One of the main benefits of having a dog is that they get you outdoors and into shape. Dogs need plenty of exercise, as well as humans, but if you do it together it’s all the more fun. There are several activities you can try with your furry friend and you can even explore new places. Always speak to your vet for advice about exercising your dog and find out which is the best solution according to its breed, age, and weight. In the meantime, here are seven fun ways to get fit with your dog to give you inspiration.
Many people underestimate the benefits of walking over running. It’s a lower impact activity making it more accessible and easier on your joints. If you power walk with your dog and get a nice pace going, you can also really improve your fitness level. Your dog will get plenty of exercise as well. If you do prefer running, you could go jogging with your dog. Make sure you speak to the vet first as small dogs might have difficulty keeping up, or it could affect the joints of certain breeds.
Getting in touch with nature is a great way to improve your self-care regime. Why not take your dog out to explore areas of natural beauty near you? They will certainly appreciate the new sights, sounds, and smells, and you can too. It’s the ideal way to unwind at the weekend and spring is the perfect time of year to do it. Look up local hiking trails that are easily reachable from where you live. You could even consider turning it into a staycation, or camping trip.
A trip to the beach
If you are planning a staycation this year you could try and find a dog-friendly beach online. This will give you both an opportunity for resistance running or walking through the sand or water. Many dogs also enjoy a swim as well. If yours is a little apprehensive, you could try throwing a ball into shallow water. They might get tempted to follow it. If not, it’s another nice way to take in a bit of scenery and make more of a day of it with your furry friend.
If you have heard of doga, then perhaps you don’t follow the more unusual exercise trends. A combination of dog and yoga, doga is essentially just that. You can find classes both in-person and online that are designed for both dogs and owners. If you would like to try something different with your pooch this could be the activity for you. It’s ideal for those who are already a fan of yoga, or who prefer to exercise indoors.
Many dog owners have been stuck inside more recently, meaning their dogs might not have been going out as often as before. If you are working from home, or need to quarantine, there are also plenty of indoor games to keep your dog fit and active. If you play catch, fetch, or tug of war, you can also get some exercise as well. Indoor games are also a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated. Be careful not to play them on a slippery surface, however.
Run on the treadmill
It’s true that dogs can also benefit from running on a treadmill. If you have a treadmill you can train them to use it with this video. It’s another indoor alternative if you can’t get out for walks as often as you’d like. There are even treadmills designed for dogs, but they work in pretty much the same way. Again always speak to your vet before trying a new high-impact activity with them. They will be able to provide professional insights on what’s best for your dog.
Just like people have training methods for their workouts in order to achieve specific fitness goals, dogs can also undergo agility training to develop certain skills. See if there’s an agility course for dogs near you to try. These involve running up and down planks, weaving through poles, and ducking through tunnels. You can run alongside the course. They’re a lot of fun for the dog and help develop muscle and coordination. You could even consider building one in your own backyard. Get advice from your vet or a dog training expert beforehand. Exercising with your dog is the perfect way for you to bond, so choose an activity that best suits your lifestyle.