With a large percentage of the world considered to be overweight, everyone knows how important it is to look after your own physical health.
But did you know it’s essential for your dogs too? A shocking 52.5% of dogs are considered to be overweight or obese, and while it may be difficult at times, you need to do all you can to help ensure your dog is as healthy as possible.
One of the best ways to do that, of course, is to exercise with them. Whether you’re going for a long walk together or signing up to doggy exercise classes, the more exercise they’re getting the more likely they are to burn off fat. As a bonus, you’ll also be getting a little bit of exercise alongside them. It’s a win-win situation.
With that in mind, here are several fun ways in which you can work out with your dog:
Related: How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
Go For A Long Walk
One of the best ways to ensure that both you and your dog is getting enough exercise is to go for a long walk with them. Whether this is something you do every single day or something you only do two or three times a month, you’ll both enjoy spending some time outdoors.
From a relaxing stroll around your local neighborhood to the opportunity to explore a new area, there are so many benefits to taking a long walk with your dog. Not only does it allow you to burn calories at a steady rate, but it also gives your pup the chance to spend some time on their feet as chances are if they were at home, they would be lying on the couch for a large portion of the day.
If you are going on a long walk with your dog, don't forget to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially if it’s a hot day.
Consider Doing A Hike
If you want to up your game and do something a little more challenging than going for a walk, taking your dog on a hike is a great idea. Although it will require a lot more physical effort, you’ll certainly feel incredible afterward.
If you are planning a hike with your dog, you need to consider how far they’re going to be able to walk. Although dogs have a lot of energy, they’re going to reach their limit eventually. The best thing to do, of course, is to start small and work your way up to something bigger. Once you test the limits, you will be able to go a little further.
Again, if you’re considering a hike, you need to ensure you’re taking everything you need with you. From water to snacks, you want to be as prepared as possible.
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Visit A Local Dog Park
If your dog is super friendly and you want to take them to a place where they will be able to exercise and interact with other dogs, why not take them to a local dog park? No matter what time of the year you go, you will be able to find lots of other dog-lovers walking their dogs, giving you a chance to meet with like-minded people.
Although it may take some time for your dog to get used to being around others, this is a great way for them to practice. If you’re looking for a way to keep them calm around other dogs and people, our Dope Dog calming crunchies may be a great solution.
Take Them With You When You Go For A Run
Although this may not apply to everyone, if you love to go for a run every morning, you may want to consider taking your dog with you. While it can be challenging to find a pace that's suitable for you and your pup, running together can be incredibly beneficial once you get the hang of it. From the benefits of exercise to the joy of bonding, you may be surprised about how enjoyable the experience could be.
Consider Toys That Encourage Them To Exercise
While buying toys that encourage your dog doesn’t help you to exercise with them, chances are you’re going to have to play a small part in getting them to play with you. Whether it’s by kicking a football around or throwing a ball to the back of your garden for them to fetch, there are lots of different toys you can buy to encourage them to get a little bit of exercise. If you’re budgeting, most toys are also incredibly affordable.
Create A Doggy Agility Course In Your Own Home
If you want to go one step further, you can create a doggy agility course that you and your dog can do together. Whether you buy parts specifically designed to create an agility course or you create one from the things you own at home, your dog will enjoy running through all of the obstacles you have set for them. While it may take some time to train them to do everything, it won’t be long before they’re an absolute pro.
Once they’ve mastered the agility course you have created, you can even switch things up a little and create something new.
Take Them To Puppy or Dog Classes
If your dog is friendly and you know they enjoy being around other dogs, you may be able to find a doggy exercise class near you. Although they’re often hard to come by, these classes are designed to get both you and your pup moving.
If you’re unsure whether or not this is going to be something you will enjoy, you might want to consider doing a tester class first. Most classes will allow you to attend once with no commitment, so make the most of it and find a class that suits you and your dog. Remember, they need to enjoy it just as much as you do.
Create A Tug Of War
Another great exercise for both you and your dog to try tug of war, especially if they’ve got a little bit of strength behind them. Although this can be dangerous, it’s a great way to stretch those muscles and use all of the strength you have. Of course, you may want to let them win every now and again.
Go For A Swim
If you know your dog loves to swim, taking them swimming is definitely a good idea. With special classes for dogs and their owners, there are always opportunities for you to enjoy a swim together. If you’re unsure whether or not your dog can swim, there may also be the opportunity for you to teach them. It’s definitely worth doing some research.
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Walk Up And Down Your Stairs
For those that don’t have the luxury of going for a long scenic hike, you may want to consider doing something a little bit different. Although it can be incredibly tricky, walking up and down the stairs is a great exercise to do at home. By encouraging your dog to go up and down with you, you’re both getting some much-needed exercise without having to leave the house.
Research Exercises Specifically For Dogs
If you’re unsure of the types of exercises you can be doing with your dog, researching specific routines could be a good idea. With lots of inspiration online, you may be surprised at what you find.
Take Them Out When You Go Cycling
Although this may be difficult for some, a lot of people like to take their dog out with them when they go cycling.
If you are going to let your dog run side by side with the bike, you need to ensure they are pretty well trained. After all, you don’t want them to chase after other dogs or animals as you cycle.
Related: 10 High Fiber Foods for Your Dog
Finally, Cut Down On The Treats And Consider Their Overall Diet
Although this isn’t considered a way to exercise with your dog, eating the right food ensures that they have the energy to play.
Whether that means cutting certain foods out of their dieting or cutting down on the number of treats you’re giving them, the more you’re thinking about their health the better.
If you are going to be exercising with your dog, you may want to consider speaking to a vet first. They will be able to offer you the best possible advice.
Take home messages
With so many incredible exercises that you can do with your dog, make sure that you’re both doing whatever it takes to stay fit and healthy. So, what will you be doing to ensure you’re doing exactly that? What exercise will you try first?
Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section or on our social media channels.