strong band of connective tissue which circled the bones for added stability, loses its elastic strength.
  • As this happens, the articular (working) surfaces of the two bones lose contact with each other. The bones slowly separate as the soft tissues around the joint degenerate. The disease may affect both hips, or only the right or left.

With the loss of protective scaffolding between the bone surfaces, the nerves in the bone-endings themselves are exposed. When bone touches bone, there is acute pain. In addition, the loss of tensile strength of the supporting tendons, muscle and cartilage mean that other structures in the hip and leg must compensate in terms of weight-bearing and movement. This unnatural compensation may cause fatigue, pain, and may even cause the dog to injure itself—running to catch a Frisbee, or climbing stairs, for instance.

WHAT CAUSES HIP DYSPLASIA?

Experts disagree as to the source of hip dysplasia in dogs.

  • TOO MUCH FOOD? One theory is that feeding a young, growing dog too many calories early in its development contributes to the disorder.
  • TOO MUCH EXERCISE? Another theory is that too much exercise, or the wrong kind of exercise, or simply too much high-impact exercise, such as fetching, jumping and catching a ball or Frisbee on concrete, contributes to hip dysplasia.

These theories are not conclusive, though of course appropriate nutrition and training are essential to the health and well-being of any pet.

A factual observation about this condition is that hip dysplasia tends to affect large breeds more so than smaller dogs. This, too, is relative—it is possible for small dogs to become affected by hip dysplasia, too.  However, we correctly associate the condition most frequently with big breeds.

These breeds do carry a genetic predisposition toward the condition. It is also true that purebreds, especially in these large dogs, are most likely to become vulnerable to hip dysplasia, therefore calling upon informed and responsible breeding practices.

But here’s the thing: many of us fall in love at the animal shelter. We may generously rescue a dog whose history is entirely unknown. A darling “Shepherd mix” from the pound may represent a complex genetic history, a history to which we have no access. Medical problems may indeed manifest down the line, and hip dysplasia could be one of these. This condition is common, and is not a death-sentence. Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula offer a holistic, gentle and effective way to manage your dog’s hip dysplasia, from the first signs of stiffness, discomfort or loss of mobility.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Our first instinct as dog-lovers is to stop the pain. Sometimes our decision-making process is clouded by emotion—guilt, fear, even panic when we see our beloved canine companion suffering. Many conventional treatments for hip dysplasia in dogs have side-effects, or simply don’t work.

  • If your dog is clearly in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian. An X-ray examination will be recommended as a first step.
  • Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity makes hip dysplasia worse. If your dog becomes less active, weight-gain may become a challenge. Eliminate treats, and if possible, offer your dog low-impact exercise like stretching and swimming.
  • Remove unnecessary physical stressors from your dog’s life.
  • Replace stairs with a ramp while your dog is recovering, to prevent further damage to the damaged hip.
  • Provide a padded dog-bed—sleeping on hard surface may increase the inflammation associated with hip dysplasia. A gel-bed, which actually contains a soft jelly that conforms to your dog’s body, relieves pressure from sore joints.
  • Experiment with low-heat heating pads or fleece-covered hot water bottle, as well as gentle massage, as ways to relax your dog and provide comfort during the healing process.

Bringing a dog into your life requires a leap of faith, and a demands commitment to that dog’s health and well-being. It is virtually impossible verify the genetic “blueprint” of any animal, even if the animal is pedigreed and purchased through a breeder. Recessive genetic tendencies are difficult to identify, and may take us by surprise. Because we are unable to identify the sources of this condition, realistically it is not possible to truly prevent it. Avoiding large breeds and purebreds may be one precaution, but many dogs who are not in either of these categories do experience hip dysplasia as well.  With this in mind, advanced formulas and ongoing research continue to offer non-invasive, non-intrusive, gently effective treatments for the common canine condition known as hip dysplasia.

Since 1990, Winston’s Joint System and Winston’s Pain Formula have helped heal over twenty thousand dogs from all over the world. Our staff specializes in hip dysplasia, arthritis and all joint, pain and mobility issues.

