Activities For Dogs With Hypoglycemia

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Introduction

Do you have a precious pup who suffers from hypoglycemia?  Have you had to deal with some scary situations because they've collapsed due to low blood sugar?  If you have ever been in this situation with a beloved furry family member, then you are well aware of the helplessness that is felt when it comes to finding a way to avoid the recurrence of the episode.  It is fairly well known that exercise as well as hot weather, excitement and stress are all factors which can have an affect on blood sugar levels in both humans as well as dogs.  So, how do you establish and maintain an exercise routine which will keep your pet healthy but also not cause blood sugar crashes?  We wish to suggest some activities which, when engaged in for short periods of time, can help to achieve these goals.

Casual Walking

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Any Day
Free
Easy
15 - 20 min
Items needed
Collar or halter
Leash
Sweet snack, honey or syrup
Activity description
Walking is always considered the best exercise activity for overall health.  Most people and animals can do this pretty easily and it's FREE!  You can walk in any weather, at your own pace, anywhere you like for as long as you like.  If you have a dog who suffers from episodes of hypoglycemia, you will need to make some adjustments in your normal routine ... for example, you will likely need to keep your pace more casual and your walk duration will likely need to be only 15 to 20 minutes at a maximum to avoid unnecessary stress and fatigue for your precious pooch. These casual walks can be done several times a day to afford your pet the maximum benefit of the exercise.  Having a sweet snack along with you while you walk will help if your pet's blood sugar does drop, giving you the opportunity to remedy the situation before it becomes emergent.
Step
1
Feed a small meal
The first step before any activity that requires physical exertion should be to feed your pet a small meal. This will provide the necessary protein and carbohydrates that will be needed for the physical exertion to follow. This may help to reduce the chance that a low blood sugar episode will be triggered.
Step
2
Collar and leash your pet
Put the collar or halter securely on your walking "wagger" and attach the leash securely. It is important that you perform this step to maintain safety and control during your walk. Also, don't attach the leash until you are actually ready to walk out of the door as this step usually signals to the pet that something they love is coming next. This can build excitement and unnecessary stress too early in the process ... and remember that excitement and stress are also factors which can have an effect on blood sugar levels.
Step
3
Enjoy the walk!
When you're ready to walk, attach the leash and open the door to the beautiful sunshine outside. Your walking "wagger" will probably drag you out the door, down the steps and out to the sidewalk or street. Talk soothingly to your canine companion in an attempt to keep the stress and excitement levels lower. Assume your casual pace and walk your pet for 15 to 20 minutes unless you begin to notice the symptoms of falling blood sugar. If this happens, stop immediately and give your pet the sweet snack to eat or, even better, rub honey or syrup on their gums. This will help to increase the blood sugar levels pretty quickly. Return home as soon as you can and allow your pet to rest. Monitor their condition and seek emergent medical attention if the condition worsens or does not improve.
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Toy Toss

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Any Day
Free
Easy
10 - 15 min
Items needed
Collar or halter
Leash
Sweet snack, honey or syrup
Activity description
This is an activity which can quickly get out of control if you aren't careful.  Dogs love chasing and retrieving toys or other items of interest and they can get really excited and frisky when this game is played.  You must work very hard to control the pace of the game, allowing your cuddly canine to rest between retrievals.  Because the pace can ramp up pretty quickly and can take a serious toll on your pet, it is best to keep the duration of this game to 10 to 15 minutes, with lots of down time between retrievals. A couple of things to remember: always feed a small meal before beginning the game and keep a sweet remedy close at hand just in case a blood sugar episode occurs.
Step
1
Feed a small meal
This is a step which always must be done before you begin any activity which involves exertion and physical endurance. Because dogs play hard at what they love, and because retrieval games are among their favorites, extra care must be taken to maintain as casual a pace as possible. Allowing for rest periods between retrievals will go a long way toward keeping the pace more casual. Feeding the small meal before you start will provide a fresh reserve of protein and carbs from which your pet's body can derive the energy needed to play the game.
Step
2
Choose the toy
By choosing your pet's favorite toy, you will instantly get their attention. This will also increase the excitement level as they watch and wonder what you're going to do with that toy. We doubt you'll need to provide much in the way of encouragement to get your canine companion interested in your toy toss game. The problem will be to keep the excitement levels lower as well as the pace they will want to run as they get into the game.
Step
3
Toss and play
Toss the toy an easy distance from you and encourage your pet to bring it back to you. This part may be the most challenging of all because they may not want to return it at first. Keep encouraging the return and, after a couple of repeats, they'll get the idea and then they'll be hard to stop! Subsequent toy toss games shouldn't involve any problems at all when it comes to encouragement. Remember your sweet snack, honey or syrup and keep it close at hand just in case you need it.
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Find and Fetch

