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Heidi has HD and arthritis and her vet said walking and swimming are the best exercise for her. Hiking is fine. We walk the four miles around the lake near our house pretty frequently and Heidi does fine with that, but I was wondering how much farther she would be ok with walking. So Sunday we took to the trails and went about six miles. By the time we returned to our car, Heidi was walking slower and slower and seemed to be limping a tiny bit. When we got home, she seemed happy, but went straight to her crate for a long nap. I think if we do that hike again, we will bring our lunch and take a LONG break in the middle. Any comments about how much walking is too much for a dog with arthritis?
 

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Heidi has HD and arthritis and her vet said walking and swimming are the best exercise for her. Hiking is fine. We walk the four miles around the lake near our house pretty frequently and Heidi does fine with that, but I was wondering how much farther she would be ok with walking. So Sunday we took to the trails and went about six miles. By the time we returned to our car, Heidi was walking slower and slower and seemed to be limping a tiny bit. When we got home, she seemed happy, but went straight to her crate for a long nap. I think if we do that hike again, we will bring our lunch and take a LONG break in the middle. Any comments about how much walking is too much for a dog with arthritis?
based on that, it seems 6 miles is too much. id stick with the 4 miles. swimming would be easier on the joints of course, if you can mix any of that in.
 

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Heidi loves to swim and now that it is warming up, I will take her swimming a lot. I worry about the water being too cold for her joints. Is that a foolish worry?
 

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You have to play it by ear, both the swimming and walking. So long as she tolerates it well, it's good. If she really slows down and starts limping, that's too much.
 

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Heidi loves to swim and now that it is warming up, I will take her swimming a lot. I worry about the water being too cold for her joints. Is that a foolish worry?
agree w/ elaine. you will have to see how she tolerates it. swimming can generate a good amount of heat in a dogs body. its a good idea to keep a towel with you so you can dry her off when she is done, especially if the air is cooler. of course, safety is paramount, especially for an older arthritic dog, depending on where she swims. i know they make leads that float if that is a concern.
 
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