Tips for exercising a large breed puppy in an easy to follow guide.
Most people take all puppies to be the same but some species of puppies need more attention and care than others and a large breed puppy is an example of such breed. Getting a large breed puppy can be fun and exciting but how well do you know these species, how are you caring for her, what are you feeding her with, how much exercise are you exposing her to. I bet most of you didn’t consider these factors while getting the fierce German shepherd or the adorable Golden retriever.
Know your Puppy
The large breed puppies are breeds of dogs who weigh more than 80 pounds in their adulthood. Some examples of this breed are; German shepherd, Golden retriever, Greyhound, Mastiff etc. Owning a puppy from this breed is quite exciting, it is little and cute but in a short period of time, it will grow into a huge dog and impossible to carry around. A large breed puppy grows tremendously fast so it needs special treatment different from other puppies.
The Right Diet For a Large Breed Puppy
Most people are ignorant of the feeding habits of this breed so they tend to overfeed her due to her growing size thereby endangering the puppy’s health. The first thing to do is to consult your veterinarian for the appropriate feeds and methods of feeding. A puppy from this breed can grow into a giant fur within 6 months, such growth needs the right food in its right proportion to avoid much pressure on the bones and joints.
A large breed puppy which is below 6 months is to be strictly fed three(3) times daily and food should not be left on her plate to avoid over feeding. The puppy’s meal should have all nutrients in their normal level with protein and calories being the highest. This is to help the puppy grow slowly and it is also to prepare her joints and bones for the weight of adulthood.
Due to the size of this breed, caution should also be applied in the consumption rate, a large breed puppy is to be supervised while eating to ensure that the food is slowly consumed, this is to avoid bloating ( this is the twist of the abdomen due to rapid consumption of food, water or air. It is a life threatening condition). After the meal, it is advised that the puppy should be given 1 hour rest before any activity to allow proper digestion of food.
Tips for Effective Exercise for a Large Breed Puppy
All breeds of puppy need exercise and a large breed puppy is no exception. You might expect your large breed puppy to be all ready for jogging and jumping but don’t be deceived by the size, her skeletal maturity is between 18 months and 2 years so you need to go easy on her.
Here are some tips for exercising a large breed puppy;
- Creating an exercise routine: For consistency and better exercising experience, you need to schedule an exercise routine, planning when to take the puppy out for exercise, the type of exercise for the day and duration. For a puppy, a strenuous exercise is not required to prevent joint damage.
- Use of Toys: You can make use of toys while exercising with the puppy, as you know puppies like to chew and tackle but be careful with what they chew. Using the Fetch method is also good, you can use a new method; throw the toy to a reasonable distance and run with your puppy to see who gets to it first. Puppies under 6 months should however spend a maximum of 10 minutes in running games.
- On-Leash Walk: This might look so simple but it’s a great way of exercising. Most people misuse leash by pulling the puppy but that is very wrong, let your energy match up with that of the puppy in order to achieve a great walk.
- Hiking (Off-Leash): This is another great way of exercising with your puppy. This enables her to cover a larger ground than when on the leash. As good as this exercise may seem, it requires great discipline and you must be sure of your puppy’s behavior before starting the off-leash exercise.
- Swimming: Most exercises seem harmful to your puppy’s fragile bones and joints but swimming is quite harmless but requires great caution. Take your puppy swimming under your intensive supervision to avoid physical accidents. Swimming is simple and refreshing even for you.
How Much Exercise is Harmful
Exercise is good for puppies but excessive exercise causes so much harm. Too much exercise causes damage to the growth plates (these are responsible for making the bone grow longer and more dense). Excessive exercise can also cause joint and bone problems like early onset of arthritis and hip dysplasia. Exercise should be on a normal level (not too much, not too little), this is why a schedule is necessary.
Cover Photo: by Matthias Zomer: https://www.pexels.com/photo/blue-merle-great-dane-103540/
Black & Pups at play : Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels
Jack Russell on Beach: CAnva