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Any Day
Free
Normal
10 - 15 min
Items needed
Collar or halter
Leash
Favorite toys or treats
Sugary treat, honey or syrup
Activity description
This game closely resembles the toy toss and, like the toy toss, the pace of it can get out of hand quickly if you're not careful and requires the same precautions about feeding, controlled pace and emergency sugary snack.  Since physical exertion and excitement are two factors which can influence blood sugar levels, you will need to carefully keep the pace in control, lest it trigger a low blood sugar episode.  The pace can easily be controlled by allowing your precious pet to rest between fetches or between every two or three fetches.  You may need to feed them some of the treats to get them to rest.  Be sure have the sugary snack, honey or syrup close at hand just in case you notice the early low blood sugar symptoms. If that occurs, stop immediately and either feed the sugary snack or rub the honey or syrup directly on the gums of your pet.  This will generally resolve the episode within a few minutes.
Step
1
Choose treasured toys
By choosing your dog's favorite or treasured toys, you will get their attention very quickly as they will pay close attention to what you're doing with that treasured toy. The hard part will likely be getting them to return the toy to you...you know that it is said "possession is nine-tenths of the law" and, once they have possession, they may wish to keep and protect it.
Step
2
Hide and encourage find and fetch
Keep your hiding places for the toys fairly simple and easy to find to reduce the stress on your pup. Keep the game to 15 or less to avoid fatiguing your doggy diva. Getting your doggy to get the 'find' part of the game the first time may be challenging but once they see the plan, they'll eagerly keep right on playing.
Step
3
Find, fetch and fun
A reminder is important here, again, to feed a small meal before beginning the game and keep the pace of the game controlled to a moderate or slower pace so that you don't risk triggering a low blood sugar event. Encourage your precious pet to rest periodically during your play period. You may find, to get your very excited canine to rest, a treat or two may need to be fed during rest period. This will serve two purposes: it will get your dog to stop to rest and it will provide nourishment and energy for them while they play the game. Keep the game fun above all!
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More Fun Ideas...

Shop in the Pet Boutique

Most of us love to walk around and browse through various items in our favorite shop or boutique.  This activity is a great one which you can do with your best buddy on any day, in any state any time you like.  Most pet stores or boutiques welcome visits from you and your buddy, allowing you to stroll casually up and down each aisle, with your pet sniffing and investigating the many items they carry.

Car Ride

Most canine companions love to go with their owners in the car or truck.  Sometimes, simply saying the phrase "truck ride" or "car ride" can send your pup, quivering in excitement and anticipation, straight to the door!  What a great way to break up the potential boredom of your pet's day with a scenic ride!

Romp in the Dog Park

If you are so blessed as to have a dog park in your area, this can be an ideal place to take your best bud to play safely and away from vehicular dangers.  This is a great way to exercise your pet and socialize with other pet parents.  It's amazing how many interesting people (and dogs) you can meet who  can add to the life you share with your precious pooch.

Short Pool Swim

Swimming is such great exercise for everyone, man and dog alike!  This activity exercises just about every muscle in the body and it is virtually no impact, which is great if you or your dog needs to be wary of high impact activities.

Conclusion

As you can see, activities for dogs with hypoglycemia are simple and easy in which to engage your cuddly canine.  Just because they suffer from episodes of hypoglycemia doesn't mean they can't have fun, play and exercise just like any other dog.  It doesn't mean that you can't share in that fun with your best buddy, either!  It just means that you'll have to be a little more creative and be willing to make adjustments to the activity like: the way it is performed,  the pace of the activity and keep emergency sugary snacks, honey or syrup handy.  Keep it fun and enjoy the bonding experience with your best friend!