It’s no secret that every person should be getting some form of regular exercise. What people often don’t think about is giving their dogs regular physical activity. Excess body fat brought on by a sedentary lifestyle poses the same health risks to dogs as it does humans. Dogs can get diabetes, joint pain, and overall lethargy from poor health habits. Here are four good health habits to give you and your dog some exercise.
This one is easy, costs nothing, and is great for you and the dog. The American Heart Association recommends that everyone should get ten thousand steps every day. However, dogs have a less general guideline, The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) states that your dog needs anywhere from half an hour to two hours of activity every day depending on the breed. You could split the time into separate blocks. However, some dogs may prefer a planned activity rather than wandering aimlessly.
Lots of dogs love to fetch, and this will give them a workout that comes in bursts. Many pups are excited when you take out the old tennis ball and will sprint the second you throw it. Plus, if you’re tired, all you have to do is throw a ball, not walk for miles or run. This fitness method is cheap and requires more effort from the dog than you. However, you need either a large yard or grassy area for your dog to run, but not all exercise is done on the ground.
Swimming is a great form of exercise for dogs and humans, especially if their mobility is limited. Being in the water minimizes the risk of injury and is relaxing in general. Plus, you have the option of sitting on the sidelines or joining your dog in the pool. Swimming is a great form of cardiovascular exercise which is ideal for improving heart function. Also, you can play fetch in the water, and seeing a dog swim to a ball is adorable. Be sure that your dog has swimming lessons before choosing anything water-based as your form of exercise. Also, swimming is not the only doggy workout that requires skill.
4. Agility trying
This one may require you to invest in both equipment and classes, but it is well worth it. Not only does it let them get healthy, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) says it also helps them respond better to commands, bond with their owners, and channel their energy appropriately. If you have a hyper dog, agility training can tire them out and be a productive outlet for their desire to move. Start your dog off easy with agility. Jumping off of high surfaces is risky, especially if your dog is new to obstacle courses.
Having your dog on an exercise regimen is great for both of you. You can get more movement and time together, which will get a well-behaved and fit dog. A healthier dog can result in a healthier owner, which lets them spend more years together.