There is an excellent chance we can help your dog, so please contact us at: www.dogshealth.com or call our toll free number at 888-901-5557.

IS YOUR DOG IN PAIN?

Does Your Dog Have Trouble:

  • Walking?
  • Standing?
  • Getting up?

Summer Vacation With Your Arthritic Dog

Taking a late summer vacation with your arthritic dog can be much more fun than going during the peak of summer when it seems as if everyone is traveling to wherever you’re headed. It still requires some advance preparation to ensure your trip will be a pleasant one for both you and your dog, especially if your dog suffers from mobility problems like hip dysplasia or arthritis.

Here are the most important things you need to do before heading off for that fun summer trip:

Pack a first aid kit. You can buy a doggie first aid kit at your local pet store or pharmacy, or if you have the time you can put together your own. You’ll need to include a pair of tweezers to remove ticks, a pair of scissors, adhesive tape, eyewash or drops, gauze bandage, and antiseptic lotion or cream.
Pack a copy of your dog’s vaccination records. In case there’s an emergency while you’re on the road you’ll have the important information a new vet would need.

Be sure to take your dog’s collar and leash for the times when he’ll be out of your vehicle. Whenever you take him out of the car for potty breaks he’ll need to have his collar on and be on a leash. If your dog does suffer from arthritis or hip dysplasia and needs help in supporting himself sometimes, try the Easy Lift harness to assist him in getting around more easily. This harness is the perfect companion for your best friend in his time of need. With Easy Lift you can easily give your dog a helping hand while walking or climbing.

Being in a strange environment with new, unique smells, will make it difficult for your dog to resist checking out everything. He could easily run off and be hit by a car or get lost if not on a leash. And be sure your phone number is on his current dog tag attached to his collar or harness. Since most people travel with cell phones, this is the perfect number to have engraved on your dog’s tag.

Be sure to bring along your dog’s favorite foods to prevent him from getting an upset stomach from eating foods he’s not used to. If your dog is used to eating only the meals you prepare for him at home, then fix enough meals to last him through your trip and pack them along with your own food. Also, if your dog is only used to drinking water from home, it would be a good idea to take along as much of his drinking water as you can and use bottled water whenever possible.

If you need to protect the seats in your car, cover them with blankets, towels, or old sheets. You can use the sheets to cover furniture if your dog is used to sleeping or lying on your bed or couch. The towels can also be used to clean your dog’s paws after he’s run around in the mud or dirt. And don’t forget his toys. You can help ease any discomfort of traveling by bringing as many toys from home as you can fit in your car. The familiar smells of a favorite blanket and a supply of chew toys will help calm even the most sensitive dog.

If you know you’re going to be staying in a hotel, be sure to call the hotel before leaving home to confirm that it’s okay to bring your dog along. Not doing so can have unpleasant results. This happened to me once on an overnight trip to a small town in northern California and it was a real bummer arriving at my hotel and finding out they had a new “No Pets Allowed” policy. The worst part about it was trying to find another pet-friendly hotel at 9 o’clock at night. Luckily my dog is such a sweet, loving and gentle animal, the clerk at a major chain hotel took pity on us and offered us a corner room on the first floor.
When making your hotel reservations, choose appropriate accommodations if your pet has behavior issues. Ask for a ground-floor room, preferably at a corner if unfamiliar noises easily disturb your pet. Remember, the goal is for you, your pet, and all the other guests to enjoy their stay.

The biggest concern non-dog owners have about pet friendly accommodations is the belief they will be disturbed by a barking dog during their stay. If the hotel’s rules permit you to leave your pet unattended in the room be sure you place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door, notify the front desk and leave your cell phone number with them in case there is an emergency. It’s also a good idea to turn on the television or radio to cover any outside noises that might disturb your pet. If your pet is prone to barking or has separation issues, do not leave him alone in the room, even if the rules permit it. Search the yellow pages or ask the front desk to recommend a local pet sitter.

If you allow your pet on your furniture at home he will likely want to be on the furniture in your hotel room. Bring a couple of old sheets that you can use to cover any furniture your pet will be using. Additionally, the housekeeping staff will be especially grateful if you take a minute to clean up any pet messes in the room before you depart.

