Tag Archives: exercise

Exercise for small dogs

Sometimes people forget that small dogs have different needs for their care and exercise than larger breed dogs.  Here’s some tips on how to keep your small breed dog happy and active.

  • Walking

Walking is ‘tops’ on my list for exercise for all dogs.  There are added health benefits for the dog owner, too. I recommend twice per day walks.  You need to be careful about the length of walk for small dogs because they may not be able to go as far as you can.

  • Swimming

I’m a big supporter for hydrotherapy for dogs, particularly as they age or have rehabilitation needs.  But, swimming is excellent general exercise for your small breed dog.  Check out hydrotherapy facilities in your area for information on ‘casual’ swims (therapist supervision not required).  In Christchurch, we have an excellent facility for this:  Dog Swim Spa.

  • Ball games – playing fetch

Small dogs can get quite a bit of exercise in by playing with toys and their owners.  This is great inside exercise during the winter months – provided you have a long hallway or room for your dog to play in.

  • Using the stairs

If your house has stairs or you can take your dog to work with you, using the stairs can be excellent exercise for your small breed dog.    Some breeds, such as dachshunds, should not be encouraged to do lots of stair climbing because their long spine makes them vulnerable to stress and strain injuries including slipped discs.    Be mindful of just how much effort a small dog may need to climb a stair designed for full-grown humans.  Aging dogs with arthritis should avoid stair climbing as a major source of exercise – there are better options as described above.

Your dog, personal trainer

I just had to share this poster which I purchased from SPARC (Sport and Recreation.  It sums up one of the great benefits of dog ownership:  more exercise.

It has been said “If your dog is overweight than you are not getting enough exercise.”  Dogs need daily exercise and, in my case, I walk with Daisy twice per day.  Walking is excellent weight-bearing exercise, which helps keep bones strong which is a particular concern of many women as they age and are at risk of osteoporosis.

Get out there with your dog today and enjoy some quality time and exercise too!

Man’s best friend keeps children on the move

It’s that time of year again, when we start reflecting on all the food we’ve indulged in over the holidays and thinking about how we need to burn off some calories.

Well, I’ve just come across this article about the health benefits for children when the family owns a dog.  Researchers have found that children from families who own a dog are more active, a possible solution to fighting childhood obesity…

Man’s best friend keeps children on the move.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand