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Mar 17, 2011

Working Out With Your Dog

Working Out With Your DogAre you dreading lacing up those running shoes and stepping on that treadmill? Or running down the same trail day after day?
If you’re tired of the same ol’ workout routine then it may be time to try something different. Something that will benefit you and your best friend.
Maybe it’s time to start working out with your dog!
Not only can working out with your dog spice up a boring workout routine, studies show that up to 40% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight.  And like us, dogs suffer from the same health risks associated with being overweight.
Next time you work out, try some of these workout options and find a few that you and your dog both enjoy doing.  It may help you stick with your workout routine and help you both increase your health and lose some weight.
Hiking – If you and your dog are lucky enough to have hiking trails in your area then be sure to take advantage of them.  Hike the trails at a brisk enough pace to elevate your heart rate.  And be sure to do tick checks after your hike.
Swimming – This is a great low-impact, full body workout for you and your dog, especially if one of you (or both) suffer from arthritis.  If your dog enjoys swimming then give this a shot, if not then try another activity.
Walking/Jogging – Your dog loves nothing more than to go for a simple walk with you.  Be sure to walk at a brisk pace to help build a stronger heart and lower blood pressure amongst many other benefits. Also, try upping the distance you walk each time.
Jogging can be a great exercise for both you and your dog, but make sure your dog is able to keep up and keep an eye out for dehydration and heat exhaustion.  Important – visit your vet before partaking in any strenuous exercise with your pet.
Other mentionables: Frisbee, fetch, doga (yoga with dogs – see if they offer classes in your area)
Tips To get The Most Out of Your Workout
Routine – Build a workout routine around your schedule and stick to it.  Start out slow and build your way up to help you and your pet ease into the new exercise regimen.
Don’t overdo it – Keep a watchful eye on your dog to see if there is any heavy panting or fast breathing.  If your dog refuses to run along with you then it can also be a sign that they are overworked.
Keep cool – Like humans, dogs are susceptible to dehydration and heat exhaustion.  Signs include excessive panting, falling over, disorientation and heavy breathing.  Try bringing a water bottle with you or stay near public water sources on hot days.

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