Exercise with your dog
This is a guest post from Virginia Cunningham:
Your dog needs to go out and find a nice grassy spot at least a couple times a day, and you need to get your exercise in, so why not try and combine the two tasks?
In addition to taking a necessary bathroom break, your dog needs fresh air and exercise just as much as you do. If they end up becoming too sedentary or spend too much time indoors, a dog can become increasingly unhealthy, and even end up dealing with weight problems and obesity, similar to the way a human being might suffer from a lack of exercise.
So, in addition to just trying to effectively manage your time throughout the day, incorporating your dog into your exercise routine can mean he or she will have better overall health and a longer life expectancy than they would otherwise.
Plus, your dog will definitely enjoy the outdoors and the chance to explore beyond the familiar walls of your home.
Here are a few ways to integrate them into your exercise plan:
1. Running — A dog might not be able to handle heavy sprinting (even then it depends; some dogs can), but a light jog or even distance run are well within your dog’s physical abilities. Next time you’re going for a mile or so, take your dog with you on a leash, or even without a leash if they’re behaved enough and you’re running in a low traffic area.
Typically, dogs will do a good job of sticking with you. Your dog’s behavior and ability to listen will determine whether or not you can pull it off without a leash.
2. Biking — Biking will be a little tougher if you’ve got to go the leash route. The benefit about biking is that you’ll typically be in a less populated area, like a trail or country road. If that’s the case, try a short bike ride with the leash first.
If you and your dog can go biking on a trail without complications, you can incorporate longer and longer outings until both you and your dog know what to expect.
3. Hiking — This is probably the easiest option if you want to get your dog involved in some exercise. Most hiking trails allow pets, and it’s easy to go a few miles without you or your dog becoming fatigued.
Going on a hike with your dog would probably be a good preliminary exercise to see how they handle the whole process. Chances are that they’ll do fine, and you can move on to something that’s paced a little quicker.
4. Running Stairs — If you’re near a college or high school where you have access to a high flight of stairs, your dog might actually be able to handle some wind sprints. After you’ve run enough and need to cool off, move to the next category for a quick break.
5. Fetch — If you’ve got a frisbee or a tennis ball and your dog will fetch, you can play a few rounds in the field before hitting the stairs again. Even if you don’t move a lot, you’re still burning calories, especially if you jog around a bit before you throw and your dog takes off running.
The success of a lot of these approaches will largely depend on the temperament of your dog and how well they handle the physical strain of running for long periods of time. Try giving your beloved pet vitamins to improve his or her performance when exercising.
Try some of the easier ones first, and then work your way up until your dog is able to keep pace and actually participate without holding you back. If you’re constantly waiting on the dog, then it might be time for him or her to stay home.
Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health and wellness writer from the Los Angeles area. She covers everything from holistic wellness to fitness and skin care. As the owner of two Great Danes, she loves running and hiking with the both of them.