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Tips for exercising with your dog

7 Tips for Exercising With Your Dog

Your dog may be the best workout partner you didn’t know you had. They already love spending time with you and are always ready for an adventure. What’s more, they’ll help keep you accountable as they become accustomed to their new routine. To help get you prepared, we’ll share some tips on how to get the most out of your new fitness regimen.

  1. Go to the vet before exercising with your dog
  2. Jogging and running
  3. Hiking
  4. Canicross
  5. Walking
  6. Running stairs
  7. Swimming

Exercising with your dog is the activity that keeps on giving. Not only will you both stay healthy, but you’ll be adding more active years that you ultimately get to spend together.

(1.) Go to the Vet Before Exercising with Your Dog

Take your dog to your local PetWellClinic before you start including them in your exercise routine. While your four-legged friend will probably be more than willing to join you, they may not be in the best shape to keep up. More importantly, they may have health problems that could cause serious complications and put them in danger.

Our PetWellClinic vets will be able to check for health issues such as:

  • Heart problems
  • Lung problems
  • Arthritis
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Inflammation

Be sure to ask your PetWellClinic vet about any exercises or activities that your dog can take part in. 

ask your PetWellClinic vet about exercising with your dog
Image Courtesy of CanvaPro

(2.) Jogging and Running

If you’re looking to break a sweat, then consider jogging or running with your dog. All you need is a decent pair of running shoes, a leash, and water for yourself and your dog to stay hydrated. 

Like humans, dogs can get bored with the same route over and over again. They may show their dissatisfaction by lagging behind, making frequent stops (other than using the bathroom), and being vocal. 

To help prevent both of you from getting bored, try:

  • Changing your route 
  • Find a running partner who also has a dog
  • Do “destination runs” to parks your dog enjoys
  • Take frequent breaks to play
  • Do tempo runs to change up your rhythm

These are just a few of the ways you can start running with your dog. By following these tips, you’re sure to have a happy running partner for many miles to come. 

(3.) Hiking

Hiking is the perfect way to get in shape with your dog. It’s visually stimulating for both of you, and your pup will love all the sights, sounds, and smells of the great outdoors. Just like with walking, jogging, and running, make sure to bring a leash and something to clean up after them with.

One of the great things about hiking is that you can slowly build up over time. Start small with short, flat trails. You can then start hiking on longer and more difficult trails once those become boring or not enriching enough for you and your dog. In this way, hiking ensures that you and your dog will always be getting plenty of exercise while strengthening your bond.

(4.) Canicross

If you really want to step up your exercise routine then consider canicross. It’s not as big in the United States as it is in Europe (yet). With that said, it offers an amazing workout for you and your favorite training partner. Canicross is a combination of sled dog training and trail running that promises to kick both your tails.

Along with a decent pair of running shoes, you’ll also need a special belt, harness, and leash for the activity. You and your dog will both need some training on the front-end to get in shape and enhance communication. Once you have that down, you’ll be able to take part in a fantastic activity that will be thrilling and challenging for both of you.

Video Courtesy of American Trail Running Association

(5.) Walking

Maybe you would prefer to take it slow in the beginning. If that’s the case, then simply walking with your dog is a great way to get started. It helps your dog burn a few calories while exploring the neighborhood. Make sure to keep them on a leash while out and about. This will protect your dog from dangers such as traffic as well as help other pedestrians feel safe.

Make sure to clean up after your dog when walking. Cleaning is important for sanitation since dog feces can lead to disease, plus it’s bad for the environment. You should also stop them from using private lawns as bathrooms. People spend a lot of time and money on lawn care. That can all go to waste if your dog uses it as a toilet and damages their yard.

(6.) Running Stairs

It’s not always possible to go on a hike, run, or long walk due to weather or being pressed for time. This can leave you wondering how to exercise with your dog at home. If you live in a house or apartment complex with stairs, then you already have a built-in exercise tool.

This may be an advanced exercise for you and your dog, so make sure to start out slow. Walk up and down the stairs to get started. Think of them as a circuit workout and gradually increase your speed over time. Just make sure to be respectful of your neighbors if you share a wall or someone else needs to use the stairs.

Swimming with your dog can be a fun activity in the summer
Image Courtesy of CanvaPro

(7.) Swimming

Swimming is a great way to burn calories with your dog. However, not all dogs can swim, though they might be willing to learn. Not only that, but not all dogs actually enjoy swimming. But if your dog does like swimming, then it’s the perfect summertime activity for both of you.

There has been some debate about whether dogs can swim in chlorinated pools or not. Thankfully, the answer is a resounding “yes.” The main risk is if a pool is over-chlorinated, which can result in irritated skin, nose, and lungs. For skin, simply rinse them off when they’re done swimming. If it’s the latter two, keep an eye out for odd breathing and bring them out of the pool.

PetWellClinic is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. Talk to our vets about solutions for your pet’s health today!

PetWellClinic provides convenient, affordable veterinary care for pet owners. PetWellClinic has locations and services built with convenience in mind. Stop by with your pet any time! No appointment necessary.

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