Here's some advice and tips to keep in mind:
- When exercising, look for any signs of discomfort or stress in your dog - be aware that dogs don't automatically slow down when they get tired.
- Dogs should always have plenty of water available to keep them properly hydrated.
- Always take first aid kits - human and canine - when going out and about and exercising.
- It's important to check dogs over after exercise for any abrasions on paws and pads, particularly if you've been for a long country walk.
- Be careful when exercising puppies as they don't need much - don't do lengthy runs or jumping until their growth plates are closed (about 12 months for small breeds and up to 18 – 24 months for large and giant breeds).
Fancy trying something a bit different with your dog in 2013?
There are so many doggy sports and activities around including agility, flyball, and heelwork to music which always prove popular.
Here are some other ideas for you to consider:
- Rally obedience - this involves a dog and handler navigating their way through a sequence of exercises called stations; each station gives a command which is mounted on to a stand. Dogs of all sizes, ages, and abilities can have a go.
- Cani-cross - a cross-country sport where owners run with their dogs. CaniX UK, the official body for the sport in this country, organises regular events.
- Dash 'n' splash - a modern canine sport where dogs do a long jump into a pool of water. Events are held at various shows and exhibitions in the UK.
- If you want to try some specific exercises, squats and lunges are good for humans, while hide and seek, chase, and throw and fetch will benefit both you and your dog.
- Set up a number of low jumps in the garden and run over the jumps together with your dog.
Have fun blowing those cobwebs away!