Exercise is a vital part of an animal’s health and stamina. No matter how busy you are, always make it a point that your pup gets his daily dose of body bumping and energy expenditure. You may take him for a walk around the house, to the park, or even on a treadmill on not so good weather days. But there will come a point where a puppy needs to stop the exercise to avoid exhaustion and heat stroke. To know and identify the signs, here are a few reminders.
Overheating is the endpoint of overexercise that holds true for both puppies and adult dogs. Hallmark signs are drooling, extreme and fast past panting, body temperature of 104˚ and slow movements that may lead to slurry walking and sudden collapse. This is a critical condition and must be brought to the veterinarian ASAP. Heatstroke can be prevented by bringing water during walks and allowing your pet to cool down for every 5 to 10 minutes of run or walk. Furthermore, do not suddenly exercise a puppy which is not used to strenuous and physically tiring activities. The joints can suffer and may lead to accidents when not supervised. It is best to start exercising a puppy of around 8 weeks old for 10-15 minutes with slow walks and more rest time. Eventually, increase the speed and lessen the rest time. Another thing to observe is the pup’s feet. Hot cement can slough off the external covering of the footpads and may cause abrasions and wounds. Puppy feet pads have not yet formed the right amount of calluses and protection that’s why it is important to give special attention to them. Walk them in softer surfaces and grasses for the first few weeks before venturing onto rougher road surfaces. And lastly, get to know your puppy – his limits and stamina. Different breeds have their own level of endurance when it comes to physical activities. Researching about their bodily requirements and limitations will help you in planning daily activities – exercise included. Your veterinarian is also there to assist you should you have further questions and concerns. Have your puppy checked first for any health issues before venturing into the great exercise course – that is a must.