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When exercising your puppy or young dog, you need to be aware of how much exercise he is getting at one time. Think “moderation” and you will be fine. A young dog’s bones and joints are still developing – the growth plates generally don’t close before 12-18 months. Large breeds may take a bit longer. Over-exercise could be harmful to those young bones and joints. If you’re uncertain, be sure to consult your veterinarian before allowing your young dog to participate in any vigorous exercise. Puppies and young dogs are just like children – you wouldn’t allow your youngster to jump out of a pickup truck or off a high wall – they could be injured; so could your dog if over-exerted. Puppies are better off playing together rather than with an adult dog who tends to overdo work and play. Gentle play will strengthen a puppy’s muscles, ligaments and tendons, avoiding potential injury.
If you want to jog with your young dog, be conscious of the distance, pace, and time. There’s no reason why a young dog can’t jog with you, but time, distance, or pace needs to be considered and increased slowly! As your dog grows and develops, you’ll build the strength and stamina he requires without incurring injury. I’m pretty conservative when it comes to the health of my dog – taking the chance of overexertion just because I want a partner is foolhardy. Help your young dog grow up healthy and strong by remembering that moderation is key!