Author: Corey Doane
Exercise is important not only for our health and wellness but for our dogs as well. Aside from physical activity, dogs also need mental stimulation to keep their minds active, which is why certain exercises are great for your furry friend. Choosing workouts that are beneficial for both you and your dog serves as a win-win situation.
Aside from the much-needed physical activity, working out with your dog can also help you create a stronger bond with them, helps to keep you motivated to stay active and can do wonders for improving your mental health. If you’re looking to step out of the gym and find ways to get active with your dog, grab your best pair of running shoes and check out the tips below.
If you want to take your daily walks with your dog up a notch, running is a great way to do just that. Though running is definitely more intense, it’s a great way for you and your dog to burn off energy, maintain a healthy weight, boost your immune systems and improve your lung health.
If you’re new to running with your dog, start with a five-minute walk to warm up, then slowly increase your pace. If needed, try running in intervals and work your way up to a faster run time as you get more comfortable. This will help you and your dog work up your stamina and reach a running pace that works for you both. Always consult with your vet when engaging in more vigorous activities to make sure your dog can handle it.
Hiking is a great way to change up the scenery from your usual walking and running routes. Prior to going on a hike, check-in with the hiking trail you plan on going to to make sure they allow dogs. To allow for a better workout, a hands-free waist leash is a must-have accessory so your body won’t experience any discomfort you’d usually get from holding your dog on a regular leash.
When on the hike, you’ll want to always follow the National Parks B.A.R.K rule:
- Bag your pet’s waste
- Always leash your pet
- Respect wildlife
- Know where you can go
3. Bodyweight Workouts
If you want to keep things simple and do an at-home workout, you can involve your dog in some traditional bodyweight exercises. First, pick a few exercises to perform such as lunges, squats and pushups. Each time you perform the exercise, say a command to your dog. For example, every time you squat down, have your dog sit. Play around with commands for each movement and reward your dog with treats or affection when the workout is over.
This is a way for you to get in some physical activity while giving your dog the mental stimulation they need.
Looking for more exercises to do with your dog? Check out the infographic below for more tips on how to keep you and your dog healthy.