There are a million reasons to get a dog - snuggles, companionship, rescue and security are just a few. But a huge bonus is you couldn’t find a more excited workout buddy! Think about it—when you work out with your dog there are no plans or schedules to coordinate, no distracting gossip. Just your fun-loving, excitable pup keeping pace at your side!
Even better, dogs are highly trainable. If you teach them to expect regular workouts and activities, you may find they keep you accountable on days when you’re feeling lazy.
Before you get started, it’s important to consider the needs of your pup. Dog’s with flat snouts like French bulldogs and pugs receive less oxygen during each breath - they need to rest often and can overheat faster. While more athletic breeds like labs or herding dogs can benefit from more rigorous exercise. Talk to your veterinarian to get specific recommendations on physical activity for your dog. This will make it easier to keep them safe, happy and healthy.
Below are 3 fun and engaging ways to workout with your dog.
1. Running Buddy
A great way to workout with your dog is to train them to become a running partner. First, start with leash training on your regular walks. You’ll always want to train your dog to stay on one side of your body, so pick a side and stick with it. Use treats and toys to encourage your pup to stay on the right side of your body throughout your walks.
Once your dog is good on a leash, slowly add small bouts of running into your regular walks. Just like humans need to train to build strength and endurance, your furry companion will need the same. Over the course of a few weeks, increase time spent running. Be sure to monitor your pup closely, especially in the beginning. This will ensure that your dog is safe and happy.
On days when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor running, many dogs can be trained to run on a treadmill. The SF-T7955 Evo Fit Incline Treadmill is the perfect treadmill to keep both you and your pup fit during rainy or snowy conditions. Start by training your dog to stay on the treadmill and walk slowly. Place treats in front of it every so often for encouragement. If your dog likes it, you can eventually work them up to faster speeds.
2. Fetch & AMRAP (As Many Reps as Possible)
Many dogs love a good game of fetch, and there’s an easy way to turn fetch into a good workout for both of you. Each time you throw the frisbee or toy, get active by doing as many burpees, squats, lunges or high knees before your pooch gets back. Before you know it, you’ll both have gotten an amazing workout and had tons of fun in the process. If possible, walk or jog to the park instead of driving. This serves as the perfect warm up and cool down, while also burning additional calories.
3. Doga: Yoga for You and Your Dog!
Doga began around 2003, and classes are now offered all over the world. By practicing yoga together, owner and dog develop a sort of synchronicity and energy flow that is incredibly unique. Just like humans are referred to as yogis and yoginis, dogs in these classes are approached as dogis and doginis - as they train to stretch alongside you. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often can’t spend quality time with our pups. These sessions are the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Whatever activity you choose, find something that fits both you and your dog’s likes. If your dog loves being in the water, play some water sports. If you love nature, take your dog for a hike! Just always remember that dogs need progressive training just like we do. Start small and slowly work your way up to activities that you can both enjoy together.