Exercise is always recommended for dogs as it has many physical and mental benefits. It helps maintain an appropriate weight, promote healthy bones, and keep their digestive and circulatory system healthy.
Surely, your Shiba Inu is a ball of neverending energy; they definitely have a lot to burn, which makes them a good candidate for overexercising.
For owners who have an overweight dog, exercise seems like a really good idea, and it is! However, suddenly putting your obese pooch in an overly extensive workout plan can bring more harm than good.
This is why it is important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and movement and be mindful of its activities to ensure you are not overexercising them.
What is overexercising?
Overexercising is when there is an overwhelming increase in your dog’s activity. This could be when his half-hour walk thrice a week suddenly becomes a daily one-hour walk. This is a big change, especially when you don’t give your Shiba Inu enough time to adjust.
Overexercising is also when the activity and intensity level is too much for your dog to handle. A prime example is when you put your overweight dog on an extreme exercise regime, expecting him to lose weight quickly.
Not only are you overworking your dog, but you are also putting him at risk of injuries.
Signs you are overexercising your Shiba Inu
Dogs also have limits, but sometimes, it doesn’t show, making owners think it’s okay to go further. This is why you must pay attention to the signs that you might be overexerting your Shiba.
Tear on the paw pads
Too much running can cause wear and tear on the paw pads, which can be extremely painful for your dog. The downside is that dogs would choose play over pain a million times over as long as they take it.
This is why take the time to check over your pooch’s paw. Overworked paw pads may have visible flaps of skin, and might appear red, sensitive, or thinner than normal. If it is infected, you’ll see swelling and pus.
Similar to foot injuries in humans, pad injuries can make walking uncomfortable and agonizing.
Muscle pain is another sign of overexercise, and this usually shows after an intensive activity. After your dog rests and you see it struggling to get up, or refusing to walk, then it might be experiencing muscle soreness.
Some dogs even cry out in pain or refuse to eat their next meal because bending down to the floor hurts.
The real danger is when your dog has a strong drive to work and play and push itself through the pain, increasing the risk of injury. This is up to the owner to understand its body language and set limits to exercise and playtime.
Panting in dogs is normal, but when you notice your Shiba is heavily panting, it might have over-extended itself.
If you see your dog having difficulty catching its breath during exercise, let him recover for five to ten minutes or until he starts to breathe normally before continuing or calling it a day.
Exhaustion and slowness
If your Shiba has been lagging or is slower during exercise, then it’s a sign that they are exhausted and struggling, especially if this is not the usual.
If you are out and this happens during a walk or a run, give them water and some treats, allow them to catch their breath, and then head home through the easiest route.