Earlier this month we talked about how owning a dog makes you happier and healthier. But what if you want to incorporate your pet into a new exercise routine? If you want to start a new regime with your pet the first thing you should do is check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is in good shape to start a new activity. Read on to find out about different ways to work out with your pet and the safety considerations you should keep in mind while breaking a sweat.
Thinking about bringing your pal along on your next jog? First off, remember that different dogs are suited to different kinds of runs. For instance, famously fast Greyhounds will be good companions on shorter, brisk runs, while Golden Retrievers will be more obedient on busy trails. Check out this handy chart from Runner’s World to find out what kind of run your breed of dog is best suited to. Avoid running with very young or much older dogs.
While running, consistently keep your dog on one side of you, because you might trip over her if she crosses over to your other side without warning. Make sure to check her paws for cuts or scrapes after your workout. And give her plenty of water and a treat to reward her for her hard work!
Try setting up an obstacle course for your dog in your back yard. This is a great way to work on your pet’s agility and you will get a good workout from leading him through the obstacles. Try the following obstacles to test your dog’s agility:
– PVC pipes stuck into the ground to make a weave obstacle
– A child’s play tunnel
– A picnic bench to test balance
– A broom balanced on flowerpots as a small jump
– A hoola-hoop balanced between 2 chairs to make a jump-through hoop.
Be sure to test the stability of your obstacles before leading your dog through. Be aware of your dog’s age and ability when designing the course: older dogs will have more trouble with jumps whereas younger dogs might have trouble focusing on a course with many elements.
This is a great family activity if you ask your kids to help design the obstacle course. Turn it into the Dog Olympics and give out medals for the best jumps!
It might sound totally ridiculous, but yoga with dogs is something that real people actually do. This activity involves doing gentle yoga poses that incorporate your dog – think about lifting your Maltese proudly above your head while in tree pose. This kind of activity is not a replacement for your dog’s daily run but is suitable for calm or older dogs. Doga classes have yet to take off in Victoria, but luckily you can try this new form of exercise in the privacy of your own home with an online video. Shhh, we won’t tell anyone.
Of course, another great way to exercise with you dog is to try one of our boot camp classes, happening all summer long on Tuesday evenings and Saturdays!