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Exercising Your Maltese


People should take a good look at their Maltese and see if their dog would benefit from regular exercise. The number one reason dogs should exercise is to maintain their weight. Some are overfed and tend to get a little heavy; regular exercise can help control that said Exercise improves muscle tone, so it's good for show dogs. It also builds endurance and can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Exercise can keep a dog happy. If you start a regular schedule, then your Maltese will start anticipating when you're going to take them for a walk or a jog.

Generally, long-legged dogs or members of the sporting, hounds or working groups are best suited for regular jogging or speed walking, but all dogs can use regular walks. As a rule of thumb, with a Maltese, wait until he's 8 months old to start a regular jogging or high-level walking program. Dogs who weigh 45 to 95 pounds can go when they're more than 1 year and giant breeds who weigh more than 100 pounds can start a regular program when they're more than 18 months.

While your Maltese is young, let him exercise in the yard, chase rabbits and birds, free play. You have to give their bones a chance to develop. But it's important to take precautions. Just as a human shouldn't start an exercise program without seeing their physician, your Maltese should be checked out by a veterinarian before beginning a regular exercise program. You want to be sure your dog is healthy. He shouldn't have heartworm or any other parasites.

Don't start your Maltese off with a three mile run or power walk, work up to that distance. If it's a hot day, try to exercise during the cooler parts of the morning or evening. Try to walk in the shade and be sure plenty of water is available to drink. Check the heat of the sidewalk. If it's too hot for you to go barefoot, it's too hot for your Maltese to walk on it. You want a good, obedient dog to exercise with. He should be on a leash and you shouldn't go where there is a lot of traffic.