Exercise isn’t just good for your health — your dog loves it too! Daily walking is standard for dog owners everywhere. A study conducted by Michigan State University showed that dog owners have significantly more active lifestyles than people without dogs. Not only does exercising with your dog make your dog happy, but it also helps keep your fitness levels up. Also, there’s no need to stick to walking everyday; you can mix up your routine with running, biking, and water-based activities. You and your dog will bond, enjoy the variety, and it’ll be amusing, so read on for our 5 Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Dog!
1. Go biking
Ever get back from a walk and feel like your dog just isn’t done? Consider switching walking for biking. Riding around with your dog running along beside you means you can cover more ground together. Giving your dog enough exercise allows him (or her) to release pent up energy, which can often lead to boredom, frustration and destructive behaviors (such as, barking and chewing shoes).
2. Go running
Take your dog with you on your daily run. When planning your route, be mindful of your dog’s capabilities. The younger the dog, the more energy he’ll have and the further you can run together. Smaller breeds, however — especially short-nose breeds, such as, pugs, bulldogs, and boxers — shouldn’t be taken for more than a few miles at a time. Once your dog gets used to the routine of running, they won’t let you skip a day ever, which further incentivises you too!
3. Go kayaking
Dogs love water, so why not take yours out kayaking? Stick to calm bodies of water which make for relaxed and enjoyable trips. Get your dog used to boarding the kayak on land before taking it out to water. Your dog will love the experience — whether he gets out to swim alongside you or prefers chilling out on-board (bring a blanket to keep him comfy). You’ll get a killer ab and arm workout, too.
4. Go swimming
Swimming’s another great way to exercise with your dog — particularly if they have joint issues or arthritis. Swimming works all the major muscle groups and keeps you cool in the summer. If your dog’s new to swimming, start him off paddling in the shallows. Don’t push it if he’s just not comfortable. Some dogs prefer other activities instead.
5. Play in the park
The park is the perfect place to get active. Not only can you walk, jog, and run around together, but you can also bring toys along to up the fun. Larger breeds especially enjoy playing with soccer balls. Train your boy how to nose, paw, and dribble with the ball! Don’t forget ‘fetch’, (perhaps with a frisbee) either. You can even throw the ball and race him for it — so you get just as much exercise as your dog.
Change up your routine often. Take your dog to new parks or woodlands, and teach them new games with different toys. Most importantly, be sure to give your dog enough exercise no matter what form it takes; a minimum of half an hour each day is recommended, same goes for you! What fun and interesting ways have you trained together with your pet? Let us know below, join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. (Feel free to check out our other fitness articles to help you Keep YOUR Fit On!)