5 Workouts you can do with your dog
`Nothing is a better exercise companion than your own pet dog. They don’t whine and complain, they won’t talk you into cheating your workout, and they will always be up it to it which should help motivate you further. Moreover, exercising with your dog will not just benefit you but your pet as well because aside from also keeping them physically fit, it also stimulates their mind which will help them stay calm, submissive, and behaved. Without further ado, here are five exercise activities that can do with your furry pal:
1. Brisk walking and running
These are simplest exercises you can do with your dog so there would be no reason to skip out on doing these. As you drain your calories away, it also trains your dog to see you as his leader and become submissive. Make sure not to let him drag you around. Hold his leash short to keep him from walking or running alongside you. Remember that dogs cannot sweat so bring a bottle of water to keep them hydrated and don’t take them out when it’s particularly hot. To be seen with a dog following beside you is also quite empowering, more so if you can do it without a leash. It’s the sense of pride of being a respected leader. This feeling of pride alone should be enough to motivate you keep with this exercise.
If you are finding it difficult to keep up with your dog’s running pace, try riding a bike instead. Brush up on your riding skills first to ensure that you can simultaneously maintain control over the machine and the animal. Use a body leash instead of the traditional neck leash. Tie the other end of the leash around your wrist so you can maintain a stable hold on the bike handlebars. Be mindful of your dog as he will exhaust considerably faster than you will. A rule of thumb is to not ride ahead of it. Let the dog dictate the pace to be sure that you are not pushing it beyond his capacity. If you are on a long open stretch of road, allow the dog to sprint its fastest, try keeping up with him, then slow down and rest when he does. It is also fun to let your dog drag you along if he’s big and strong enough but you’d just be cheating yourself off the exercise.
If you happen to have your own swimming pool or if you manage to find a pool facility that allows pets in the water, this is a good exercise routine that is strenuous enough to drain calories without jolting down your bones and muscles. You can race across the pool or get the dog to chase you. This is particularly beneficial for those who have bone problems as it does not jolt the body too much. All dogs instinctively know how to swim but not all of them like being in the water. You may have to train your dog to get used to being in the water at first. Be aware when your dog starts to tire and struggle at which point you should already give him a hand.
4. Fetch race
You may not notice it right away but having to constantly bow or crouch down to pick up and throw a toy can get you sweating. Not strenuous enough? Race your dog to retrieve the toy you just threw. It won’t take long to get you panting hard like a dog.
Apparently there is this thing now where you do yoga with your dog. As you do a series of yoga positions, you also hold your dog into a variety of poses that involve gentle stretches and massages. Look up “dog yoga” on Google or YouTube to help you visualize what it means. Its practitioners attest to its high calming effect on their dogs. There doesn’t seem to be any dog yoga classes here in the Philippines yet but there are Doga DVDs you can order online so you can try this for yourself. Playing with your dog is one of the simple joys of life. Aside from being fun, it can also be beneficial for your health and your pet as well. But before you can start exercising with your pet, it would be best to consult first a veterinarian to determine if your pet has any health issues and to determine which types of exercises are appropriate for them.