We are happy to share this helpful article, Getting Fit and Healthy with Your Dog, by Angie Hill at www.woofdog.com. You don't need to stay inside when the seasons change! Angie offers fun ideas to get you and your dog moving and active no matter what the time of year it is.
Getting Fit and Healthy with Your Dog
When you are a dog owner, one of the main responsibilities is to regularly take your pet for a walk so that they can get the exercise they need. This is an essential part of how they maintain their weight and stay in shape, but what if you want to take it up a notch and stay fit and healthy together?
More and more people are looking for alternatives to the regular walkies, so if you’ve got a dog in the family who loves exercise, you can jump into some other ways of getting fit as a pair; after all, dogs can be very persuasive and make great motivational trainers!
Hiking is an exciting step up from day-to-day walks around the neighbourhood. For example, in Missouri, you can head to Mark Twain National Forest for exhilarating walks among some fantastic scenic views with a variety of trails, habitats and year-round land and water activities.
Hiking is an inexpensive way of adding extra exercise into your routine. It’s known to be a really good way of staying fit too! You can treat these types of days out as a weekend adventure to look forward to alongside normal walks if you can’t hike daily.
Remember to bring a collapsible water bowl for your dog, and some nutritious snacks so that your pet can enjoy the hike safely. If you’re both new to hiking, start small and build up. Always take frequent water breaks. Do keep your dog on a leash, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the terrain or you’re around other dogs.
Doga is a relatively new adaptation of yoga that many people and their pets are trying out. Dogs love a good stretch and it is claimed that this activity helps to support and strengthen the natural bond you have with your dog.
You can do this activity at home or go a class and meet other like-minded people and pets who are keen to enjoy a doga session! What’s more, doga is known for being a positive calming influence on the central nervous which in turn helps to improve sleep and digestion for both you and your dog.
Not all dogs are keen on swimming, but if you test them out in shallow water to start off with and discover then that they are budding swimmers, then you can look forward to some great water-based exercise together.
Wild swimming in lakes, using a pool at home or a dip in the sea are all great options for swimming with your dog and it’s a great way to stay in shape. You might want to consider fitting your dog with a pet buoyancy aid for their swimming adventures, just to be on the safe side.
Swimming is a non-impact form of exercise, so it’s good for dogs and owners who are looking to stay fit but also avoid joint-related injury.
You should always give them plenty of fresh water before and after they swim to avoid dehydration. Also, give them a good rinse off post-swim; this will help to prevent skin and eye irritation.
Do you have a dog who has the potential to break records on the agility course? If you think your pet will love agility lessons, then why not try a class? The good thing about agility classes is that they will get you doing lots of running while you run the course with your dog as they tackle each obstacle.
You don’t necessarily have to own a dog who can win events on national television; dogs of all ages an ability can enjoy the agility course. Just like games for active dogs, agility classes keep canines not only physically fit but mentally sharp too.
You’ll get the chance to spend some precious time with them outside of the home as well as increasing their attention, boosting their confidence and forming a stronger mutual trust between the two of you.
Even dogs who aren’t into chasing a ball or frisbee will enjoy a good run in an outdoor space. This is a sure-fire way to keep them happy and healthy!
Spend some time training them to run alongside you while they are still on their leash, that way you can both get the exercise you crave with the added bonus of having a companion with you on your runs.
Running, just like walking, is inclusive of all dogs regardless of the breed. You might be surprised how much your dog enjoys the benefits of running because it offers them stress and anxiety-relief. Your dog gets to enjoy plenty of stimulation thanks to the new sights, sounds and smells as well.
Dog ownership has been proven to be beneficial to our health, and when you choose to get fit and healthy with your dog, you are only going to help the both of you live happier and healthier lives together!
Thank you Angie for your contribution to keeping dogs healthy and active!