People with a pet dog, always have one small customary ritual they have to do every day whether they like it or not, and that is to walk the dog. Come rain or shine, the dog needs to go out and their owners oblige. But what many may not have noticed is that hidden behind this day and night compulsory job is one good thing that is happening to you too. While you walk the dog, you too are getting your daily dose of walking and being fit.
Fitness and pets like dogs do go side by side. Because dogs in general love to run around chasing Frisbees, go for a nature hike or just tread the park path with you for company. In fact, having a pet dog can be your first step to fitness thanks to their outdoor habits. And as much as it is necessary for humans to stay fit, it is absolutely imperative that pet dogs too do get their exercise daily to remain healthy as at home they can’t do so.
Here are some ideas for you and your pet dog to spend quality time together and stay fit.
In humans the benefit of brisk walking are many. These include a stronger heart, lower blood pressure, more energy, denser bones, and a lower risk of depression. In dogs it is the best way to stop them from getting obese and helps tackle many behavioral problems.
Not all dogs are fit to jog as they may get tired with the long distance running. But if your dog is a breed like Labrador, it may love jogging alon with you in the park or the neighborhood. Wait until your pup is full grown and then gradually build up to a 30-minute excursion. This should include five minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of jogging, and five minutes of cooldown.
The joys of throwing a Frisbee to a pet dog and watch him cath it mid air are enormous. It does not really need a large space for the activity though the larger the are to roam the better. You can every once in a while take the Frisbee out in the garden and help your canine work out. Experts believe if done regularly, this also has the advantage of giving behavior training to the pet and increasing the bond between you and your dog.
If you live in an area that has great outdoors, your dog will love to go out for a hike. Dogs in genral love the adventure that comes with going for a hike on mountains etc. because they get to smell new things and see different animals. But what they like the most is spending time with you on the great outdoors. It is a great exercise for you as well as the dog.
This is a kind of activity that not many dogs enjoy therefore you have to first understand whether your dog likes to go in water or not. Start gradually and if the canine does love swimming, it is a brilliant exercise to tone muscles, improve endurance and tone the heart and lungs. Dogs with arthritis can especially benefit from the routine. For humans too the benefits are similar to that of the pet.
The idea of dancing with your dog may seem weird but if you not that much of a walker, dancing to the beats of a song is a great way to exercise and energise your dog too. Dogs will usually run around and get between your legs if they see you dancing. Select an aerobic routine and let the dog dance to your tunes.
To let your dog jog along as you push the paddles, you need to first train him to maintain the pace with you. A special leash with a spring may help you and your dog control the motion a bit and stop you from falling if the dog suddenly stops
There are special kinds of ball available in the market that can help you play football with your pet dog. When you hit the ball the dogs to can hit is with their paws or nose. It is a variation from playing catch and involves a lot of running, throwing and diving that is good for both you and your pet.
Now that you have some ideas of what all workout routines you can do with your pet dog, here are some tips and precautions.
- Visit a vet before you start any kind of routine to know exactly how much of anything can be done with you particular breed of dog and considering his age and health condition.
- Develop a workout routine that’s realistic, considering your job schedule and other demands on your time.
- Working breeds and puppies usually need a lot of exercise therefore schedule a routine that works to their advantage.
- Keep in mind that narrow-bodied breeds, such as Doberman pinschers, should not exercise right after meals.
- Watch for signs of tiredness in your dog. Your dog may be overworked if he is breathing fast, panting excessively, staggering, or refusing to follow you.
- Just because your dog moves slower than when he was a pup does not mean he does not need exercise. Under most circumstances he MUST because senior dogs need to keep their joints motion going.
Here are the benefits of exercise for all kind of dogs regardless of their breed and age.
- Exercise helps increase flexibility and endurance
- Strengthens muscles around the joints
- Wards off health problems caused by obesity
- Aids bowel function, which is especially important in older dogs.
- Any activity that helps your dog lose weight could ease his arthritis symptoms in the long run.