The Best and Safest Ways to Exercise with Your Dog
Exercise is so important, both for humans and canines. Obesity is a widespread issue in the United States and one that can be combated with the regular institution of a healthy workout plan. Luckily for many dog owners, our four-legged friends can be incorporated into our exercise routines, making them more fun for us and keeping our pets healthy too. These are some of the best ways to get some exercise with your dog.
Dogs love to stretch their legs and run free without the strain of a leash. For many people, this can be difficult, as open spaces safe from auto traffic can be hard to come by, depending on the environment. If you live in an area with open spaces and hiking areas, this can be a fantastic option for both you and your dog. Hiking is a healthy way to spend time in nature whilst allowing your dog to experience all the smells and sticks and textures the forest has to offer. Most regions have designated trails for off-leash use, in which case, you have nothing to worry about! Other trails require dogs to be leashed, so before embarking on a hike with your pet, make sure to consider the amount of exercise your dog can endure and whether he is a strong enough listener to use an off-leash trail in the event of running into another dog.
Most dogs love to swim and are naturals in water, depending on breed. If your dog does not like water, don’t try to force it - he may have experienced some sort of water-based trauma, or simply doesn’t like doing it. If he does, however, it’s a fun way to do low-impact exercise with your dog. Lakes and other swimming areas that are designated as safe for the dog and human use can be a great way to have fun with your dog while engaging in a healthy activity.
Jogging or Running
Again, it’s important to be totally aware of how much exercise your dog can endure before engaging in a high-impact activity such as running together. Many breeds can run for a long time and enjoy acting as jogging partners to their humans. This is a fantastic way to help your dog expend some pent-up energy. However, some dogs and humans cannot keep pace with each other, so it’s important not to force it on either end and for both parties to keep well hydrated.
Dogs love chasing things! A low-impact way for you to get some activity in while giving your dog a high-impact workout is throwing a ball or frisbee for him. You might be surprised by how fun and engaging it actually is!
Whatever you choose to do to work out with your pet, remember to be realistic about how much you and your dog can handle and try to find an activity that works well for both of you!