13 Ways to Exercise With Your Dog and Get Fit Together
By Sviat Oleksiv | Updated on Jan 22, 2023
Exercising with your dog is a great way to get both of you in shape and grow closer to one another. It also saves you time since you can get your needed exercise simultaneously. This post will cover 13 methods you may work out with your dog to help you stay fit and active. Get your leash on and have fun!
Going for a daily walk together.
Taking your dog for a walk daily is a fantastic, simple, and practical approach to keeping yourself and your dog fit and healthy. The health benefits of walking include combating stress and anxiety, increased bone density, and a stronger heart.
Always have your pet restrained on a leash if it is not trained to walk alongside you. The collar or harness should fit securely without being excessively tight, and the leash must be comfortable for your dog. In case your dog becomes lost or separated from you, a leash and collar with ID tags are also helpful to have on hand,
Hiking through the wilderness or nature trail is a beautiful opportunity to appreciate the outdoors, exercise, and spend quality time with your canine buddy. Your dog will benefit from the exercise and mental challenge, and you'll enjoy seeing new places and trying out different terrains.
Playing fetch in a park, open field, or yard.
Playing fetch with your dog is a great way to get both of you moving and spend quality time together. It will help your dog improve its fitness, agility, and coordination. It's great to get your dog's energy out and lessen undesirable behaviors like destructive chewing, barking, and even anxiety. Putting your dog through its paces and helping them build stamina can be accomplished by gradually increasing the distance of your throws.
Ensure the area where you and your dog are playing fetch is clear of dangers like broken glass and dangerous plants. Select a safe toy he can catch and gnaw on, such as a soft rubber ball or a frisbee. It would help if you start with a smaller ball or toy and work up to larger ones as your pet gains experience. Take frequent breaks to rest or drink water and avoid exerting your dog unduly.
Doing yoga or stretching exercises.
Doga or doggy yoga is a style of yoga in which your dog can participate with you. This trend is performing yoga postures while holding your dog in your lap or incorporating your pet into your yoga routine.
Despite being relatively new, doggy yoga has gained popularity over the years as a relaxing and enjoyable approach to strengthening the bond between you and your dog while promoting better mobility, balance, and health.
Doing stretches with your dog will help them relax, loosen up their muscles, and increase their flexibility. It's best to ease your dog into the stretching exercise by beginning with basic moves and working up to more complex ones as time passes.
It is crucial to go slow so as not to overextend your dog's joints or muscles. If your dog has any preexisting health concerns, it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian before beginning this new exercise regimen.
Running or jogging with your dog.
Running or jogging is a fun and effective way to exercise and bond with your furry companion. This activity can be a great way to keep your dog physically active and mentally stimulated, and it also provides an opportunity to explore new areas and terrain.
When running with your dog, choosing a route appropriate for your dog's fitness level is essential as ensuring you have a suitable harness that allows them to move freely.
You can also let them run without a leash but ensure they are trained and will not wander off. In case they do, make sure they know how to go home. It's also a good idea to bring a leash and a collar with ID tags in case your dog gets lost or separated from you.
Participating in a canine-cross country running.
A canicross is a sport where you run, and your dog pulls you using a harness and bungee line. It is good exercise for your dog since it satisfies their urge to pull anything. It is also fun to exercise and get closer together, especially while you train.
Remember that the harness you use should be explicitly designed for canicross and should not cause any discomfort to your dog while wearing it. The cord's length and strength should be calculated based on the weight and size of your dog. If you and your dog are just getting started with canicross, start with shorter runs and work up to longer ones as you and your dog become used to the activity.
To teach your dog to pull well, you should begin training with a modest weight until they can pull your weight well. Make sure your dog has plenty of time to recover by warming up and cooling down before and after your runs.
Participating in agility training.
In agility training, you and your dog navigate a course with obstacles, including jumps, tunnels, and weave poles. As an added benefit, your dog can improve its obedience, concentration, and physical health from this fun activity, and you'll enjoy spending time together.
You and your dog should ease into agility training by beginning with simple obstacles and working up to more complex ones as your dog gains confidence. Be patient while your dog learns the hurdles, and remember that positive reinforcement like treats and praise can go a long way toward keeping them motivated and engaged in the training process.
Swimming at a local pool or in a nearby body of water.
Dogs benefit greatly from swim training since it increases their cardiovascular health, strengthens their muscles, and aids in their weight loss efforts. To top it all off, it's an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with your dog while also helping them stay cool in the summer.
The water you and your dog will be practicing in during swim training should be clean and calm, whether it's a pool or a lake, and your dog should already be familiar with the water and have a good grasp of basic swimming skills before beginning formal swim instruction. Remember to bring a life jacket to ensure your dog's safety if they are not a strong swimmer.
