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How to Get Fit with Your Dog

Why workout alone when you can work out with your dog? Exercising together not only benefits your health, but your dog’s as well. Exercise is also a fantastic opportunity to bond with your dog. After all, Dogs make great fitness buddies. They keep a positive attitude, make everything better and you get cuddles at the end! What’s not to love about that?

How Much Exercise Does your Dog Need?

Generally speaking, most dogs should get at least one hour of exercise on a daily basis in order to keep them healthy. Your pup may need more or less depending on his age, breed and fitness level. You should bear in mind, though, that no two dogs are the same, so finding out your dog’s exercise needs may require some trial and error. When starting a new exercise with your pup, make sure to start slowly while letting him build up his tolerance along the way.

Here Are Some Great Ways to Exercise with Your Dog

Walking/ Running

The classic form of exercise we tend to do with our dogs. But that’s okay, most dogs love it!  A walk is also great way for your dog to explore the world so don’t rush it. Let him take his time and make it more interesting for him by choosing a different route every so often. Keep the walks short for approximately 20 minutes and then increase the time gradually. Once your dog is comfortable with walking, try changing the routine by jogging or running with them. Just make sure to choose a breed that is suited to distance-running, such as a Labrador. Wait until your pup is full grown and then gradually build up to a 30-minute excursion. This should include 5 minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of jogging, and five minutes of cool down.

Swimming


The purr-fectall-in-one workout that is especially beneficial for dogs with arthritis as it is easier on the joints.  Keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy swimming, so start slowly. Use toys or treats for encouragement, and if your pup still resists, find another sport. Do not force your pup into doing something they don’t want to do.

Yoga

Yes, doggy yoga is definitely a thing and it’s actually called “Doga”. Just incorporate your dog into your classic yoga poses. Maybe, for instance, hold them as a weight during a side bend or balance them on their leg in Warrior Two pose. You’ll be surprised to learn how calming it is for dogs as well (even the hyperactive ones). 

Frisbee

The next way to make your little one sweat out a bit is by playing the classic game of fetch with them, with a Frisbee. You can either play a relaxed ‘just for fun” game in your own yard or join a formal competition team. This not only is a fabulous cardio workout, it challenges your hand-eye coordination and strategic skills.

Agility Training

Another popular sport these days. That’s when your dog races through an obstacle course with ladders, hurdles and tunnels, while you run alongside offering praise and encouragement. It’s an excellent cardiovascular workout as well as a great way to improve your dog’s coordination.  

Tennis

Yep, if you need to work on your serve, a tennis tournament with your dog is totally possible. It’s a great workout and good skill practice for you and adds a little fun to the typical game of fetch.

Outdoor exercise games

Fetch, hide- and- seek and tug of war can all provide a moderate exercise for you and your dog.

Safety First

Exercising together is great and all but safety comes first. Check with your vet before starting any type of exercise regimen for your dog. Remember that dogs can’t sweat, so when taking your dog out to exercise, always check the weather to ensure it’s not too hot for your dog. Also always make sure to take water with you. Use a sturdy, non-retractable leash to give you more control, as well as a harness instead of a collar, to avoid pulling on your dog’s neck. Watch out for signs of exhaustion such as disorientation, panting, wheezing and slowing or stopping and be careful not to overdo it.

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