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Hartpury University issues new exercise guidance for dog owners
Toy breeds require up to 30 minutes’ exercise a day while larger breeds need more than two hours’ exercise daily.

Owners urged to carefully monitor how much exercise their pet receives

Working and competition dogs should be given one day off a week to allow their muscles and tendons to recover.

That is according to new guidance from Hartpury University, following research by animal science lecturer, Aisling Carroll.

Ms Carroll advises that working and competition dogs are exposed to more stresses and strains than the average pet dog.

“Canine sports medicine and rehabilitation professionals have observed that agility dogs trained at a young age to weave or jump and that may be trained repetitively, have an increased risk of injury or develop problems later in life, such as chronic spinal issues,” she said.

“It was found that agility dogs experiencing severe lumbosacral disease had frequently had a history of being overtrained at a young age. These were most commonly larger, more heavy-set breeds, such as golden retrievers.

“This condition appears to be much less common in dogs that began intensive agility training when physically mature.”

Ms Carroll offered the advice based on her studies at Hartpury University and an examination of previously published research.

She also said that dog owners could be putting their pet’s life at risk by not carefully monitoring how much exercise they have each day.

“Dog owners are recommended to walk their dog daily, to keep the animal physically active, to prevent it gaining too much weight, and to provide mental stimulation,” she said. “But depending on the breed, because of differences in their genetic make-up, age and size of the dog, the physical requirements and limits to exercise will differ.”

She continued: “Toy breeds, for instance, such as Chihuahuas, require up to 30 minutes’ exercise a day as adult dogs, while larger breeds, such as Labradors, need more than two hours’ exercise daily.

“Owners need to be aware that some dogs may push themselves beyond safe limits, particularly in multi-dog households where young dogs are exercised in a similar way to adult dogs."

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.

Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.