Always keep an eye on your dog, especially when they're out in the open water. For added safety precautions, don't let them swim too far from you; train them to come to you when called.
Paddleboarding or kayaking with your canine friend.
Taking your dog out on a paddleboard or kayak is a novel way to spend quality time together while also helping them get in better shape. It's fun to give your dog some exercise and mental stimulation by exposing him to diverse environments and water conditions.
The low-impact nature of sports like paddleboarding and kayaking means they're less taxing on your dog's joints than sprinting and jumping. Your dog's balance and coordination will benefit from the time paddling or cruising on a kayak.
Learning to traverse the water and obey your orders can mentally stimulate your dog while paddleboarding or kayaking. Dogs that like to swim may find paddleboarding or kayaking a pleasant way to cool off on a warm day.
If you want to go paddleboarding or kayaking with your dog, you must ensure they are comfortable in the water. A properly fitted life jacket is another essential item to keep on hand to protect your dog in an accident. Remember to keep a close eye on your dog, especially when on a kayak or paddleboard in the vast ocean.
Participating in a skijoring.
Skijoring is a type of cross-country skiing where the skier is tethered to their dog by a harness and line. It is an excellent way to help your dog expend excess energy and relax. Having your dog pull you is an ideal approach to getting him in shape, as it will help him develop muscle and stamina and provide mental stimulation for your dog as it learns to navigate in the snow and obey your orders.
Keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy being outside in the snow and cold; if your dog is not accustomed to these conditions, you should introduce them slowly and keep a close eye on them at all times. In addition, if your dog has any preexisting health concerns, it is best to check with your vet before beginning a new exercise regimen.
Participating in weight pulling.
When competing in weight pulling, dogs are tasked with pulling a sled or cart loaded with heavy objects. It's a fun way to strengthen your relationship with your dog while helping him get in better shape. You and your dog should ease into weight pulling by beginning with a lightweight sled or cart and working up to heavier loads as your dog gains experience.
A large amount of strength and endurance is required to draw a weighted sled or cart, which can aid in developing muscle. Dogs that are overweight or don't get enough exercise can benefit significantly from this activity.
As a sport that needs intense concentration, it can be a great way to keep your dog's mind active and healthy. It's a fantastic method to provide a dog with an outlet for its boundless enthusiasm.
Preparing for a lure coursing activity.
In lure coursing, a dog races around a course after a lure or toy. Sighthounds like Greyhounds, Whippets, and Afghan Hounds are commonly seen on this course because of their realistic recreation of the hunting experience.
Beginning lure coursing with a short, easy course can let your dog become used to the activity before you challenge him with longer and more difficult courses.
It increases your dog's overall physical health and fitness because following a lure or toy takes a large amount of running, jumping, and maneuvering, which can assist in building muscle, enhance endurance, promote general fitness and even improve the dog's emotional health as well.
Training your dog for tracking or scent work.
Scent work, often known as tracking, is a competitive canine sport in which you train your dog to locate hidden targets based on their scents. Using a dog's innate ability to pick up and follow a scent is central to the design of this activity, which can be an excellent introduction to hunting, tracking, and search and rescue activities.
To effectively follow a scent and track it, a great deal of walking and running is required, which can increase your dog's muscle strength and general fitness. As a sport, it also needs intense concentration, and it is a fantastic opportunity to burn off some steam.
Training your dog in tracking and scent work can be a fantastic opportunity to introduce him to new people and environments. Dog shows and events are great places to socialize with other dog owners and participate in tracking and scent work competitions with your canine companion.
Participating in organized dog sports.
Flyball, treibball, obedience, and dock diving are examples of dog sports. These activities are a great way to give your dog a mental and physical workout while also being a lot of fun. These sports also involve much running and walking, which can satisfy your much-needed exercise.
In flyball, teams take turns racing to clear a series of hurdles and bring their handler a ball from a box. At the same time, dogs compete against one another in dog obedience trials by completing a series of tasks designed to showcase their training and responsiveness to their handlers' commands. On the other hand, dock diving involves dogs competing by leaping off a dock into the water to recover a bumper or toy.
In conclusion, working out with your dog is a great way to bond with your pet while increasing your fitness level. You should bring water for yourself and your dog, a first aid kit, and snacks. To guarantee your dog's safety, you should always keep an eye on them and avoid leaving them unattended. If your dog has any preexisting health concerns, you should also talk to your vet before beginning a new exercise regimen. Planning and showing excitement can make working out with your dog a blast for both of you.