Always take responsibility your pet’s doo-doo. Be sure you always pick up after your pet and dispose of the waste appropriately.
Taking these few simple steps is part of being a responsible pet owner.

What good or bad experiences have you had traveling with your dog? Have you ever gotten irritated with irresponsible dog owners who allow their pets to run rampant? Have you had any unusual or heartwarming experiences on vacation with your arthritic dog?

When Dogs Behave Badly

Is your dog protecting you or is it just behaving badly?

There are many behavioral problems in dogs that make us wonder “why is my dog doing that? What causes my dog to act like that and what can I do to stop its bad behavior?” Here are some of the worst behavioral problems displayed by dogs:

Destructive behavior is one of the most common complaints from dog owners. When your pet dog continues to urinate on your expensive rug or carpet, chews up shoes left lying around, or destroys clothing belonging to a family member, it makes everyone involved unhappy. Destructive behavior can have many causes, including separation anxiety. If you are away from home for many hours during the day, and your dog demonstrates destructive behavior, you must be careful that any punishment be administered at the proper time. If you come home and find the dog has chewed something it was not supposed to, don’t punish the dog then. The dog will not be able to associate its act of destruction with the punishment because it will not understand exactly why you are upset. It will act ‘guilty’ because it knows you’re upset, but will not be able to associate your anger with its act of destruction. Don’t punish a dog for its bad behavior unless you catch it in the act.

Another reason for destructive behavior is lack of environmental stimulation. Boredom is often the cause of destructive behavior, especially in puppies or large dogs that are not receiving adequate exercise. All dogs need environmental stimulation. You might consider getting a second pet dog to keep it company when you’re away from home, or you could buy interesting toys to entertain your dog during your absence.

Destructive behavior can also arise if you punish your dog by penning it in a closed room or a fenced yard. Your dog may be inclined to break through a fence or may destroy your door frame or door knobs.

To treat destructive problems in your pet, you must establish the exact cause of its behavior and make necessary changes. For example, if a young dog chews furniture but not doors, it is probably in need of more environmental stimulation. Try increasing the amount of time of its exercising, adopt another dog as its companion, or leave the TV or radio on when you are away from home.

Preventing bad behavior from developing is easier than treating it after your pet acquires it. Puppy owners should not give a new puppy old shoes or a piece of rug to chew on because the puppy will not be able to differentiate between old tennis shoes and your good leather shoes. Dog toys should be of the type that your dog can easily distinguish as being different from objects you don’t want chewed up.

Aggression is also a common complaint from dog owners and is usually a serious threat to public safety. Biting should never be encouraged when a dog is still a puppy because it will grow up believing that type of behavior is acceptable.

Excessive barking can really bug your neighbors as well as you. To cure your dog of this bad behavior, determine where and when, or at what it is barking. If it happens only when it’s out in the backyard alone, you should keep the dog indoors and only take it outside when on a leash. It is common for dogs to bark at strangers or visitors to the house. This is due to territorial behavior and the dog is simply protecting its property and you. You need to teach your dog to stop inappropriate barking by using positive reinforcement to modify its behavior. When your dog barks, call it over or command it to sit and reward it with a tasty treat. Negative punishment does not work in these instances because it can cause fear in the dog, which can make the barking problem worse.

Digging holes under your fence is usually the result of the dog trying to escape from your yard. Dogs will also dig holes to keep cool or to catch rodents. Place chicken wire where your dog likes to dig to discourage digging. If the dog is a natural digger like a Terrier then digging is part of its genetic makeup. You might consider marking off an area where the dog is allowed to dig. If your lawn also looks unsightly because your dog’s continuing urination causes your lawn to look like a hodge-podge of green and brown spots, try Lawn Aid, a formula designed to balance your dog’s urine pH to prevent unsightly discoloration of your lawn. The combination of Cranberry, Yucca, DL-Methionine and Brewer’s Yeast will help keep your grass green all season long. The Cranberry Extract in this perfectly balanced formula also supports proper urinary tract health.

