Just as exercise is important for you in terms of maintaining good health and well-being, it is also very important for your canine companion. Regular exercise for your pooch can help ward away illness and disease, and keep him feeling and looking tip top! Planning an exercise regimen is a surefire way to lead your dog toward a healthy, happy and long life.
Go Take a Walk!
You’ve probably heard that walking is one of the best exercises for people, but did you know the same holds true for your pooch? Not only is it one of the healthiest and most effective forms of exercise, but it’s also easy and enjoyable for you both. Even better still, you will both benefit from the activity! Studies have shown that 70% of people who have a furry canine friend get at least two hours of exercise every week, while only 40% of people with no canine companion get an equal amount of exercise.
In order to obtain the best benefits for you and your pet, create a walking program that includes at least 30 minutes of walking per day, and try to make it a daily routine, walking at the same time every day. Eventually, it will become a learned behavior for your pooch, and when walking time rolls around and you’re lazy or slacking off, your precious pooch will give you an obvious reminder!
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t consider exercise to be fun, but your dog sure does! And, as far as your pooch is concerned, any exercise that includes his best friend – YOU – is twice as nice. Provide your dog with fun, great exercise and bonding time with an activity such as fetch, Frisbee or a just a good ole game of catch in the front yard. Your pooch is sure to love it!
Go Jump in a Lake!
Every dog is born with an instinctive ability to swim, but that doesn’t mean every dog actually enjoys swimming. While certain breeds are drawn to water, others can be quite wary of the wet stuff. If your dog does enjoy the water, take advantage! Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise that offers aerobic conditioning. Plus, if your dog is a senior, suffers from arthritis or other joint conditions, or just isn’t as quick as he once was, swimming is an ideal option to running as it is much less stressful on the body.
While it may not be an ideal time of year now to partake in a swim, this is definitely something to consider for your pooch once the weather warms up. Always be careful of where you allow your dog to swim. Chlorine from a pool may irritate his skin, so be sure to do a quick rinse with a hose after swimming. And, if you choose a lake or a pond for taking a dip, avoid those with algae growth as the bacteria can be harmful.
A Little Common Sense Goes a Long Way
When tailoring an exercise program for your pooch, take into account his physical condition. If he is a couch potato, overweight, has breathing issues, etc., it is very important to start slow and gradually ease into a program. Don’t take him out on his first walk and expect him to log 10,000 steps! Use a little common sense and don’t overdo it, otherwise you might end up with an injured pooch. Make the experience an enjoyable one and you and your dog are likely to make it a long-lasting, healthy habit!