Dogs are loyal and always happy to see you. But, just like humans, dogs need to stay healthy and in shape. Exercising with your dog is a great way to keep them healthy and in shape, but there are a few things you should keep in mind to make sure both of you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips on how to help your dog do just that.
Choose the Right Exercise for Your Dog
While walking is a great exercise for all dogs, some may need more than that to stay in shape. If your dog needs to lose weight, a treadmill would be a great option.
The best dog treadmills have an incline feature that will help them burn more calories. Also, keep in mind that some small breeds of dogs are not built for long-distance running and may overheat quickly, so shorter bursts of activity may be better for them.
Ensure Your Dog is Healthy Enough to Exercise
The first thing you need to do is make sure your dog is healthy enough to exercise. If your dog is underweight, obese, or senior, check with your veterinarian before starting an exercise program.
Once you have the green light from the vet, start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of the workouts. Just like humans, dogs need to warm up before exercising.
A good way to do this is to walk around the block at a leisurely pace for about 10 minutes. This will help get their muscles warmed up and ready for more strenuous activity.
Interval training is also a great way to help your dog stay in shape. This type of training alternates between high-intensity activity periods and lower intensity or rest periods. For example, you could run for 30 seconds and then walk for 60 seconds. This type of exercise is great for burning calories and helping your dog build stamina.
Ensure you have the proper equipment before taking your dog out for a run or jog. A good quality leash and collar are a must, and a harness is also recommended if your dog pulls on the leash. If it’s hot outside, bring along water for you and a portable dog bowl. And, of course, don’t forget the treat bag.
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Before starting any exercise program with your dog, it is important to ensure they have some basic obedience training. This will help you keep them under control during your workouts and prevent accidents.
Your dog should know basic commands, including sit, stay, come, down, and heel. If your dog does not know these commands yet, many obedience classes are available that can teach you how to execute them properly.
Monitor Your Dog for Signs of overheating or Exhaustion
Just like humans, dogs can overheat when they exercise too much. Be sure to monitor your dog for signs of overheating, such as excessive panting, drooling, or fatigue.
If you see any of these signs, take a break and give them some water. It’s also important to monitor your dog for signs of exhaustion. If your dog seems tired or has trouble keeping up with you, it’s time to call it quits for the day.
End on a good note by giving your dog a treat and some well-deserved belly rubs. Remember to start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
And, most importantly, have fun. Exercising with your dog is a great way to bond with them and keep them healthy and in shape.