Jumping up on people is a common behavioral problem that is usually minor, unless the dog is very large or you have small children. The dog will continue jumping up on people because it wants attention. The best way to stop this is to train the dog that jumping up will result in not getting any attention. You should ignore your dog completely when it attempts to jump up on you. Look up and fold your arms across your chest so the dog receives no physical or visual contact from you. Calmly command your dog to sit down. Once it sits, you should reward it with attention. You must be consistent and other family members also need to participate in this training. Your dog will soon learn that jumping up gets it no attention.

When a dog behaves badly try to put yourself in its place and ask “What is happening with the dog, or to it, that would drive

    me

batty or cause

    me

to demonstrate bad behavior too?

 

How Often Do I Need To Walk My Dog

Do you walk your dog once a day, twice a day, or sometimes more? How often do you need to walk your dog?

A dog needs to be walked regularly, both for exercise and for potty breaks. Walking your dog is also important for both its physical and mental health. There is no concrete answer to how often a dog needs to be walked, but there are some general guidelines you can follow.

Some dogs only need to be walked once a day, while others will need four or more daily walks. Before my own dog became pretty much immobile from hip dysplasia and arthritis, he needed to go on four or five daily walks, although I always suspected he didn’t really need that many walks but just wanted to get out and scope the neighborhood as often as he could.

The average dog needs at least two short walks every day. Fifteen minutes or less is usually enough for most dogs, especially small ones, so they can take care of their physical needs while getting in a little exercise for good health.

Some of the factors that determine how often you need to walk your dog include the following:
(1) If you work long hours, you may only be able to take your dog out once in the morning before work, and again when you come home;
(2) The size of the dog; smaller dogs need fewer and shorter walks;
(3) The breed of the dog, because some dogs have small bladders;
(4) The energy level of your dog. A dog with a high energy level needs longer or more frequent walks to expend excess energy;
(5) The type of food you feed your pet. Feeding a dog solid foods like kibble doesn’t require potty breaks as often as does a dog who eats a diet of mainly soft foods.

Regardless of the type of food, a dog will need short walks to urinate and exercise.

If your dog comes down with diarrhea, you’ll obviously need more frequent walks to prevent accidents from happening. If your dog becomes ill and is not able to go outside, you’ll have to avoid walks until your dog feels better.

One of the real, measurable benefits to walking your dog is that it provides the dog with exercise, which is necessary to prevent obesity and muscle atrophy, and it gives you the opportunity to exercise by walking which will help increase both your stamina and health.

One additional benefit to walking your dog is that you’ll meet lots of new people who want to pet your dog and possibly strike up a conversation with you. You might be amazed if you knew how many people ended up eventually marrying after first having had a friendly conversation about their pet dogs.

Married couples can also look forward to meeting friendly neighbors with whom they may eventually become close friends with. But single women should beware of the single guy who adopts a pet dog for the sole purpose of meeting attractive, single women on his daily dog walks.

 

Weight Loss For Fat Dogs

Weight loss for fat dogs seems like a no-brainer. The easiest way to tell if your pet needs to shed a few pounds is to feel around its ribs and spine. You should be able to feel both, with only a thin layer of fat separating the skin from the bones. If you can’t find its ribcage, you definitely have an overweight dog.

Ask your veterinarian to evaluate your dog’s weight at the point when it reaches maturity. As a rule of thumb 15% above the ideal weight is obese, whereas 10% to 15% is considered overweight. If your dog weighs more than it should, don’t be discouraged. In industrialized nations more than 20% of all dogs are overweight or obese.

Keeping track of your dog’s weight can be a relatively easy task. Your vet will weigh your dog every visit and you’ll then be able to determine whether you’re overfeeding your dog or not.

Some breeds of dogs are naturally prone to obesity, while others like Greyhounds and German Shepherds are characteristically slim.

Small and medium size breeds are just as likely to be overweight or obese as are larger dogs. Some of the smaller and medium size dogs with a tendency to put on excess weight are Dachshunds, Scottish Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, and Basset Hounds.

Among larger breeds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Rottweilers tend to be the most susceptible breeds for weight gain.

