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Regular moderate exercise is fundamental in keeping dogs in shape for life and maintaining dog health. Moderate exercise varies from dog to dog, even with an individual dog based on fitness level and health status. But how much exercise does a dog need? And what kind of activities can you do together? Read on to learn more.

Keeping Dogs Fit For Life: A Key To Dog Health

Regardless of your dog’s level of activity, you should start with a proper warm-up. A slow jog or brisk walk for five to 10 minutes helps to reduce the potential for muscle or ligament tearing and minimizes glycogen depletion and lactic acid buildup. So in the interest of your dog’s health, starting slow is key.

Likewise, cooling down for five to 10 minutes after exercise is important for muscle recovery and lactic acid dissipation. It also helps to flush out metabolites produced by exertion and prevents delayed-onset muscle soreness.

Cross-training, which combines endurance and strength training, is important as well. Endurance training involves running long distances and gradually increasing the distance and intensity. Strength or power training entails road working, pulling and uphill work for short periods at maximum intensity. Keep in mind dogs must be strong and sound before hard or long work. So if you’re still wondering “how much exercise does a dog need?” a good rule of thumb is to start with a moderate daily program and gradually work your way up before attempting a more rigorous program like cross-training, endurance, or strength. After all, the goal of an exercise program is to promote dog health.