Nov 17, 2023

Exercise as Medicine for Dogs: National Take a Hike Day

Posted by Bob under Exercise For Pets

Happy National Take a Hike Day! As you have probably heard us say before, hiking can be a great exercise for both people and dogs to help control symptoms of osteoarthritis.

We frequently discuss the benefits of regular, low-impact exercise for dogs. Walking can be very beneficial when it comes to joint health. Low-impact exercise can lubricate joints and strengthen muscles, two benefits that may delay the onset or reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Hiking can be a good way to mix up your regular walks around the neighborhood.

While hiking can be fun and beneficial for both dog and owner, it is best to check with your veterinarian before embarking on any major hikes. Experts agree that regular, short-interval exercise is key, as opposed to doing one big activity on the weekends, such as a long or strenuous hike. That being said, there are many hiking trails that are shorter and less strenuous. It’s a good idea to do your research to find a hike suited to your dog’s athletic ability.

Mick, Dr. Harman’s dog, on a hike with a view!

Our very own founder and CEO, Dr. Bob Harman, spends his spare time hiking with his border collie, Mick. As an avid hiker, Dr. Harman sometimes spends several days hiking and camping in the mountains in and around California. With his experience and passion for the sport, Dr. Harman offers advice for hikers of all levels: Choose your trail and map out your hike before you leave the house. This will ensure you know what to expect on your hike so you can prepare yourself and your dog accordingly. Always make sure to pack enough water and a snack or two for both yourself and your canine companion. Keep an eye out for signs of fatigue, dehydration, or discomfort in your dog. If you notice any concerning signs, it may be best to turn back before finishing the hike. You can always try again another day!

Happy trails, my friends!

Mar 8, 2010

What’s The Right Amount of Regular Exercise for My Dog?

Posted by Bob under from the vet, Pain in Pets

The following blog post is from Sandy Gregory, an exercise physiologist at Scout’s House, a provider of products for disabled and special needs pets. Sandy graciously offered her time to write a special blog post for us.



Photos courtesy of Scout’s House

What’s The Right Amount of Regular Exercise for My Dog?
by Sandy Gregory, M Ed, RVT, CCRA
Exercise Physiologist at Scout’s House

Whether you and your dog are training for something competitive or  are just having fun, there are several factors to consider before starting a new exercise program:

1)  Get Your Vet’s Ok—Talk to your veterinarian to make sure your dog is healthy enough to exercise. 
2)  Start Easy—Don’t go full force into a workout program.  Consider the activity level and age of your dog first.  If he’s a puppy, he shouldn’t get more than 15 minutes of exercise at a time, 3 times a day.  And never exercise a puppy on hard surfaces as that can damage growing bones and joints.  Likewise, if your dog is older or doesn’t move easily, if he’s overweight, or if he has a short nose or short legs, he won’t have much endurance to start.  Read the rest of this entry »