“Fitness” has become a catchphrase that covers just about everything to do with physical and mental health. Animals with a good weight, strong cardiovascular system, well-trained musculature and a clear head live happy and healthy lives well into old age. Here are three ways exercising with dogs can help keep both owners and pets in shape together!
1. Exercise and Play to burn calories
Dogs have a natural desire to be active and demand play from owners on their own. This is a good starting point to begin a new exercise programme. Alongside the usual games that you can now play more often outside like fetch, chasing scents and jumping over obstacles, you can also lure your pet to the park with sporty toys such as Frisbees. Choose something that your dog likes from the wide range available. Start slow and don’t rush things, as this is more likely to do harm than good to your four-legged friend. The advantage of increased activity is that your dog both burns calories and strengthens important muscle groups, and with it their musculoskeletal system.
2. Take your dog as a jogging partner
Comfortable spring temperatures entice us outside and awaken a desire for movement. Those who own a dog might like to take him along as a jogging companion. If you are planning to do this, it is best to build up the training. This means jogging just a little bit during the first training sessions (1 – 2 minutes) then take the lead off and let him do what he wants. Do this for about half an hour, alternating between the two. While jogging keep your dog on the lead and keep his attention focused on you. In the free run phase allow him to explore and do his business. After the first few training days extend the jogging phase by a minute until you can run for an entire 30 minutes with your dog at your side.
Agility has been around for some time and is offered by many dog clubs. This discipline is in principle suited to all sporting dogs. The animal, together with its owner, runs through an obstacle course demonstrating its intelligence and agility in the process. It’s all done against the clock where the dog has to negotiate hurdles, tyres, plank-walks and see-saws as quickly and as fault-free as possible.
Call into your local store today to discuss your dog’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.