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Keeping Fido Fit

November 15, 2023

Is your canine companion super active? Or is Fido more of a furry, four-legged couch potato? No matter how energetic your furry pal is, it’s important to make sure he’s getting the right type and amount of activity. Read on as a local Des Moines, IA vet offers some advice on keeping your pooch in shape.


Most dogs need at least a daily walk. This is of course necessary for sanitary reasons, but it’s also a great way to keep your pup in shape. Just put safety first: stick to safe areas and use a sturdy leash and a collar or harness that is both comfy for Fido and visible. 


While not all of our four-legged pals are cut out for swimming, some of them take to water like furry, barking ducks. Swimming is great exercise, as it provides a cardio workout that won’t strain your dog’s bones or joints. Of course, this isn’t a good option for dogs that don’t enjoy the water. If Fido isn’t much for swimming, don’t force him!


If we could poll our canine patients, and ask them what their favorite workout is, it’s probably safe to say that many of them would choose games, such as Tag. Take time to play with your furry friend every day. If your dog has more energy than you do, opt for games that have Fido doing all the work while you stay still. Laser pointers and Fetch are great for this. If you have room, you can also get your pup a mechanical ball launcher. Just choose one that’s the right size.


Fido may love playing Fetch and Frisbee, but those aren’t his only options. Consider working on agility training, or perhaps trying some doggy sports. There are plenty of options, from tracking to dock diving to even skateboarding. Ask your vet for tips.


All of our canine companions are different, and their exercise regimens should reflect that. It’s important to choose activities that are suitable for your pooch. Those options will ultimately depend on Fido’s age, size, health, and breed. For instance, brachycephalic dogs, such as pugs, shouldn’t be encouraged to run or otherwise exert themselves, because they are at such high risk of respiratory issues. A Greyhound, however, may enjoy going for a daily jog with his human. Do some breed research, and ask your vet for recommendations.

Do you have questions about caring for your pet? Contact us, your Des Moines, IA pet hospital, today!

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