Finding the right of exercises that you can do with your dog will keep the pudginess off of you both. Just like us two-leggers, our four-legged, furry friends need to get a workout in on a regular basis, as well.
Regular Exercise helps Ensure:
- Muscle tone and growth
- Cardiovascular health
- A good looking coat (even on humans)
- Good, overall health!
And, just like in humans, dogs that work out and regular exercise can help prevent diseases and conditions such as:
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory problems
- Blocked arteries
- Even a healthy digestive tract!
The similarities between why humans are more out of shape than ever before and why some of our pets, especially dogs, are also quite pudgy and lacking good health are pretty evident
People are pulled in so many different directions and their lives are so busy that they feel overwhelmed. It’s hard enough for them to get to the gym or go on a walk for their own health, let alone having to keep the exercise regimen and needs of their dog in the forefront of their thoughts. As a consequence, the health of both parties tends to suffer.
Of course, safety should be first and foremost in your mind.
5 Safety Tips to Exercising with Your Dog
- Remember, your dog doesn’t sweat. He or she pants to cool down. The best time to exercise with your dog is in the early mornings or late afternoons/early evenings. Try to avoid exercising with your dog in the heat (pun intended) of the day.
- Mind the breed of dog that you have. Some breeds will be “natural athletes” while other breeds are like the chubby, asthmatic kid in the schoolyard. Breeds such as pugs and Boston Terriers (these are brachycephalic breeds evident by the pushed I face) will have an overall harder time breathing and, thus, exercising. These issues are compounded in hot and humid weather and with older dogs, as well.
- Keep the short guys to shorter distances. Those breeds that are smaller and have shorter legs are not the best breed of dog to go on long-distance runs with. Instead, try going on walks with those breeds. Incorporating hills and short sprints in those walks will be awesome for your dog’s health and yours.
- Watch for signs of over-heating. This could lead to heatstroke which is extremely dangerous and perhaps even fatal. Excessive panting, bright red lips, and tongue, unable to stand or laying down are signs that something is extremely wrong. If this happens get your dog to veterinary care immediately.
- Keep your dog hydrated. It’s more important that your dog has water when exercising than you. Provide an ounce of water per pound of dog.
Now that you know what to do keep your pet safe when exercising let’s take a look at some great ways to exercise with your pet.
Note: The following exercises are great to do outside at a dog park or anywhere there’s even ground and dogs are allowed. Most can be done in your own yard or even in the house.
Exercises that You Can Do with Your Dog
1. Interval Walk
Stop thinking of walking your dog as a chore. Change that attitude and realize that it is actually a way for you both to get in shape. Try the following and repeat for the duration of your walk. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist, as long as you keep both heart rates up!
- 3 minutes of walk
- 20 seconds job
- 3 minutes of walk
- 10 seconds of sprint
- 3 minutes of walk
- 20 seconds of side shuffles
2. Fetch Tease
This is a really fun exercise! Take your dog’s favorite toy. Stop at the local park, or safely fence area. Get down and do a sit up. Pretend to throw the toy. Your dog chases. When he or she comes back. Show the toy again and repeat!
3. The Squat Tease
This will work both your dog’s and your lower body. Stop in place with legs and feet shoulder-width apart. Show the toy so that your dog comes close. Squat and tap the toy on your dogs head…as you rise back up the dog should jump and try to snatch the toy from your grasp.
This is a simple exercise that we all played as kids. Tap your doggy on the tush and then start running around your yard or a safe, fenced area. You’ll both be panting and having fun in no time!