A dog can be an excellent exercise partner. They will never complain about getting out and putting in hard work and they can a good source of motivation. Not only will training with man’s best friend help get you in shape, they will help keep a regular work out schedule. There are a wide variety of exercise options when including a pet, especially a dog, but to keep it simple we are only including some of the exercises that can be done regardless of your location.
Not all dogs are in the proper shape to start strenuous exercise with their owners. Dogs that are still 18 months or under are too young to do anything exercise besides walking and playing fetch. Strenuous exercise can impact the growing bones of puppies and harm long-term physical ability. It is important to remember that both you and the dog need hydration, so pack water accordingly!
If it is your first time taking the dog out for a run, don’t expect to go long distances. The best approach is to start at a slower pace and consistently build mileage and speed over time. You have to remember, if your dog hasn’t done long distance running before, it’s essentially at the same starting point you were when you started running. To ensure the dog faces no distractions that turn a run into a chase, ensure the dog is on a leash at all times.
If your dog has the stamina to keep up with you when cycling, this can be a perfect opportunity for exercising together. In order to safely cycle with a dog a few items are necessary. First, you will need a body harness to ensure the dog doesn’t risk being choked. Second, you will need a non-tangling lead line and safety lights or vests for yourself and the dog.
Start by walking the bike alongside your dog so familiarity is established. This will help the dog acclimate to being “attached” to the bike during exercise. It’s also important to ensure the dog learns any commands that will be beneficial during cycling. These can be specific words for stop, turn and slow down. Once these have been learned start slow and work your way up!
Dogs are avid fans of the outdoors because it has been naturally engrained within their DNA. Though not all hiking trails are dog-friendly, many offer a chance for a dog to adventure and break up the monotony of being stuck inside a home or yard. When hiking with a dog it is important to remember treats, food and water. Some harnesses now come with hydration bladders specifically for pets. Ensure the weight of the pack isn’t too heavy if it is attached to the dog during the hike!