Exercising With Your Dog Can Bring Benefits For Both Of You

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exercising with your dog

 

Introduction

We all need to do whatever we can to stay in shape.  Whether it’s going to the gym, going for a jog, or working out at home, it needs to be done.  However, dog owners can get in some exercise, and play with their furry friend at the same time.  It’s a great way to stay in shape, and have some quality time with your four-legged kid.

Fun Ways To Workout With Your Dog

Think of your dog as your new training partner.  The energy of a young dog will keep you on your feet for hours, and you will naturally get your heart rate going.  According to Michigan State University, “canine owners were 34 percent more likely to get the recommended 150 hours of exercise per week than folks who didn’t have a dog.”  If you’re looking for ways to get in that time, there are plenty of options.

Since dogs are creatures of habit, they will naturally look forward to that morning jog that you recently started doing.  If you have a small dog, you won’t have a problem.  According to author J.T. Clough, “most small dogs have more energy than the big breeds.”  So, they will definitely be able to keep up with you.

In fact, small dogs are perfect companions for many people.  But, they are especially great for seniors, and people with small apartments.  Their small size makes them cute, compact, and a perfect-fit for homeowners for small yards.  When properly trained, and socialized, they are known to give lots of attention, and affection.

Biking

Of course, your furry friend can get a little too excited.  If yours is one of those, try having your dog run next to you while you ride your bike.  Doing so can also help with behavioral issues.  According to Tufts University’s Animal Behavior Clinic, “aerobic exercise stimulates the brain to make serotonin, a hormone that helps dogs [and people] relax.”  So, they can get in a workout, and calm themselves down in the process.

exercising with your dog

Playing Can Be A Workout

Playing outside can give both of you a great workout.  But, it can also exercise some of your larger muscles.  In addition, you can teach your dog some important commands such as “sit”, and “stay”.  For example, you can have him or her lie down.  If they sit, and stay, you can give a reward for doing so.  It will teach them that, while you do certain exercises, it is their cue to sit, and stay, while waiting for a reward.  You can also reward them with some “fetch” time, afterward.

If you want to start out with a low-impact exercise, try swimming.  Many dogs love to play in the water, and doing so is a great activity – especially for older dogs with arthritis.  It works the lungs, heart, and several other muscles.  If your dog is nervous in the beginning, you can use his or her favorite toy, and play fetch in the pool.  Once they’re in, they may not want to get out.

How To Exercise Your Dog Indoors

Even if the weather is bad, there are several ways you can give your dog a workout inside.  One option is to create an obstacle course.  You can train him or her, to go over, under, and through things using objects in your own home.  Once they figure out how to maneuver the course, you can switch things around, or make it more creative.

exercising with your dog

Benefits And Precautions

Doing these activities will definitely be a benefit to your dog.  Just like humans, your furry friend also needs exercise – regardless of breed and age.  Because every one of them is different, it is best to start slow, and figure out what your pet can handle.  However, whether they participate in walking, swimming, or any other aerobic exercise, working out at their own pace will help strengthen their muscles, and improve their endurance.

Conclusion

Finding new ways to workout, and giving your dog some exercise, can be an exciting adventure.  These activities will help strengthen all of your muscles, and help keep your heart in shape.  Being able to use these activities as teaching experiences will also help your dog learn to relax, when necessary.  Once the two of you get into a routine, there will be no stopping either of you from becoming healthier, and improving the bond between you.

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Travel junkie, Amber Kingsley, is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA. Her art history background helps her hone in on topics that are of interest to readers. She is a dog enthusiast and loves spending time with her pomeranian, Agatha.

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