Take your small dog for a walk.
Most small dogs have a ton of energy to burn. Whether you own a teacup or terrier canine companion, the best exercise for your pup is one that fits their stature and ability. With a few minor adjustments to almost any routine, you can create the perfect regimen to keep your furry friend happy, healthy and in good shape.
Just a Little Jog
For years I owned medium to large-sized dogs. They were my constant companions. If I ran, they ran with me. If I swam, they took the plunge, too. But, the first time I tried to embark on a three-mile jog with my little Shih Tzu, I was in for a rude awakening. As much as she wanted to go with me, at about the 1.5 mile marker, she was done. She planted herself on the pavement and refused to go any further - even after a water break. So, on that hot, sweaty summer morning, I ended up walking back home with my pup in my arms.
Lesson learned: small dogs need smaller routes to run - it's that simple. Their little legs have to go twice as fast to keep up with us, so they need just a little jog to fulfill their exercise needs. Start your dog on a 10-minute run and add a few minutes each time out until you reach their particular exercise set point.
Play Date at the Dog Park
For socially-adept petite pups, some of the best exercise comes in the form of a play date with a companion similar in stature and stamina. Chasing a small friend around the dog park is hard work, but, someone's got to do it. Let your pup enjoy 15 to 30 minutes of exercise time under your watchful supervision with ample time for water and potty breaks.
Agility Course Run
Small and smart dogs love a challenge and love to please. Testing their agility can go a long way in satisfying their competitive drive and provide a wonderful outlet for exercise. Specialized small-dog agility courses with shorter lengths and height-adjusted obstacles can work wonders in keeping your little dog's svelte figure in check.
Here's a news flash - large or small, the exercise your dog will enjoy most is the one they do with you. Anything that involves movement goes. I can spend half an hour pushing my feisty little pug away from me across the tile floor - just so she can run back and be pushed away again. She'll play tug-of-war with an old sock until I give up. It really doesn't matter what game I invent, she loves every minute of the action as long as I'm involved. Just find a game your pup enjoys and play it on a regular basis for the easiest way to bond and exercise with your small dog.
No matter the activity, small dogs are best exercised with activities that fit their size and capacity. After that, it's just a matter of finding a routine that you'll both enjoy to keep it fun and beneficial.Content by Terry Mulligan.