Did you know that your pets can suffer from obesity too? In fact, 52.5 percent of dogs are obese according to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Like humans, unfit pets can develop heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. The solution: exercise. Here are a few tips on how you and your dog can exercise together:
Ah, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned walk? It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s good for you and your dog. You can do it around the neighborhood, at the park, or on the streets while doing errands. You can do it in the morning while the sun is out or at night when it’s cooler. Do this at least three times a week and you and your pet will reap the benefits.
This one might be challenging for owners, but our dogs? They were born to run. If you are inclined, you and your pup can race at places like the beach, leash-free parks, and open spaces where there are no cars and other obstacles. Inclement weather? Busy schedule? Hop on the treadmill. Pets love them too. No excuses. Get that cardio workout for you and your doggo.
This next one takes more effort than the first two above. Not everyone has a hill or mountain trail in their immediate area like city folks. Some of us need to drive to one. It sounds like a hassle, but once you get there it’s worth it. You can enjoy nature, fresh air, and the views with your puppy. You could also invite loved ones to make the road trip more fun.
While you’re out in nature, might as well let your pup do some nose work. After all, they are natural hunting companions. You don’t have to go full hunting, just let the little fella sniff around and track stuff during your hike. It will develop his focus and confidence.
This is another enjoyable workout for you and your dogs. It can help build your upper body strength and your dog will enjoy playing with you. It’s advisable to reward him with hugs and treats after every few minutes. You might also want to use a stretchy toy or rope rather than wood or other hard materials that might damage or injure your canine.
Speaking of playing, it’s important to be fun and silly with your dog from time to time. You could do some light and simple training like learning how to sit, lay down, jump, and high fives. If you have multiple dogs, it’s also a good idea to let them play on their own in your yard or garden. In this setting, they create their games and expend their extra energy the way they choose.
Here’s another fun way of working out a sweat with your dog: get a frisbee and go to an open park and teach your pup to catch discs midair. Bring a friend or an action camera to film and then post Airbud’s highlights on Youtube or Instagram. Instant supawstar!
Some dogs are more athletic than others. A simple game of fetch can also help you and your pup bond and lose pounds at the same time. It could be a ball, stick, or toy. Just throw and let the little fella excitingly retrieve it. Treats and other affirmations are highly encouraged.
Fact: Dogs love water. Fact: you love hanging out with your dog. Make most of a hot summer day and enjoy a dip with your best friend. Just always be alert and careful to make sure everyone is safe and having fun. Kids can join too!
Ever heard of show dogs? Well, there are also athlete dogs. Join tournaments such as Flyball and achieve dog celebrity and maybe even riches. Just the bragging rights and a healthy dog are good enough rewards.
11. Agility Class
Before joining any tourneys maybe enroll the pup at an agility class to learn tricks and skills and work off those excess energies. There are many classes out there. Find the one that best suits you and your pet. Plus, have lots of fun!
Here’s another fun suggestion. Dress up in matching outfits, blast some Lady Gaga, and dance with your dog in your living room. You can also look for doggy discos and other similar events in your city. It’s a lot of fun!
Yep, dog yoga is a thing. Some think it’s cool. Others think it’s silly. What do you and your pupper think? Have a go at it. The thought of doing downward dog with your dog alone is worth the try.
How much dog exercise does my dog need, you ask? Just do any of these once a day or 3 at least times a week. Woof!