Walking the Dog
One of the most important muscles of the body that is strengthened by exercise is the heart. Although dogs are not as prone to heart attacks as people, their hearts still need to pump for their entire life. A 'flabby' heart can lead to other secondary problems, such as kidney disease, respiratory distress or a poorly functioning liver.
Proper exercise and nutrition also strengthens the immune system, which protects against the many infectious diseases that can afflict your dog. As the dog becomes fit from exercise and good nutrition, his energy level will increase. Active dogs can eat more without the concerns of putting on extra weight.
When your dog first starts his fitness program, his paws are likely to be tender. It takes time and many miles of walking and running to build up firm calluses. Even then, the hard, hot pavement of a city street may be more than his feet can take. Long walks or runs are best kept to the grassy areas of parks.
You may have noticed dogs don't perspire like people do. Dogs lose excess body heat through the pads of their feet and from panting. This process can be greatly aided by giving plenty of water both before and after heavy exercise. It's recommended, however, that you let your dog cool down after a long run before letting him slake his thirst. Wait for about 15 minutes, and then give one-half-to-one cup every 15 minutes until your dog is thoroughly cooled down. Otherwise, he may regurgitate the water, resulting in a hot dog that not only needs water but now also has an upset stomach.
One of the best benefits of exercising your dog goes to the dog's owner. Walking briskly with your dog everyday is great for your own physical well-being. Additionally, dog walkers meet people. Admiring your dog is a great ice-breaker. You will seem more approachable to neighbors who want to get to know you with your dog at your side.
Dog walking services are just the beginning of what can be offered to your pampered pet. Happy Trails Dog Adventures in Canada take dogs on field trips where they can play with other dogs and spend the day on supervised treks in the wilds. Happy Trails throws in Obedience Training sessions in the midst of all the fun.
Day Care Centers
A dog day care agency, if carefully chosen, can be valuable for people who don't know what to do with their dog when their lifestyle changes - they must move to a condominium perhaps, or start working long hours or travelling on business. It may also circumvent legal problems as well. Many cities and/or condominiums have bylaws that permit legal action to be taken against the owner of a dog who barks or howls all day.
Your dog does not have to go to a center every day or all day. Many dog day cares cater to clients whose dog comes in a couple of days a week or half days only. Many of these services offer pick up and delivery of your pet.