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Exercise Your Dog

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Woman Running With Dog Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In order to stay healthy and fit, we all need to exercise regularly. Dogs are no exception - exercise is just one of your dog's basic needs. In general, most dogs should get 1-2 hours of exercise daily to help keep them healthy. Your dog may need more or less depending on age and breed. Your senior Shih Tzu may just want to loaf around on the sofa, while your young adult Border Collie might be doing agility for 4 hours a day and still want more.

How Much Exercise?

No two dogs are the same, so discovering your dog’s exercise needs may require some trial and error. When in doubt, give your dog as much exercise as she wants, but don’t overdo it. Watch her closely for signs of exhaustion such as heavy panting, wheezing, lameness, disorientation, and slowing or stopping to lie down during activities. Avoid outdoor activities on very hot days, and be sure your dog has access to fresh, cool water at all times.

What Kind of Exercise?

There are many activities you can do with your dog while exercising at the same time. Try walking, running or hiking with your dog and see how much better you feel. Some activities provide more exercise for your dog than for you, but are still a fun way to bond. Play fetch with a ball or disc, visit the dog park. Do you want your dog to get involved in dog sports? Agility, flyball and herding competitions are great places to start.

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