Best Exercises to Keep You and Your Dog Fit
Dogs need to exercise as often as we do. Going on walks is a great way to start exercising with your dog. But it's essential to give yourself and your dog a little more than that.
Exercising with your pup makes both of you physically healthy. And exercising with your dog should also be engaging, efficient, and rewarding.
In today's article, we're going to list down the most fun ways to burn off some energy with your workout buddy. We will also teach you some warm-up exercises we love doing with our dogs before going on full blast.
Warm-up before doing any physical exercises with your dog. Warming up is as essential for dogs as it is for their owners. Light walking and stretchings can be great warm-up exercises for you and your dog. Do a 5-15 minutes light walk followed by the stretching routine below:
Tug of War
Playing tug of war with your dog helps stretch your dog's hamstring and groin muscles. They use the majority of their muscle strengths when they push and pull.
Tempt your dog with one of the tug toys, and see if your dog will grab hold and take it from your hand. Don't provide much resistance; let your dog win. Do this exercise for a couple of reps. Give your dog lots of praises and treats after the game.
This exercise is pretty straightforward. Stand behind the chair, grab some treats and lure your dog into placing his front feet up on a chair. Feed him in quick successions while he has his feet up. This exercise stretches your dog's back muscles, quadriceps, lower back, and hip.
Walking is part of any dog's daily routine. The duration of walks would depend on each dog's individual needs. Some of the things to consider are your dog's size, energy levels, mental stimulation, etc.
Dogs need anywhere around half an hour up to 2 hours of exercise every day, depending on their breed. Breeds like Pointers, retrievers, setters, and spaniels need 60-120 minutes of daily walks. While small breeds like Pugs and Shih Tzu need less- 20 to 30 minutes of exercise.
Running can provide almost the same benefits as walking. But running can burn twice the number of calories as walking. Bring your dog with you if you want to get your heart rate pumping. They're the best running companion!
Train your dog before you go for a run. Teach your dog some handy cues on- when to get running, stop, or slow down. The more signals you teach your dog, the better they will be at responding appropriately.
Make sure you have the proper gears before running with your dog. Bring a hands-free leash so you wouldn't have to run with your hands on the leash all the time. You can also buy a belt bag that can hold your stuff (like cellphones and poop bags).
Sit and Stay Obedience Training
Teach your dog to "sit and stay" to develop polite doggy behavior. Do it while doing crunches to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Give your puppy some of his favorite toys after every set of your crunches. This training will help reinforce positive behavior.
'Sit and stay' training helps teach your dog to obey you in certain situations. This type of exercise works best for dogs who have hyperactive tendencies. Positive obedience training can promote self-control and give mental stimulation.
I wouldn't say I like lunges, especially forward lunges, because it will make you sore! But they can strengthen your lower body and give you more muscular legs. Here's how to do it with your dog:
Step 1: Stand up tall in front of your dog while holding a treat in your hand.
Step 2: Step your foot forward until your leg touches the floor, and give the treat to your dog.
Step 3: Return to your starting position.
Perform at least ten reps with your right leg and then switch to your left for ten more reps.
Do some standing exercises with your dog to build his core. Let him hold an upright position for 10 seconds. Begin with a few seconds, then add up depending on your dog's capability. You can also try to use food to lure him into turning his head in different directions by following the treats.
Hiking promotes a stronger core and balance and lowers risks for diseases. Hiking has similar positive benefits to dogs. Plus, it isn't only healthy-it's fun!
Check-in with your vet before going on a hike. Come up with an effective hiking plan with your vet. It will help your dog avoid respiratory issues and other problems that may put your dog at a considerable health risk.
This wraps up our list of the best exercises to keep you and your dog fit. But this doesn’t mean that these are the only things you can do. Some dog owners also do doga while others teach their dogs how to bike alongside them. Whichever form of exercises you’re interested in, you can get your pup involved.