Dogs need exercise as much as humans do to control their weight and to maintain their health. Basset hounds have special needs when it comes to exercise and staying in shape. Furthermore, these needs are dependent upon the age of the dog because puppies have needs that differ from those of adults. This article will look at the needs of these two life stages so that you can provide the best and most appropriate exercise for your basset hound.
Puppies are not as developed as full grown dogs so they have different needs. Just as children need extra rest during their formative years so too do puppies. This is especially true of basset hounds when they are still puppies because they require rest after activity. This is true of puppies up until they are four to six months old. Their muscles and bones are still developing so this rest period is essential. A lack of sufficient rest at this point can cause problems down the line. It is imperative that children and adults understand this. You have to allow the puppy its down time so as to not exercise the puppy to the point where the activity may have adverse effects. By paying attention to and following these guidelines you can help ensure that your puppy will grow to maturity as healthy as possible. When the puppy is old enough, the rule book will change slightly.
The Adult Years
Once basset hounds have fully formed muscles and bones then extra rest is not as much of a concern as it was with puppies. Basset hounds only need moderate amounts of activity to stay healthy. Because of the short legs common to this breed, running with a basset hound is not advisable. It won't be fun for you, and it will be rough on the dog. Daily walks, however, are perfect. Frequent rest stops may be necessary because of the fact that the dog's legs and stride are so much shorter than yours. This exercise, in conjunction with a healthy diet, will help keep your basset hound from becoming obese, a common problem with this breed. Obesity in basset hounds can result in back trouble, arthritis, or even heart problems. Clearly, weight management is crucial to a basset hound's health.
Dogs need to be at an appropriate weight in order to be healthy. Basset hounds in particular need activity to maintain their weight because of all the risk that obesity brings to them. In both the formative years and into adulthood exercise is the key to maintaining your dog's weight and his health. By doing so, you're maintaining a relationship that will pay your dog back for years.