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Walkies? It’s time for something completely different

There’s more to exercising your dog than a stroll in the park. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance and expert advisors vetfone® suggest doggie workouts that will make tails wag with joy.

Instead of your usual walk, head further afield on a dog-friendly hike. Your dog will love exploring new scents in a different landscape. Remember you’ll both need plenty of water as you clock up the miles. Or see if your dog enjoys running alongside you on your bike. It can be great fun but take care not to push your dog too hard especially if they’re old or unfit or the weather’s hot.

Dogs like splashing about in water, so track down a beach that welcomes dogs and enjoy some sea and surf together. And how about trying hatha yoga for hounds? Yes really, doggie yoga classes are starting up in the UK. Sessions are more about relaxing with your pet. So while your dog may not get as much of a workout, it will be a great bonding experience for you both.

You could also try some activities that appeal to your dog’s natural instincts. Agility classes will teach you how to put your dog through their paces using obstacles like tunnels and jumps. Then you could take it up competitively or do it just for fun. And even on days when the weather’s bad, you can still make sure your dog gets some fun exercise by hiding small piles of kibble around your home for them to sniff out. 

With all this activity going on, it’s good to know that with Tesco Bank Pet Insurance there’s always someone to talk to should your dog get into the odd scrape.

With 24/7 phone access to vetfone®, you can speak to nurses registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. So a quick call could put your mind at ease and save you an expensive trip to
the vet.

vetfone® is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

Dogs leap and jump all the time and can be prone to injury. Even older animals can sustain injury if they jar themselves suddenly or over exert themselves. As a result, a large number of cases of lameness are temporary and superficial and with the correct home care will go on to heal naturally on their own.

Step 1 – Start by resting your dog

The most important part of your dog’s recovery is rest. Strained muscles and other soft tissues need time to recover and heal. Exercise should be controlled and restricted and in some cases your dog may even require confinement. The dog should only be going out on a lead for short toilet breaks, not running around off the lead. They should not be allowed to go upstairs nor jump up on the bed or sofa.

Initial rest should be for two to three days. If recovery is quick then continue rest for a further two to three days and then start a slow, gradual reintroduction to exercise. It may be that recovery is not that quick, but as long as you see an improvement on a daily basis then persist until full recovery (which may even take weeks but a daily improvement should be obvious).

If your dog appears to be in any pain at any stage or the affected limb looks abnormal in any way then you should contact your vet.

Step 2 – Reintroduction to exercise

When your dog appears to have recovered and is walking normally
on the previously lame leg then you can restart exercise. A gradual programme is required, starting with gentle walks on the lead. Gradually extend the duration of the walks over a number of days and build back up to normal walks.

Getting back to ‘off the lead’ exercise should not be rushed as allowing your dog too much exercise, too early, will cause a relapse. If the lameness flares up when the exercise is increased, your dog should be examined by the vet, as this could indicate the lameness is more than just a simple sprain.

For more information about caring for your dog, please consult your veterinary surgeon.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. 
Terms and conditions: Pets must be at least eight weeks old when cover starts. Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered and certain breeds of cats and dogs are also not covered. Full policy details are online at
Tesco Bank is a trading name of Tesco Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC173199. Registered Office: Interpoint Building, 22 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh EH12 5BH. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

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