Exercising with your dog is a fantastic way to make fitness fun. Most people limit themselves to going on long walks with their pets, but there are plenty more workout routines that you can try. Exercising together can be a wonderful bonding experience with benefits for both you and your pet, even more so for highly active breeds.
1. Trail run
Trail running differs from jogging in that it incorporates difficult environments, perhaps hills or rugged, off-road tracks. It’s actually better for a dog’s paws than hard tarmac, and forces humans to train more intensely. Trail running is also a great excuse to get a taste of the outdoors and sample some breathtaking views.
Not all dogs love to swim, and some outright hate water. However, if you happen to own a Golden Retriever, Labrador or one of the other water loving breeds, then swimming is a great joint activity. There are plenty of doggy pools that allow owners to do laps along with their pets. Swimming is a full-body, cardio workout with long-term health benefits, and it’s even more fun with a dog by your side.
3. Bicycle ride
Most good pet suppliers will stock harnesses that can be attached between your dog’s leash and a bicycle. A quick search using a service like exceptionalpets.com will show you a list of pet shops in your area so that you can make an informed choice. From there it’s as simple as hopping on your bicycle and going for a ride as your dog jogs along at your side. Of course, this can be somewhat risky with breeds that have a high prey drive. Siberian Huskies, for example, are easily distracted by passing squirrels and might dash off in pursuit, dragging you along with them!
4. Doggy Yoga
Doggy Yoga (or Doga as it’s known amongst its exponents) is growing in popularity. It involves performing all the usual yoga exercises, except with your dog at your side! Yoga has mental health benefits alongside physical. It’s fantastic for mindfulness and will also foster a deeper bond between you and your pet.
One of the more unusual suggestions, it’s easier to play tennis with your dog than you might imagine. Tennis can be fused quite easily with a game of fetch, especially if you own a ball machine or want to work on your serve. Simply hit the ball to the other side of the court, working on your accuracy, and train your dog to bring it back to you.
6. Ultimate frisbee
Ultimate frisbee is a more competitive and structured version of the traditional game. It has its own set of rules and is popular amongst big groups. For a dog, of course, any kind of frisbee game simply resembles catch! Incorporating your pet into this highly energetic game makes it even more intense and is sure to give you a good workout. Better still, it will tire your pet out for the rest of the day, so you won’t have to worry about burning off excess energy!