It’s not only people who need to move their bodies. Dogs need exercise too. You and your dog make a perfect team for getting fit by exercising together! Among the many health benefits of having a dog, your canine companion can also increase your opportunity to get out of the house and exercise.
You, Your Dog, and Exercise
All dogs benefit from exercise. Regardless of age and breed, daily exercise helps dogs (and humans!) maintain a healthy weight, tone muscles, improve dog agility, and keep their minds engaged and alert. If your dog is used to lower levels of exercise, it’s important to understand a few things about dogs and exercise. For example, how much exercise does a dog need? What types of exercise are ideal for your dog’s age, size, or breed?
Your dog’s age, breed, size, and health will help you determine your dog exercise needs and tolerance levels. Standard recommendations for exercising dogs is typically thirty minutes to two hours of daily activity. Always consult your dog’s vet and your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
Check out these six ways to get fit with your dog.
Dog agility is a fun way to exercise and bond with your dog while also improving your own fitness level. Because the course is run as a team and involves running and quickly changing direction, this dog sport can improve the fitness of both you and your pup. Cardiovascular fitness, muscle building, balance, and coordination are all involved. You can participate in an agility course for fun, or get competitive with it! Just make sure to consult your vet to make sure your pup is healthy enough to compete.
All dogs can go on walks making this a perfect option for any breed. Thirty minutes of daily walking has significant health benefits for dogs and humans. Walking can help you reduce excess body fat, boost muscle strength and endurance, decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and offer many other benefits. For your dog, a thirty-minute walk will exercise both mind and body, providing the mental stimulation it will not have running around the yard. In addition, walks help dogs release energy, improve sleep quality and help maintain a healthy weight.
Hiking is different from heading out the front door to take a walk. Typically hiking is walking along some natural terrain or on a hiking trail through an outdoor area like a state park. When hiking with dogs, it’s important to confirm that dogs are welcome where you are hiking, make sure you have your dog on a leash, and respect wildlife.