Incorporating Your Dog Into Your Exercise Routine

Incorporating your dog into your exercise routine can be a fun way to spend more time with your furry companion, and also give them regular, daily exercise they need.  However, one needs to consider the fact that a dog will be unable to effectively communicate when he’s had enough exercise, or when the exercise is a bit too difficult for him.  It’s therefore important to understand just how one can best incorporate their dog into their normal exercise routine.

Establishing a Canine-Friendly Exercise Routine

There is no reason why one cannot establish a canine-friendly exercise routine that is mutually beneficial.  However, there are some basics that one should keep in mind when establishing this routine, including what type of exercise they will do.  Walking and jogging with one’s dog are among the most common forms of canine exercise, but they can also participate in other fitness activities like swimming, obstacle courses, cycling, rollerblading or roller skating, cross country skiing and much more.  By establishing the exercise routine that you want to participate in, you can then begin to determine how best to incorporate your dog into this routine.  Following are some valuable tips:

● Teach your dog how to heel.  Needless to say, it can be incredibly distracting to have your dog run off in the middle of your workout.  You have to stop whatever you are doing in order to chase down your dog.  It’s better to teach your dog to heel so that your dog remains by your side throughout the entire workout.

● Teach your dog to be social.  A social dog will be able to stick by you throughout your workout, and will not react aggressively when he comes into contact with other dogs.

● Ensure your dog is up to your level of workout.  Your dog needs to be in good physical health in order to safely participate in your regular exercise routine, and this should be verified by his veterinarian.

● Choose the morning or the evening to exercise.  Dogs can quickly overheat in hotter weather, just as humans can.  It is far better to exercise in the morning or the evening so you both remain safely cooler.

● Gradually work up to longer distances and faster paces.  It is best to take things slowly at first, and determine what your dog is most comfortable with, and then slowly increase to longer distances and faster paces.  You should be mindful of your dog’s ability to keep up, and leave him at home if he simply doesn’t seem able to handle the longer workouts you desire to undertake.

At the conclusion of your exercise routine with your dog, make sure you both hydrate and you reward your dog for keeping up with you.  Most importantly, have fun!