How To Exercise With Your Dog

The new year is a time when we all look to start new exercise routines and get into shape. If you own a dog, you've probably wondered how to incorporate your dog into some of your new routine so both of you can get a little more exercise. But before hitting the neighborhood with your new running buddy, there are a few things you should know.

Dogs, like people, should be eased into new exercise routine. If you are wanting to do anything out of the ordinary, you should have your dog checked out by a veterinarian to make sure he is healthy enough to add a new exercise to his day. Once he is cleared, then you can start slowly taking your dog on your new walking route, or maybe for an extra walk in the afternoon. But walking isn’t the only thing you can do to help your dog get more movement into his life. There are several different things you can do with your dog that will help him, and you, get into better shape.

If you have a water dog, swimming is a great way for your dog to exercise. But make sure you start slow, get your dog a life jacket for safety, and start with shallow water to start. If your dog doesn’t like to swim, don’t try to force them to be a water dog just because you like the water. Let your dog choose if they like the activity or not. It is ok for your dog to choose another activity to do with you.

Playing with your dog such as fetch, hide and seek, tug and other games can be fun for you and your dog. And it can be a great way to get your dog some extra exercise throughout the day. These games is also good for mental stimulation, which is another very important thing your dog needs to be healthy and happy. So playing games, adding in some nose work or puzzle toys can be very rewarding for you and your dog.

If you do want to just add more walking in, especially if you are both starting something new, you can add “sniff walks” for your dog. Let him sniff along the way. This will be a good way to add in the nose work mentioned above. Dogs loves to sniff everything. They also need to sniff to learn about their world. So take your dog on different routes through your neighborhood and let him sniff, or take them for a hike in a wooded area where their nose will be on high alert for all the new scents they will find.

Make sure no matter what new exercise you choose for you and your dog to try, that you follow the following guidelines.

Article written by Tracey Hagan, and sourced from the Orijen Website. Tracey is a certified dog trainer at Pawsitive Purpose Dog Training & Behavior.