I’m sure you know that feeling. That all over body ache the day after the first lawn cut of the year, overdoing the spring clean, or the DIY, all spurred on by the sunshine. It won’t be long until we’re all able to travel further afield to enjoy out-door exercise with friends and family.

If your dog has also been plodding around your local area during lockdown, we really need to consider building up their fitness before we enthusiastically drag them off for an all-day adventure. Dogs too get sore and stiff muscles after exercise. They can also become injured, or suffer exhaustion from over exertion.

Building exercise slowly

The PDSA have a handy guide to dog exercise here  A dog’s breed can give you an indication of the traits the dog was bred to do eg. Border Collies bred to herd sheep. However, it isn’t a guarantee. Not all Collies are able to work with sheep. Despite being a Lab x Springer, Jake doesn’t like swimming! Dogs too are individuals with differing personalities and preferences.

The age factor and physical ability will also make a difference. Jake and Truly are older dogs, and with Jake’s arthritis and Truly’s wobbly legs, nowadays they are limited to short strolls, plenty of rest, with a picnic not far from the car.

At the opposite end of the age spectrum, puppies and young dogs are also limited by their age and physical ability. Too much exercise too soon can damage a puppy’s developing skeletal system. In particular, the delicate developing bones of their legs, and the growth plates (the soft areas of developing cartilage tissue found by the end of the dog’s long bones). Depending on the size of your dog, this growth process can take between 8 and 20 months. Your Vet will be able to advise you specifically for your dog.

Should you have any general questions about exercise for your dog whatever their age, I thoroughly recommend having a chat with your Vet. They will be able to offer you tailored advice to meet the needs of you and your dog.

In summary, we’re all looking forward to the safe end of lockdown. Let’s use the time we have to prepare our dogs for a safe and happy adventure 😊

Until next time


ps Pet Log the UK Pet microchip registration and database run by Kennel Club has recently upgraded its website. If your dog is registered with them, you need to set up a new online account to be able to update your pet’s status. I completed Jake and Truly’s this afternoon, and it took less than five mins.


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