Doing exercise is important both for humans and dogs to maintain a healthy life. When you’re best friends with your pup, there is almost no better activity than doing sports together. It can be so good and fun that it may cause addiction. But a healthy and necessary addiction that can give a better life.
Dogs are the ultimate motivators when it comes to going all out. If you need to lose some weight or just simply improve your fitness, your furry companion will be your energetic motivation. They’ll push you to take the next step with excited hops, little tugs on their leash, and a big smile on their face.
However, let’s just remember that your dog needs time to cool off too! They may want to run and run and run, but it’s up to you to make sure they do it safely.
For example, you’ll need to pay more attention when it’s warm outside. You’re better off doing things earlier in the morning or later in the evening to avoid sunburn and heatstroke (for both you and your dog!). You should carry some water too.
You should also be careful to not push your dog past their limits. Doing the wrong exercise, or doing too much of it puts them at risk for elbow and ACL injuries. Thankfully, dog braces for companies like Doggy Brace are designed to support their hind legs and help prevent injuries. That way you both can focus on fitness and fun!
Now, it is high time we looked at the 6 exercise ideas that you can do with your furry friend by having amazing fun and getting into shape!
Hiking is a combination of the beautiful nature and hard work. It is good for our bodies and minds. It is a great option for doing with dogs because our buddies’ paws will be more comfortable on the soil. After you prepare the gear (water, ID tag of your pup etc.), make your plan. You should be sure that the kiddo is comfy with the leash before starting.
Some dogs are better equipped for hiking than others. Small dogs may prefer sidewalks to dirt trails, and some do better with elevation than others. Know your dog’s limitations before you go out and plan a hike that’s right for both of you.
Playing tennis with your dog is possible. Don’t doubt that. Have you heard that shelter dogs were the “ball boys” Brazil Tennis Open tournament? They are in love with fetching! We can suggest you bring the kiddo along to the court (assuming they allow dogs). You can work on your serve by spicing the ultimate fetching game. It is win-win, right?
Swimming is quite great for people and easier for the pup’s with sensitive paws or with past leg injuries. If you have a pond or a lake near you, go for a swim with your furry companion. Of course, you need to be sure that the kiddo knows how to swim. In every scenario, you should keep an eye on your friend and swim closely. It will be fun when you see that pretty face smiles really big!
Some dogs are also water breeds, so they’ll be ready to jump in at a moment’s notice. Just make sure you bring a towel!
It is dog yoga! Doga is a combination of massage and exercises. It is great for relieving stress, calming down and strengthening the bond you guys share. If you are already a yoga lover, be careful, it may be the nirvana of yoga for you when your furry friend is involved. The poses are slightly modified such as that you can use your pup’s weight for balance. And yes, your dog can do yoga along with you if you train them the right moves! “Downward dog” got its name for a reason!
It is the best if you check out a doga lesson near you or online.
Other benefits include:
- Improving the dog’s circulation
- Provision of exercise for injured or obese dogs
- Aiding in relaxation and stress relief
- Works as behavioral therapy
- Can soothe hyperactive or anxious dogs
- Helps to develop impulse control
Biking is perfect if your joints are not that comfortable with running and your furry friend can also join you! Their speed may surprise us all. Most dogs do not find catching a bike difficult. It spices the game even. Of course, you need to be sure that the kiddo is eager for the run.
Biking with your furry friend may be one of the best exercises you can do if you have a hyper-active dog. But you should be aware that leash can be tricky while biking. So, we suggest you use a bicycle leash attachment allowing the kiddo to run alongside the bike.
Or if you don’t own a bike, or prefer skateboarding or rollerblading, many dogs are happy to accompany you with those activities too! As a bonus, they’re a little easier to maintain control of the leash, and your dog may pull you along more than you’re pulling them!
We don’t recommend this for untrained dogs though. The last thing we want is for you or your dog to get hurt.
Canicross, cross country running with dogs, is very popular. If you are a trail running lover, canicross is perfect for you. You will be attached to your furry friend by a line and a belt. The kiddo will pull you along while running, or stay right beside you. As they pull, your pace will be boosted, and they’ll be learning better leash etiquette when you don’t keep pace.
After some practicing, you will find your rhythm. Then, it may turn a new leaf in your sports days. Fans of canicross say that it feels like you are flying with your friend’s pace. It seems like it is worth trying, right?