Dogs make us healthier in so many ways, and we love them for it! As a matter of fact, according to this scientific report, dog owners are more likely to meet their physical activity requirements than people without one.
Truth be told, the majority of this physical activity comes from walking. And while all those long walks may be a fantastic exercise for you and your dog, that’s certainly not the only routine that can keep you both fit. Taking your dog on the same path can get a little boring. They may even get tired of smelling the same patches of grass every day. So, like with all the best human relationships, sometimes, it’s good to spice things up.
If you’re looking for new fun ways to exercise together with your dog, you’re at the right place. But first, let’s see how much exercise dogs actually need.
How Much Exercise Do Dogs Really Need?
Generally, most dogs should get one to two hours of exercise each day to help them keep active and healthy. However, your dog might need more or less exercise each day, depending on its age, breed, and physical activity tolerance. No two dogs are the same, so learning your dog’s precise exercise needs may demand some trial and error.
If you’re interested in starting a new exercise program together with your dog, make sure to begin slowly and let your pet build up tolerance and endurance to the exercise. Always watch for signs of exhaustion like wheezing, heavy panting, lameness, disorientation, or stopping to lie down during physical activities. In addition, avoid outdoor exercises on sweltering days, and ensure that your dog always has access to cool, fresh water at all times. Finally, immediately stop or reduce the training if your dog seems achy, tired, or is disinterested in the activity.
If you discern any signs of illness during or after an exercise, contact your vet and bring your pet for a checkup. To provide yourself with a piece of mind, check the various pet insurance coverage types you can get for your dog to protect yourself from any unexpected veterinary costs.
Enjoyable Ways To Exercise With Your Dog
When you think about it, it seems like stand-up paddleboards were intended for canine co-pilots. Dogs of all breeds and sizes can ride on the board’s nose while you get a killer ab workout at the same time.
Select an ultra-calm day on the bay for your first paddleboarding together, so your dog can develop its sea legs. If you struggle to balance the board, try paddling on your knees, which will lower your center of gravity until your pup feels comfortable. Make sure to outfit your dog with a life preserver just in case. Plus, it will make it easier for you to lift them onto the board too.
Doga? Yes, doga or dog yoga is a thing, and it turns out dogs are naturals at this ancient practice. Can’t imagine it? Well, think about your dog’s morning stretches. They probably do a perfect cobra pose, right?
If you decide that you should visit a doga class together, you’ll help your pup try more poses, and they’ll hopefully act as a prop for your own poses. However, in reality, doga is all about deepening the pet-human bond. In addition, while you’re in such close contact, you’ll have the possibility to do a regular health check and feel for any lumps beneath their fur.
Is your pup so exuberant on your regular walks, so much that you worry that they might one day pull your arm off? If so, why not try letting your dog keep up with you as you pedal? Cycling is perfect for pups with tons of energy, as they are totally psyched to flat-out run. At the same time, you’ll get a fantastic workout as cycling can torch 300-plus calories in half an hour and build your leg muscles.
Fetch With A Twist
You know fetch—you throw the ball, and your dog goes bounding after it. But what if we tell you that you don’t have to stand there and wait for the ball? While they’re retrieving the ball, bust out some muscle-building exercises like lunges, squats, crunches, and others until you’re both worn out. In addition, you can race your pup for the ball and squeeze in some sprints.
As you can tell, you don’t have to limit yourself to only going for a casual walk as you can try some other fun ways of exercising with your dog too. Even more, get the whole family involved for a fun day of fitness with your four-legged family member and create memories that will last for a lifetime.