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Exercise for Dogs
By David the Dogman

Most veterinarians will caution pet owners not to exercise a dog right after feeding him. This is certainly true of strenuous exercise, which can make a dog throw up and can lead to gastric torsion. A recent study by the Divisions of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University proved that exercise after eating seems to burn up more calories by raising the body's rate of metabolism.

After eating, many dogs will lie down to digest their food. While sleeping a pet will burn up a few calories in just keeping his heart and lungs going. This sluggish behaviour can only encourage the animal to put on weight and to put on fat. It now makes sense to take your dog for a walk not more than a half-hour after his big meal of the day. This very gentle exercise will also stimulate his digestion. Then after a few hours have gone by, you can put him through a more demanding regimen of activity.

For smaller breeds, simply taking a dog outdoors to relieve himself constitutes a certain amount of exercise. Exercise assists but does not cause defaccation and a dog does not need exercise to loosen his bowels unless he is ill.

RUNNING

The cheetah is the fastest land animal known and has been clocked in short bursts up to sixty miles an hour. Dogs in the wild do a lot of running but mostly when they are hunting or chasing prey. Taking a dog on a daily run is not necessarily in its best interest. Dogs should never be run on hard surfaces like pavements or paved roads but on earth. If you insist on having your dog jog then make certain that the pace is a fast walk or trot rather than a run, of course this should never be allowed in hot weather. Always check the dog's feet after a run for cuts and rawness.

DANGERS OF HEAT

A dog can sweat through his feet pads, anus and tongue. He does not have the heat releasing mechanisms of many other animals. Dogs are susceptible to heatstroke and other related problems. Dogs that were bred for cold climates such as Huskies, Akita's have been transplanted by people to warm climates this is not natural and one can expect behavioral and health problems.

Dogs react to heat by panting or digging holes in the earth under shady trees or bushes. Locking dogs in closed cars can be fatal because a car heats and so do dogs. Exercise raises your dog's metabolism and boosts his temperature, which in turn can turn to heatstroke. For obese dogs the problem is worse. Never exercise a dog in the heat of the day and keep his weight under control. It also a good idea to give your dog his water dish to enable him to drink before a walk.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness

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Copyright © 1997 by David Klein. Do you have any problems with your pet? Then why not send your problem to DAVID THE DOGMAN. David is a Canine Behaviourist who works and lives in Marbella, Spain. Tel/Fax (00345) 2883388. His web site is located at: http://www.thedogman.net. David has his own radio and TV shows, and writes for many newspapers and magazines. David has been working with dogs for many years and started his career in Israel, working on the Border Police. He has been involved in all forms of training, including air sea rescue, air scent work, and has trained dogs for finding drugs. David has devoted the past 10 years to studying behaviour and the very passive approach. He does not use choke chains, check chains, or any form of aggression.

David The Dogman is available for private consultations in your home, for further details telephone; Tel; (95) 2883388


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