Exercise can provide your dog with a huge number of physical and mental benefits, but there can be a point where they’re getting a little too much exercise for their own good. Not all dogs are equal, hence why it’s important to try and understand that different dogs need different amounts of exercise. The breed, size, and lifestyle of the dog can have a huge impact on how much exercise your dog should be getting.
Ideally, you’ll want to learn more about the breed of your dog through experience and also your veterinarian. This will help you work out how much exercise your dog needs to stay fit and healthy, but also ensure that they’re not overworking themselves. However, there are also signs that they’re working a bit too hard. In this post, we’ll be describing those signs to help ensure that you’re not putting your dog at risk.
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Your dog shows signs of muscle stiffness
Stiffness in dogs is usually identified by their behavior. They’ll often be reluctant to run, jump or climb stairs. They might also keep holding their legs up, or they’ll have visibility swollen legs or joints. In some cases, they might constantly lick a part of their body more than usual. This may indicate that the dog is feeling pain in that area which could be caused by stiffness.
If you notice this happens shortly after exercising or even without exercise at all, then you may be able to soothe their muscles with products such as Royal Balm. Pet balms are designed to relieve troubled skin areas and give relief to sore muscles. They are typically used on paws to protect them from hazards and soothe affected areas. Heat therapy may also help with stiff joints and muscles. For this, apply a hot towel to the affected area (make sure it’s not uncomfortably hot) and leave for around 10 to 15 minutes before reapplying. We don’t recommend using electrically-heated pads, but microwavable pet heating pads can be a good alternative.
Your dog shows signs of a joint injury
Dogs carry over half of their weight on their front limbs. This puts considerably more stress on these joints which can cause joint injuries if they exercise too much. In fact, excessive exercise can cause sprains, meniscus tears, and other joint-related issues. This is further exacerbated in dogs that are lower to the ground because they have joints with an unusual shape. Younger puppies are more susceptible to this because they are still developing. If they have too much exercise, then it could develop problems later in life due to overusing their joints.
Dogs that have sustained a joint injury will usually have an imbalanced gait. They may use one leg more than the other or they may raise their head slightly more when walking on a bad leg. They may also lick the leg if they feel there is pain. They may also show reluctance to jump or go up and down stairs.
So whether you’ve recently adopted a new dog or have been a long-time dog owner, it’s important to remember that too much exercise for your dog can be a bad thing. It’s important to look out for these signs so you get a better understanding of their condition and how you can safeguard their wellbeing.