Dogs need love, shelter, and a lot of attention. They also require food — lots of it. But did you know that your pets can suffer from obesity too? In fact, a study made by The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention shows that 52.5 percent of dogs are obese. Like humans, unfit pets can develop heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. The solution: exercise. A steady amount of physical activities will help make your pup healthy, happy, and fit. 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 nearby 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. Don’t forget to bring snacks!
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 you can do indoors. 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.
Your pet probably doesn’t know it yet, but dogs are natural trampoline jumpers. Sit back, relax, and watch them tire themselves out in pure, hopping bliss. Don’t forget to snap some pics and boomerangs for the ‘gram.
15. Resistance Training
By training your dog’s muscles against some opposing force, you’ll help them to grow bigger and stronger while strengthening bones. Start light and gradually increase the resistance over time. This will give your dog’s body time to grow stronger and adapt to the newer, heavier resistance.
16. High Jump
For this, you will need some adjustable jumps. These can be anything from competition standard hurdles to two piles of books with a scarf draped across the top. The most important aspect of teaching your dog the jump is that it is done safely and that both of you have fun.
You can teach your dog to pull a skateboard, also called “skatejoring”. It is an activity where your dog pulls a skateboard or scooter with you on board. You can also just let the little guy figure out how to ride on its own.
Hide-and-seek is a great game for just about any dog according to the animal behavior consultants at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah. It’s good exercise for both the dog’s body and brain because she’ll have to think and walk around to search for you. However, beware that some dogs are so bad at hide-and-seek that it's hysterical.
19. Obstacle Course
If you have space and the tools, you can build a DIY course for your dog. Or you can enroll your pets to dog gyms and parks with ready-built obstacles. This will probably require lots of patience and training, but we guarantee it will be worth it.
Let’s face it: your pup will probably never make it to the World Cup, but soccer is a fun and great exercise for you both.
There are many different ways you can exercise with your dog. Exercising with your pets can be fun and addictive. Many pet owners would tell you that it adds excitement and enjoyment to their personal workouts. If you use your creativity, you can come up with dozens of other ideas on how to exercise with your dog.
But also, it’s important to remember that improperly exercising can cause more harm than good, so do your research before picking an exercise to 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!