Activities For Dogs With Asthma

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Introduction

Asthma can be a condition that is easily controlled, yet the illness can often scare pet parents when they witness their precious pup wheezing uncontrollably. However, asthma does not need to be a sentence of a lifetime of inactivity! There are many activities that you and your asthmatic pup can participate in so long as running and overexertion is not involved. Furthermore, parents of asthmatic pets need to ensure that they don't expose their pups to weather that is either too hot or too cold. In fact, indoor exercise involving mental activity with only moderate physical stimulation might be just the thing for your asthmatic pup.

Take a Stroll

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
15 min
Items needed
leash
dog waste bags
Activity description
An asthmatic dog may require some restrictions to their activity, but don't let that keep you from giving your dog any activity at all. Do you live in a neighborhood with nice sidewalks? Does your street have little traffic in the early morning or late evening? Would you like a little low-impact activity yourself? Then consider taking your dog out for a stroll around the neighborhood. Certainly, you will want to go at an easy pace as you walk around. You might even stop and speak to neighbors. The neighborhood children will enjoy greeting your pup as well. The most important thing to remember is to allow your dog activity without allowing them to become excited or to become overexerted.
Step
1
Get ready to go
All good exercise sessions can benefit from a good warm-up. While you stretch, you might incorporate your dog into your movements. Reach for them. Put on their leash and command them to go to the door while you stretch your arms. Maybe your pup can walk a few circles around you to warm his muscles up. Make it fun!
Step
2
Have meds on hand
If you are walking at an easy pace, the temperature is not stifling (or freezing), and your dog is not around triggers such as dust and exhaust from vehicles, you should not have to worry that they will have an asthma attack while out and about. However, it is always good to have an inhaler for your dog handy, just in case an attack occurs.
Step
3
Have fun together
In the beginning, it might be a good idea to keep your trek to ten minutes tops in order to determine how much exercise your asthmatic dog can tolerate. Remember, keep the dog away from triggers, and, if excitement seems to bring on an attack, keep your dog from people or events that get him a little too enthused.
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Food Puzzle Time

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
food puzzle toy
small treats
dry kibble (small)
Activity description
When providing your asthmatic dog with activity, sometimes the best activity doesn't require the dog to get up and move. Sometimes, the best activity for your dog involves honing mental skills. A food puzzle toy does just that. I'm sure you are thinking that allowing your dog to eat as an activity can't be healthy, but, when you utilize a food puzzle toy, your pup just might be burning a few more calories than they are taking in at the time. Food puzzle toys require your dog to shake, paw, nibble, and roll the toy in order to get a small treat out of one of the two holes in the end of the toy. This will give your asthmatic dog some activity without requiring them to move a great deal or get too hot.
Step
1
Learn the game
Most dogs are much more intelligent than we give them credit for. Once they learn they can get food by performing a certain action, they are likely to remember and perform said action over and over again. Often, all you will need to do with the food puzzle toy is to place the food inside, put it down, and let your pup go to work.
Step
2
Practice
You may have to show your dog the first few times just exactly what they need to do with a food puzzle toy. Help your dog to shake the toy. It is recommended that for this part of the lesson that you use small kibble or treats that can move through the puzzle easily.
Step
3
Enjoy
Once your dog has discovered how to utilize the food puzzle toy, the time your dog can spend playing with the toy is endless. Some owners will place healthy snacks inside the food puzzle toy. Some may even place dog-safe peanut butter at one end in order to encourage the dog to pick up the toy with their paws and toss it around in order to get food out. This is strictly up to you.
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Hunting for Supper

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
small kibble
Activity description
Down deep, dogs of all breeds have an innate hunting instinct. This instinct is present no matter how domesticated a dog might be, whether the dog is a small Maltese or a massive Saint Bernard. Asthmatic dogs can not get outside and run and play without the fear of an attack, but this doesn't mean that your pup is sentenced to a sedentary life. On the contrary, your pal may enjoy plenty of activities that tap into their instinctual behavior or other mental stimulation. Hunting for one's supper (or dinner!) is a game which allows for some movement and mental stimulation.
Step
1
Teach the game
Grab a few pieces of small kibble while your pup watches. Allow the dog to see you as you "hide" the kibble in small piles in various places around the house. Let your dog follow you and enjoy the kibble.
Step
2
Time to hunt
Send your dog out of the room as you hide a second set of kibble piles. Next, call your pup into the room. Tell the dog, "Find it!" Allow the dog to find and eat the kibble piles.
Step
3
Have Fun
A great time to play "hunting for supper" is when you are going to be busy or you are going to step out for a bit. Place the kibble piles in various places, but, before you go, show your dog the first pile. Once the dog has finished that pile, tell the dog, "Find It!" This will occupy the pup while you are busy or otherwise out and about.
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More Fun Ideas...

Doggie Daycare

Schedule a play date for your pup! Doggie daycares provide great social opportunities for a dog that might not be able to get out and play otherwise.

Chew Time

Boredom can set in easily for a dog that can't get outdoors and run their energy off. Be sure to provide your dog with plenty of chew toys in order to occupy their mind.

Conclusion

Asthma in dogs is very rare; however, it does exist. Don't let an asthma diagnosis trick you into believing that your dog can't live a rich life! Provide your dog with lots of mental activity and give them opportunities for low-impact exercise such as walking on a regular basis. Always have an inhaler handy for trips away from home, and be sure to give your dog all prescribed medication in order to prevent an attack.