Have the holidays left you a little thick around the middle? You’re not alone! Weight loss was the top New Year’s resolution going into 2017. That’s not much of a surprising statistic, but how about this one: experts estimate that up to 35% of pets are overweight too. Maybe you both need a little bit of exercise! January is the perfect time to get moving!
One of the easiest and most effective ways to lose weight and get into better shape is by walking. We can’t think of a more fun way to walk than with your canine companion! Make sure you have a great leash and get out there and pound some pavement. You’ll both benefit from the exercise and the fresh air.
Many runners also bring their dogs along for the trek. They make great companions, love the exercise, and can be wonderful protectors if you need them to. Running and walking with a canine friend makes the workouts seem shorter and is great for both of you. It’s a win win situation. Keep in mind, however, that the smaller the dog is, the shorter the distance they can run. Smaller dogs do better with short sprints and walks than long distances.
Is it too cold and snowy to take lengthy walks in your neck of the woods? Look into canine-friendly gyms! They do exist! A simple Google search will help you find some. If you can’t find one, why not start your own exercise group? Get together with a bunch of friends in a pet friendly place and work out together.
Exercising with your dog doesn’t necessarily have to be structured either. Play Frisbee. Throw a ball around. Hold up a bone and see who can jump the highest. Play, play, play, and then play some more. It’s good for your body and your spirits. Besides, everyone knows that the more fun you have exercising, the more likely you’ll be to make it a habit! If you need toys to play with your dog with, we’ve got a few here!
This is just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to exercising with your dog. There are many different ways to do it that will be fun and beneficial for both of you, but there are a few guidelines you need to keep in mind.
First, be mindful of the weather. If you’re hot, your dog is probably hotter. If you’re wearing a coat, he needs one too! In addition, be sure to keep your dog hydrated the same as you would keep yourself hydrated.
Start out small and go big later. Just like a human, a dog gets stronger with daily exercise. And if you’re already in shape and your dog is not, remember that it will take a little time before he’ll be able to run long distances with you.
Also, always watch for injuries in your dog. Keep an eye on the pads of his feet and make sure that he isn’t limping. Just like with a human, never let him run through an injury. It could cause permanent damage.
Getting in shape is beneficial mentally and physically for both you and your canine friend. With a little bit of thought and care, you’ll be the best looking pair in the neighborhood before you know it. Stick to it and most of all, have fun!
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