If you’re thinking of getting back into exercise and getting fit, there are lots of great ways you can involve your dog and make the task a little easier. One of the first things to consider is the breed of your dog. How much exercise does a dog need? Although most breeds are just fine with exercise, smaller ones and dogs with pug noses can have difficulty with some types of strenuous exercise. With that said, let’s take a closer look at some different ways to get fit with your dog. Even if you don’t try all 7 of our suggestions, you’ll likely find some fun with at least a couple of them.
1. Going for a Walk
At the beginning of your fitness journey, it’s always wise to start off slowly then work your way up to a more challenging pace once you get acclimated. Walking is a fantastic way to start exercising and something that virtually all dogs are capable of. All dogs need at least some exercise each day and taking a walk each morning and evening with benefit the both of you. We recommend starting off with 15 minutes and then increasing as your level of fitness and time allow. If you’re short on time, like most of us, move your longer walks to the weekend. Keep in mind, walking can burn 300-500 calories per hour depending on your pace and size.
2. Take A Run
If walking is a bit on the slow side, or you’re more advanced and already enjoy running, take the dog along. Start off slowly and see how it goes. Most dogs love to run, just be sure to pace yourself to his ability level and size, as every dog is different. If you have two dogs, you may have to run them separately depending on their unique needs and abilities. In any event, running with your dog is great fun and also a fantastic way to burn some calories.
3. Take the Stairs
People in cities often live in high rise buildings or apartments, and there aren’t many parks or available spaces for walking or running your dog. Instead of using the elevator, take the stairs. If you live more floors up than you can handle, take some flights by elevator and the last few floors by stairs. Stair climbing is classified as a vigorous exercise and burns more calories per minute than jogging. Start small and add more flights of stairs as you build stamina.
4. Bike with Your Dog
If you’re not keen on walking or running, you might enjoy biking which is a great way to have your dog tag along and not get gassed out yourself. Keep in mind you may have to pedal a little slower depending on the breed you have. As with everything else, take it easy at first then work up to more time and faster speeds as your pet adapts. It’s also a good idea to have some warm-up time before starting and a cooling-off period at the end of both you and your dog. We highly recommend dog leashes specifically designed to attach to your bike and make the task much easier and safer.
5. Try the Treadmill
We’ve all seen the funny videos of over-joyed dogs walking on treadmills. Lots of dogs love it and seem to catch on to the concept quickly. If you already have a treadmill and why not let your dog have a go of it as well? Using a treadmill is a great alternative to exercising outside, especially during extreme weather.
6. Agility Training
Agility training is another fine way to get fit with your dog, and it’s also very rewarding. Many owners don’t even realize it’s exercise because it’s so much fun. Training your dog to run a course and show off his skills can be gratifying, especially if you end up entering competitions. Most areas have dog training classes. As a side note, this is also a great way to meet up with other dog owners and swap notes about what works for you and your dog. Socializing your pet is a plus too!
As with all fitness programs, diet is probably on the component we could all change for the better as both owners and pets can be a little guilty of overindulging in junk foods. A healthy diet for you and your dog means a healthier life and longevity for you both. Don’t just substitute healthier options for yourself, take a look at what Fido has been eating and make changes where necessary. Having said that, when exercising or starting any type of health regime, talk with your doctor. Also, check out our article on .
Hopefully, our seven tips have helped you decide to try some out, getting fit is not always at the forefront of our minds, but with a dog, it can be fun, easy and you hardly notice that you’re getting fit. Incorporating exercise with playtime can be lots of fun, like doing sit-ups while throwing the ball. Getting fit with your dog leads to a longer life, meaning you have more time to enjoy each other’s company. Looking for more ways to get in shape with your best friend? See which dog exercises are best for your pup!