I’m going to start by laying a little bit of truth on you today: An out of shape dog often has an out of shape owner.
While there are ways to exercise your dog without exerting much effort yourself, it makes perfect sense to work on getting into shape together.
Just like people, dogs that are healthy and fit live longer, happier lives. Don’t you want that for both of you?
Your dog doesn’t ask much from you but she gives so much. Why not give your dog (and yourself!) the gift of fitness and longevity.
Get fit with your dog by sharing some quality time together with the activities listed below.
9 Ways to Get Into Shape With Your Dog
Many dogs are naturally excellent swimmers (but make sure your dog can swim and never leave her alone in the water). Swimming is a very healthy, low-impact exercise for you and your dog.
Be sure to keep an eye on your dog. It’s not always easy for them to figure out how to get out of the pool when they start to tire.
Dogs love to go for walks, but they love to hike even more. The different varieties of terrain and smells are much more interesting to the average dog. The natural surface is also much easier on their feet than a concrete sidewalk.
Hiking is a great stress reliever for dogs and humans.
Consider how much time wolves, coyotes, and foxes spend “hiking” each day. It’s a very natural activity for your dog.
Most dogs love to camp, as well as all the fun outdoor activities that along with it. Try it once with your dog and see how much you both enjoy it.
Rollerblading isn’t as popular as it once was, but it’s still a great activity to do with your dog. It’s a great way to pick up the pace, which your dog will love, without being too hard on the owner.
You’ve probably seen a few people on bikes with their dog trotting alongside them. This is another way to give your dog the speed he craves without overextending yourself.
Biking together might take a little practice and training to make it work, but it’s worth the effort.
6. Trail running
Think of trail running as hiking at higher speed. It’s a great workout for both of you. Start slow and take it easy if you haven’t been running recently.
Consider this to be an advanced activity for both you and your dog.
This old standby is always available. Every dog is excited by the prospect of a walk! Just pull the leash out of the closet and watch your dog go bonkers. A daily walk has so many benefits for both you and your dog.
8. Road race
Once both of you have increased your conditioning, consider participating in a short road race with your dog. A 5k is a popular distance for human-dog running teams.
9. Play fetch
Traditional fetch is great for the dog but doesn’t do much for the owner, so you’ll want to mix it up a bit. Throw the ball, and then you both run after it. You’ll never win, but you’ll get some great exercise in the process and it will thrill your dog! Get the ball back from your dog and repeat. See who decides to give up first!
Most dogs truly love to be active, but they’re also quite content to sleep the day away if there’s nothing interesting going on. Just because your dog is content lying around all day doesn’t make it’s healthy for either of you.
With these tips, you and your dog can share some quality time and get into shape together. Lose a few pounds and increase your fitness, and you’ll see that you both benefit from it in more ways than one!
How Do You and Your Dog Stay in Shape?
I’d love for you to share your tips in a comment below! Or better yet, stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!