Although not as common, giant breeds like the Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards can easily put on extra weight and you may not even notice until the dog becomes obese.

If you are serious about weight loss for your fat dog, you should begin feeding it a daily regimen of Winston’s Digest All to speed up weight loss. Overweight dogs usually lose an average of five pounds within the first two to three months of a daily regimen of Digest All.

Car Sickness in Dogs

Many dogs, regardless of breed, can experience carsickness on either short or long trips because they are not able to adjust to the shifting movements and varying speed of your vehicle when riding in your car or truck. Sometimes even a smooth ride on a relatively calm auto trip can upset a dog’s delicate digestive system.

Car (or motion) sickness is caused by an over-stimulation of a dog’s inner ear and it can make a dog feel miserable. But did you know that stress can also make a dog carsick because many dogs associate car travel with an embedded memory, like an unpleasant trip to the vet or being left at a kennel overnight or for a longer period of time where they experienced separation anxiety. Also, if a dog is young and has ever been frightened by a noisy truck or car, he may become stressed when experiencing the same situation while traveling in your vehicle.

The most obvious symptom of car or motion sickness is vomiting. Your dog may also pant more rapidly than usual, salivate, or pace nervously by your car before you even load him into it. If your dog exhibits behavior like this before you even start the engine, it’s likely he’s not going to enjoy the ride and there’s a good chance he’ll get carsick.

Most dogs eventually outgrow motion-induced carsickness, but if you find that your pet is still having a particularly hard time traveling in your car, try using a natural supplement such as Calming Soft Chews from DogsHealth.com. These specially formulated chews have high potency natural ingredients that are properly formulated for optimal results. These chews will help your dog relax whether traveling or staying at home. Calming Soft Chews help with separation anxiety, nervousness, and pacing. They are a safer solution than over-the-counter products that can cause drowsiness in your pet.

You can also prepare your dog for traveling by car if you do not give him any food or water just before you leave on a trip. A dog will travel better if you give him just half or a fourth of his usual serving of food before you leave. Make plenty of rest stops if you notice your dog exhibiting any of the signs of car sickness. You may need to stop occasionally and take him on a short walk, or a little longer walk if he seems unusually stressed. This will give him an opportunity to walk off the stress.

If you have found other useful ways to handle car sickness in your dog, please feel free to share that with our other readers. They would appreciate it.

How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

How much exercise does your dog need in order to stay healthy and avoid dog pain? Humans need to exercise regularly and so do dogs. Exercise is just one of your dog’s basic needs.

Most dogs need one to two hours of exercise every day to help keep them healthy. Depending on your dog’s age and breed, it may need more or less exercise than that. If your dog is a senior, it may be content to lounge around on your floor or sofa all day long, and if you own an active, younger dog, you may find yourself going for walks 3 or 4 hours a day and your dog will still want more exercise.

Even within the same breed and age group, no two dogs are the same, so determining how much exercise your dog needs could take some trial and error. Start by giving your dog as much exercise as it wants without overdoing it. You may have to work up your own stamina to keep up with your dog if you’re not used to walking or jogging.

Beautiful weather should be inviting for both you and your dog to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. But if it’s a very hot and humid day, avoid strenuous outdoor activities and be sure your dog has fresh, cool water at all times.

While walking , running, or playing, watch closely for signs of exhaustion in your dog such as heavy panting, wheezing, or any lameness in the legs – especially the rear legs if your dog has arthritis or hip dysplasia. Hopefully, if this is the case, you already have your dog on a regimen of Winston’s Joint System if it suffers from a debilitating joint disease like arthritis, hip dysplasia or OCD.

Exercising your dog offers many opportunities for training it to obey your commands. You can use the exercise time to teach your dog obedience and how to react when meeting other humans and animals.

Exercising your dog can entail many different activities including walking, running or hiking. Not only will your dog be getting its exercise but you’ll be getting a good workout at the same time. I have many friends who say they’ve managed to lose stubborn weight after adopting their dog and starting on a regular walking and running routine. If you have a large yard or access to a nearby dog park, you can play fetch with a ball or Frisbee which will give both of you a good workout.

