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Just for Kids: Exercising Your Dog

By: Virginia Wells

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Exercise is as important for your dog as it is for you. Exercise is one of the best ways to spend time with your pet. Not only is it fun, but it keeps your pet healthy, too. Your dog will sleep better, have more energy, and have good, strong bones and muscles.

You should exercise your dog every day. What you do with your dog depends on what kind of dog you have. Large dogs need more exercise than small dogs – at least two walks a day. Puppies love to wrestle and chase; they never seem to run out of energy. Some dogs like to play Frisbee in the park. But if your dog is older, he may just want to take walks in the neighborhood.

Whatever you do, exercise should be fun. Here are some things you can do that will give your dog plenty of exercise:

  • Walking. Walking is a good way to exercise your dog. If your dog is small, you can walk him around the block twice a day. If your dog is large, you might want to walk much farther. Always use a leash.

  • Running free. If you live in the country or if you have a big, fenced-in yard, you can let your dog run free. If your dog doesn't run in the yard, you might have to get him to play ball or chase. Never let your dog run free near traffic.

  • Toys and games. Make up a game to play with your dog. Dogs love to run and play tug, fetch, chase and even catch.

    Be Safe

    While you are having fun, make sure your dog is safe. If you use a toy, make sure it is safe for him and is not made of a poisonous material. Toys should not be too big for him to handle or so small that he can swallow them.

    If the weather is hot, be sure your dog has plenty of water to drink at all times, and let him cool down in a place that is out of the sun. If it's very cold, don't stay outside too long. If your dog is shivering, get him back inside. If you live in an area that gets cold and icy, remember that road salt can burn your dog's feet.

    Don't forget: Even in cold weather, your dog needs plenty of fresh water.

    Things You Should NOT Do

    Don't ride a bike with your dog on a leash.
    Don't skateboard with your dog on a leash.
    Don't roller blade with your dog on a leash.
    Don't exercise when it is very hot or very cold.
    Don't let your dog run loose near traffic.
    Don't exercise your dog right before or after he is fed.

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