VCA Health Associates Animal Hospital

Match Your Dog's Breed Type to the Right Exercise

- Provided by

I’ve always been an active person, so I admit I never felt I had to exercise. I didn’t need a gym; we live on a ranch, and I happily tackle my chores, which has always given me both a mental and physical break from sitting in my home office.

While I’m outside breathing the fresh air, I haul out the Chuckit and help our dogs get moving too. An active mind in an active body is the ideal, for pets and people both.

A few months ago, though, I decided that although I was doing OK, I knew I could feel even better. Fortunately for me, my wife, Teresa, is an expert on diet and exercise, and she has long practiced what she preaches. I took my wife’s advice (and my doctor’s) and joined her for workouts in our home gym. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

See, I thought I had my fitness under control, but I needed to take a fresh look at what I was doing and make some changes. The same is often true when it comes to your dog: No one form of exercise fits every dog, and even then, what worked at one time might need changing now and then.

Start With a Conversation With Your Veterinarian

No matter what age, size, shape, breed or mix of dog you have, you can’t just push him into an exercise program until you know he is healthy. That has long been the advice for people wanting to improve their diet and physical condition, and it makes just as much sense for dogs. So see your veterinarian before you start adding new activities to your dog's day.

Once your veterinarian gives you the go-ahead, look at your dog, For some dogs, the true multi-sport athletes in fur, almost any kind of exercise is great and more of it is even better. With other dogs, however, you have be careful: Some kinds of exercise are just not suitable for certain types of dogs. Two kinds of dogs in particular are likely to be intolerant of some kinds of exercise: Dogs with short faces, and dogs with short legs and long backs.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.