• Linda Healy

Fitness for your dog

You want to create an exercise program for you dog that is safe. So start off slowly, be consistent and patient, and you can gradually increase the level of activity when she shows that she's ready for more. Take it real easy if your dog is still a youngster. Puppies aren't as coordinated as adults. Their muscles aren't fully developed and their bones are softer. They are also more susceptible to the heat and cold.

Puppies do need some moderate exercise, but serious fitness training should't start until after they are 14 months old. That's when the last of the growth plates on their bones close. Increase your young dog's fitness program gradually, over a period of several months. And give an adolescent dog time to develop her coordination and get used to her maturing body.

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