Just how much exercise does your dog need? Start slow and work into a good routine that both you and your dog can handle and will be satisfied with. If you live in an area where it frequently rains in the summer, you may need to devise some indoor games on those days to give your dog some exercise. After a few months of regular activities, both you and your dog should be in better condition than you were before you began your exercise routine.

Exercise and Your Dog

To stay healthy and fit and prevent dog pain, your pet needs regular exercise. Exercise is one of your dog’s basic needs and is as important to its health as proper nutrition.

It may surprise you to know that most breeds of dogs require from one to two hours of daily exercise to stay healthy. Your dog may need more or less, depending on its age and breed. An older Yorkie, for example, may just want to loaf on your sofa, while a young adult Border Collie might require four hours of exercise every day and still want more.

How much exercise will my dog really need?

How much exercise is enough depends on your dog’s age, breed, and its health. A 10-month old Irish Terrier puppy is going to need more than a five-year old Whippet. Some hound breeds need short bursts of exercise, while guard dogs don’t need as much overall exercise as sporting breeds who like to hunt all day. Even within a breed, the need varies by animal. An energetic eight-year-old Golden Retriever could easily need more exercise than a calm three-year old Golden. Older dogs still need to go for walks too – they just need shorter walks than they were used to when they were younger.

The costs of not giving your dog enough exercise range from overweight and obesity, to the risk of diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease. Obesity is more than a health problem; it can stress a dog’s joints, ligaments, and tendons. Older dogs often have a hard enough time getting up without the added problem of lifting excess pounds. Lack of exercise substantially increases orthopedic problems such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.

If your senior dog suffers from hip dysplasia, arthritis, or other degenerative joint diseases, the best product you can buy to help him is Winston’s Joint System. Winston’s is an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog who suffered from debilitating joint problems. For more than 20 years, Winston’s proven formula has been giving relief from pain and stiffness to all breeds and ages of dogs.

When considering exercise for your dog, don’t fool yourself that a leisurely walk around the block is enough. Most dogs need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day. Here are some general rules of thumb:

* Active breeds need a minimum of 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise daily;
* Not all small breeds get enough exercise inside the house and need outside exercise too;
* It’s not safe to take your dog out in extremely hot or cold weather. Exercise indoors on these days.

No two dogs are the same, so determining your dog’s exercise needs takes some trial and error. When you are unsure, start by giving your dog as much exercise as it wants, being careful not to overdo it. Watch closely for signs of exhaustion such as heavy panting, wheezing, lameness in the legs, and frequent slowing or stopping to lie down during the exercise period. Avoid outdoor exercise on very hot days, and be sure to provide fresh, cool water at all times.

How can you determine what kind of exercise is best for your dog?

There are many activities you can do with your dog while exercising your own body at the same time. Walking, running or hiking with your dog is great exercise for both of you and frees your mind to focus on the beauty that surrounds you.

Some activities provide more exercise for your dog than for you, but are still a fun way to bond with your pet. Playing fetch with a ball or frisbee is loads of fun for many dogs.

If you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of a dog park, your dog will find companionship among other visitors to the park, and you have the added benefit of engaging in conversation with other dog owners and sharing important information about your pets. Dog parks are popular places for off-leash exercise and romping with other dogs, which is exactly what most dogs need. However, not all dogs get along with others. If your dog doesn’t like other dogs, a dog park is definitely not the place to go for exercise.

As humans, we usually think of exercise only as a health issue, but it has important day-to-day effects on a dog’s behavior as well. Dogs, especially puppies and young dogs, have a lot of energy, and if they don’t have an opportunity to burn off that energy, the result will often be destructive behavior. If your dog is digging holes in your yard or you’re having to replace pillows or clothing your dog has shredded, it’s a pretty clear sign that your dog is probably not getting enough exercise.

These behavior issues often cause many people to rid themselves of their dogs, even though the bad behavior is preventable. We have all seen newspaper ads and signs tacked to telephone posts with the message “Free dog to a good home”. These are usually placed by people whose dogs need the exercise they’re not getting. Unfortunately, some people don’t consider exercise when selecting a breed of dog as a pet, and end up choosing a dog that needs more exercise than the new owner has time to provide.

