Dogs, like humans, need exercise. Being active is the best way to ensure that your dog’s heart stays healthy and their weight is normal well into old age. In addition to this, keeping your dog active can help prevent the onset of arthritis and other joint issues too.
With this in mind, why not make your dog your work-out buddy? Here are ten fun ways to exercise with your dog.
1. Go running together
Did you know that up to 50% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight? Just like us, dogs who weigh too much are at risk for numerous health issues, from arthritis to heart disease. Luckily, one way to lose pounds is to move more – and running is a great solution. Of course to lose weight, make sure you feed them a nutritious, balanced diet as well.
Top tip: When introducing running with your dog, start slow. Start with a ten-minute run with walking intervals every two minutes necessary. Also, your dog will need to be on a leash, so don’t attempt to run together until he is leash-trained.
2. Frisbee in the park
Frisbee is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy the sunshine in a park or open field. If you’ve got a really fast dog with love of playing fetch, introducing them to a frisbee is an excellent way to get them running and jumping while you are also out and getting fresh air and a moderate amount of exercise for yourself.
3. Agility courses
Agility courses are designed as obstacle courses for dogs, but to work your dog through them, you also need to run along with them. This is a great way to get your dog to behave better, follow instructions and stay fit.
4. Dance with your dog
Most owners will have had music playing in the house and seen their dog’s ears prick up with delight. Dancing is a great way to shake your body and release stress and anxiety – and it’s the same for pets too.
If your dog doesn’t just love music but has the rhythm and dexterity of Michael Jackson, you may want to look into musical canine freestyle. Musical canine freestyle, also known as musical freestyle, freestyle dance, and canine freestyle, is a modern dog sport that combines obedience training, tricks, and dance. It’s a great way to bond with your dog and perhaps win a competition too.
5. Dock diving
Will you dog do anything to retrieve his favorite toy?
Dock diving also known as dock jumping is a dog sport in which dogs compete in jumping for distance or height from a dock into a body of water. It’s a good bit of work for you, tossing a canvas retrieval dummy off the dock over and over, as your dog races off a dock, diving into the water to catch the dummy and bring it back. A quick Google search should enable you to find a dock diving competition near you – the sport is making a huge splash all over the world!
6. Herding dog competitions
This takes practice and a lot of training. It’s a precision game in which your dog will follow your commands to move sheep through gates, around obstacles, and into a holding pen. It’s difficult and that is the point. You’ll be outdoors and on your feet, and it’s a great way to watch your dog do what he was bred to do.
7. Rally obedience
This is an obedience event that is open to mixed breed dogs and is done as a team competition in which dogs must move through a course in which they are asked to perform obedience skills and work as a relay team. You will move through the course with your dog. It is a timed event.
8. Lure coursing
This is a competition designed for sighthounds such as Greyhounds and Salukis. They are incredibly fast and chase after a lure that is pulled across an open field on a cable that zips it very rapidly and they chase it at top speed.
9. Terrier trials
These are incredibly fun because terriers are small dogs that move like lightning. Much like lure coursing, they chase a piece of fur around an agility course at top speed.
10. Earth dog trials
This is interesting and fun for those who have dogs bred to chase vermin underground. Dachshunds and chihuahuas love this competition where they are lured through underground tunnels to chase their prey. It does take training and you’ll be outside with them to both coax them and retrieve them.
These are just a few things that you can do with your dog to stay fit and healthy. Make sure that you take the time to work them into exercise gradually; they need conditioning just like you do. Start slow and ease into it. Always bring plenty of water and exercise at the cooler times of the day when possible, and if you are doing water sports, make certain that you’ve equipped your dog with a proper flotation device.
It’s all well and good to keep your pooch active, but you need to also make sure they are eating well to reap the full rewards. The experts at Innovetpet recommend taking your dog to the vet for a check-up before committing to a new meal and exercise plan, as well as ensuring your fit pup gets more calories than usual if you are stepping up the exercise routine.
We hope that you have a lot of fun with your dog and come up with ideas of your own for exercise as well!