Getting a pup means spending plenty of time with your new furry friend. You will spend countless hours together every day — feeding, training, walking, bathing, grooming, and playing with your new pet. You may even end up sleeping with your dog if you let him crawl into your bed at night.
But no matter how many hours you already spend with your new pet, you need to add a few more every week for working out. Aside from taking him out for regular walks, you and your pup will do well to exercise together.
By working out together, you and your pet will burn plenty of excess calories, allowing both of you to maintain the right weight and stave off obesity. Additionally, exercising is a great way to lower the risk for various health issues such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.
Exercising is also an effective stress reliever. Whether you’re feeling a bit of burnout from work and you notice your dog is also anxious about something, engaging in some physical activities together can help both of you forget about and release all the unhealthy tension.
As a pet owner, you will also experience several benefits when you work out with your dog frequently. Regular physical activities help keep your pup well-behaved, thus reducing his tendency to develop bad habits such as chewing on the furniture or digging the carpet.
Well-selected physical activities can also give your furry friend mental exercises, which are crucial for his overall health.
Finally, every time you work out with your pet, you strengthen your bond with him.
Starting a Great Workout Routine With Your Pet
There are a few things you need to have an excellent exercise routine with your dog.
Since you only got your pet recently, you have to rely on food to motivate him to join you in and complete your workouts. As such, shopping for dog treats online is something you have to do at the start.
Also, you need to get a good-quality leash, dog water bottle, toys, and other accessories essential for specific activities such as swimming and paddle-boarding.
Lastly, you also need to choose the right exercises suitable for you and your pet; ones that both of you will also enjoy.
Below are some fun exercises and activities to try if you want to work out with your dog:
Walking is the most common form of workout pet owners do with their dogs, which already gives you and your pup several health benefits. However, if you want a more rigorous activity, consider running.
Running is a great exercise to do with your dog, especially if it is already part of your workout routine. This activity allows your pet to enjoy the outdoors while strengthening his muscles and boosting his stamina.
If you’re worried about your pet getting tired during the run, don’t. Regardless of the size of your dog, he will have plenty of energy to keep running for an hour or more.
However, you have to keep your runs shorter during warm days since dogs sweat differently. Additionally, regardless of the weather, be prepared to make several stops whenever your pet wants to. Since canines are naturally curious, he will pause to sniff something or greet other pups and people frequently.
If you love to swim, taking a dip at a pool or nearby beach or lake should be on your list of weekly activities, too.
Swimming helps your dog develop his muscles in a less strenuous way. As a result, he will be less prone to getting injuries while working out.
But to make this activity fun for your dog, you need to ease him into it. Allow your pet to stay in the water for as long as he wants. Moreover, combine both water and exercises since the former helps your pup develop particular muscles while the latter strengthens his bones and keeps him in shape.
Once your pup has developed a liking for swimming, you can let him jump into the pool when you take a dip. Bring him whenever you go to a beach, lake, or anywhere where he can also cool down.
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Although paddle-boarding may seem more like an activity for relaxing and not for working out, it is still a great exercise. It is a great cardiovascular workout that helps strengthen your arms, ankles, legs, and joints. It also helps enhance your balance, endurance, posture, and stamina.
Standup paddleboarding is another activity that you can try with your pet. Although you will be doing most of the work, your pup will be able to strengthen his legs whenever he joins you.
It is also great for strengthening your ankles, legs, arms, and joints. Standup paddle-boarding helps correct your posture, too.
Make sure your dog wears a life preserver whenever you go paddleboarding. It will make it easier for you to grab and pull him up in case he falls.
And if you want your pet to get more exercise, throw a stick or his favorite toy into the water and play fetch once you have paddled out.
4. Playing football
Dogs love playing with balls, which means fetch is an activity you and your pet should regularly engage in. However, if you want a complete body workout instead of exercising just your arms as you throw his toy, consider teaching him a new sport.
Football is an excellent sport you will do well to play with your pet. Some breeds, such as border collies and Australian shepherds, already have an innate love for this game, which means that with patience and hard work, you can teach your pup and play football with him.
First, get a football-style ball designed for dogs. You can find this at online pet shops, so check if your provider has this product so that you can order it from them.
Next, put up one or two makeshift football goal posts in your yard. Teach your pup to kick or dribble the ball using his nose or paws. Once he knows the basics, both you and your pet can experience a complete workout as you try getting the ball from each other or punting and racing for it.
You can also enjoy simple activities, such as Frisbee throwing and tug of war, by tweaking them or adding some steps to amp up the challenge of playing them.
Whether you go for classic sports and activities or modified ones, always make having fun and bonding with your pet part of your priorities.