This week Guest Blogger Sarah Zyan from TheDiamondPup.com has written a post for us about getting fit with your fur baby in time for summer!
You finally decided: you’re going to start exercising with your dog! Hooray for the good decision! Whether you are the proud parent of a Poodle or a Boxador, you know a good daily workout session is necessary for your best friend’s health (and yours as well). No dog (or human, for that matter) wants to be overweight, or obese. Obesity leads to heart disease in dogs as well as other dangerous conditions such as cancer, arthritis, or even diabetes. So, to keep yourself and your dog healthy, follow these simple steps.
Believe us, you’ll thank us later!
Hike with your dog
Hikes are fun! Really! A good thing to do during a weekend morning is to go hiking with your best friend. Not only does it build good stamina, it also reinforces your dog’s relationship with nature (and yours as well). There is nothing better than some fresh air on a Sunday morning, with beautiful landscapes, and your four-pawed friend!
Go for a jog
If you’re not used to running, start with a 30-minute walk, then go from there. After a few tries, you will be able to jog with your dog for 10 minutes straight without breaking a sweat (or losing a lung, like some of us often do).
Dogs also build habits easily, which means once they get used to your routine morning jog, there will be no way for you to get away from it, which works as a great motivator. But, be careful when it’s too hot or humid outside. Since dogs do not sweat like us humans, you’ll have to go jogging during the perfect moment of the day, which is either early morning or late evening, when the weather is coolest.
Bike with your dog
If you’re not into jogging or hiking, and would rather ride a bicycle, then don’t worry, that is also a great exercise for dogs and humans alike. If you have a dog that has waaay too much energy, biking is actually the perfect solution, since he’ll try to keep up with your pedaling and will be happy about it.
This exercise will not only help you build crazy leg muscles, it will also change your dog’s behavior. If your dog is aggressive or twitchy, then he probably needs more workout, since aerobic exercise stimulate the production of serotonin in the brain, which relaxes dogs.
It is a known fact that dogs absolutely love water. So, why not take advantage of that? Take your dog to the beach or a pet-friendly swimming pool and swim together. Swimming is especially good for dogs (and humans) with joint problems, since it’s a low pact aerobic exercise. It also uses all the muscles of the body, which makes it perfect for both of you.
Play catch with your dog
And don’t just stand there when your dog goes to catch the ball. Instead, race him to it, this way, you’ll both be exercising. Dogs can also play soccer (yes, you’ve read it right, soccer), so don’t hesitate to purchase a soccer ball made especially for dogs (which is resistant to sharp teeth) and have some dribbles with your best friend!
Go to a dog park
Well, that’s mostly for your dog’s health. Dogs are friendly, social creatures, and they love nothing more than to play with others of their species. So, don’t deny your dog that pleasure, and take him to the dog park. There, he’ll get to make new canine friends and play with them, which is, naturally, exercise. It’s also good for your dog’s social skills, so there’s that!
You have to remember that exercise is not the only way to keep your dog healthy. Cutting back on treats is one way you can do that too or moving to healthier treats (such as some fruits and vegetables, yes yes, dogs can eat those too). You can also choose to change your dog’s diet by changing his food brand to something healthier and less caloric, such as Whole Earth Farms.
And, don’t forget, a happy dog is a dog who receives love, attention, and care from his owner. Your dog considers you his best friend, and will always be loyal to you, no matter what. His love in unconditional, and so should yours be.