Before choosing a pet dog for yourself or your family, read as much as you can about the breed or breeds you are considering and how much and how often they need to be exercised to maintain optimum health.

 

Obesity in Pet Dogs

Obesity in dogs is almost as common as obesity in humans. This may surprise you but it is in fact, true. Experts believe between 25% and 40% of all pet dogs are obese or in the early stages of becoming obese.

The health consequences of obesity in pet dogs should be a serious concern to every dog owner. Overweight dogs suffer from more stress placed on their hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys. They also are at higher risk should they have an accident or develop a disease requiring surgery. Larger breeds are more prone to injury if they are obese or even if just overweight. Obese and overweight dogs don’t have the energy that they would normally have.

The causes of obesity in dogs generally can be traced to too much food and not enough exercise. Overeating for a dog is usually due to an owner feeding too large a portion at mealtimes. When you add snacks to a dog’s diet, it’s easy to see how a dog can gain extra weight quickly. Sometimes an owner mistakenly believes that their dog needs access to food 24 hours a day. It’s also a common misconception that dogs will only beg for more food when they’re hungry. This is definitely not true. Dogs are natural born food-beggars, just like my Golden Retriever. I am convinced that if he could open my refrigerator door with his paws, I’d come home to find the refrigerator and the freezer empty! And if your dog is anything like mine, he’s learned that looking at me in certain ways will always result in more food or snacks. A dog will ask for more food or snacks over and over, whether he’s hungry or not. If your dog is overeating even a little, he will slowly but steadily put on weight which leads to obesity in middle age.

Lack of exercise is also a significant contributor to obesity in a pet dog. As humans, we have the same problem. If you limit your dog’s play area to the indoors or your yard, he won’t get the exercise he needs and a dog is not going to exercise on his own. If you think an overweight or obese dog is not as lazy as we are when it comes to exercise, you’re wrong.

There are other reasons that a pet dog can gain weight. If your dog has been spayed or neutered, their metabolism will be lowered. It’s not that common for dogs to gain a lot of weight after having one of these procedures, but if the amount of food a dog eats and his exercise patterns don’t change, what was fine for an active puppy will lead to a noticeable weight gain in a spayed or neutered middle-aged dog.

Disorders such as an underactive thyroid gland or hyperthyroidism can also cause weight gain. It’s also possible that a dog’s adrenal glands may produce too much of the hormone Cortisol and create an ailment known as Cushing’s Disease. Dogs with Cushing’s Disease don’t actually gain weight, but any extra fat is deposited in their abdomen and they end up potbellied.

If your pet dog is overweight or obese, suffers from hip dysplasia or arthritis, and has mobility problems caused both by weight and disease, he needs Winston’s Joint System formula. an all-natural formula developed by a Naturopathic Doctor to heal his own beloved dog. For over 20 years, this long-proven formula has been giving relief from pain and stiffness to all breeds and ages of dogs. Owners report that their pets have a new-found vitality and alertness once they are free of pain.

There are easy ways to tell if your dog is overweight. First, check his ribs. You should be able to feel a little fat over his ribs, but if you can’t feel his ribs at all, he’s way too fat. Also check around his shoulders, hips and legs to see if he has too much padding. Look your dog over while standing above him. This is a good perspective for determining obesity. Does your dog look trim or does he lack any defining shape at all?

When the vet told me my dog was putting on too much weight I knew it was my fault for being too generous with the snacks. My dog loves his treats, and even though I’m careful to buy only the healthy ones and not those that are basically just corn or wheat filler, he still was gaining too much weight. He also developed a nasty little habit of aromatically bombing the house with his flatulence. I was happy when I found a good cure for both his obesity and his unpleasant aromas. Winston’s Digest All worked wonders when it came to stopping him from perfuming my house and it helped him lose weight in just a couple months. Winston’s Digest All helps with gas, bloating, flatulence, weight loss, and digestive problems. It’s a little product that does a big job.