It’s a win-win situation for both a dog and its owner. A dog spends special quality time together with its owner and the family in the great outdoors.
Research shows us that if you have a dog you as an owner are likely to be fitter than non dog owners. Walking with a puppy leads to a 28 percent increase in walking speed, compared to a 4 percent increase when walking with another human. A healthy dog and healthy owner is a winning formula.
There are various exercises you can do together:-
Walking – Be it in the local park, walking around your neighborhood or a longer family country walk. Any walk, be it short or long will ensure you both stay happy and healthy mentally and physically.
Running – Another great way to bond with your dog is when you run together and they can really help motivate you to go that extra mile. Certain breeds of dogs need to run to really get the benefits of outdoor exercise.
Cycling – A dog may be faster than you, so take your bike to a cycle path where you can cover a long stretch together.
Scooter/Roller blades/Segway – You may have a scooter area or a park near you; this can be a great place for you to explore. What better fun and way to play together.
Swimming – Dogs love water and getting wet. Just like their owners, dogs enjoy water games, so grab a ball or some toys. It’s a great way of exercising whilst not feeling like you actually are.
Frisbees/Ball Games – within your walk and run add in some fetch games, your dog will love them.
Exercise is important for dogs as well as owners; for dogs it helps keep their heart, lungs, joints and digestive system functioning well. In today’s world dogs can become obese so it helps control a dog’s weight and helps keep them fit and healthy.
Dogs love spending time with their owners racing around freely and having fun which also has psychological benefits in helping reduce anxiety leading to less destructive chewing and biting that may occur.
If you are just starting to exercise with a dog, take it at a slow pace and start of gently. Every dog and breed is unique and may need to build up their endurance levels. Puppies and elderly dogs should not exercise strenuously as it can damage bones and joints. Taking your dog for a walk around the block is a great start, and it might be enough for breeds with lower exercise requirements.
The weather is also another element to consider. Just like humans, dogs can feel the cold and also suffer from heatstroke. So try and pick a time of day that is weather permitting for you both. Water breaks are important to ensure they stay hydrated. Do not allow your pet to drink from puddles in the street as they may be contaminated.
The most important thing is that you have fun together and enjoy spending some rewarding bonding time together whilst also keeping fit.