Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Their activity levels depend on various factors that make up their breed and genetic and physical composition. Although activity levels range from dog to dog, you can over-exercise your dog. Like humans, over-exercising can lead to decreased activity levels, energy, and overall harm than good. Be sure to reflect on your dog’s activity levels and pay attention to their behavior and movements to ensure you are not over-exercising.
How can you over-exercise your dog?
Over-exercising occurs when you suddenly increase the level of activity for your dog and perform this often. For example, if you suddenly went from half-hour walks four times a week to 1 hour walks daily, this is a significant change for your dog’s exercise routine, and they did not have enough time to adjust, causing them to feel overworked. Over-exercising can also occur if the level of activity being performed is too physically demanding for the dog’s composition. For example, a dog that’s gained a couple of pounds cannot be expected to lose weight by suddenly going on runs. This will also overwork the dog’s capability.
If you aren’t sure about the level of activity you have for your dog, here are some signs of over-exercise to look out for.
Signs of Over Exercise:
Rough Looking Paw Pads
If your dog’s paw pads are looking worn, this may be a sign of over-exercising, especially if you notice these changes after your new exercise routine. Their paw pads can be worn and torn, and this can cause them pain. If your dog has blistered paw pads or if you notice blood, please keep your dog off their paws and phone your vet for additional instructions.
Muscle Soreness or Change in Movement
Like humans, too much exercise for dogs can make their muscles sore, and moving can become uncomfortable. Muscle soreness results from overworked muscles that need to rest to regenerate and heal. Progressive muscle soreness can lead to damaged muscles and significantly affect your dog’s health. If you notice your dog refraining from movement or walking oddly, it may be a sign of muscle soreness, especially if it follows a rigorous exercise the day before.
Heat-related Sickness or Overheating
Heat-related effects on the body can be dangerous and life-threatening for both dogs and humans alike. Every animal has an average body temperature that fluctuates regularly depending on the environment and activity level. If body temperature stays raised for a prolonged period, this can have deadly consequences. If you notice your dog experiencing any of these symptoms of overheating, stop your activity right away and try to cool your dog down: panting, noisy breathing, collapsing or convulsion, change in gum color, vomiting, diarrhea, change in body temperature.
Please take your dog to the vet immediately if you think your dog is overheating.
Just like humans, dogs can also get joint injuries. Injuries to the joint can cause additional pain in your dog’s everyday movements. These injuries can affect the way your dog walks and responds to physical activity. Some breeds are more susceptible to joint injuries than others. Be sure to do your research on your dog breed to ensure that you aren’t over-exercising your dog. If your dog does have a joint injury, make sure you visit your vet to receive proper treatment, as sometimes these injuries can have lasting effects on your pet’s health.
Changes in Behavior
The changes in your dog’s usual behavior and personality can express how they are feeling. If your dog goes from being excited about going out to not responding in their usual manner, this may be an indication that something is not right. Some irregular behaviors include: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, dehydration, abnormal drooling, fever, change gum color, lack of urine, rapid pulse, tremors, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness.
Exercising your dog is an important part of their daily routine and overall health. However, over-exercising can do the opposite of what we want to do. Over-exercising your dog is real, and keeping an eye out for their behavior and mood can potentially help them out in the long run. Keep an eye out for these signs of over-exercise as it may save their life.
If you’re looking for experienced dog walkers or dog joggers, please contact us for more information. Our professional employees can walk or jog your dog according to their physical abilities. If you have any additional questions about over-exercise or our services, please contact us.