Dog walking for exercise

Getting fit with your dog

Like your best friend who is eager to please, your dog makes the perfect exercise partner. Due to their fitness and stamina, your four-legged has the energy to go the extra mile and help you push yourself to your limits this new year. Whatever your level of fitness, your dog will stay by your side from gentle walking to running a marathon. Getting fit with your dog makes exercise fun and reinforces the bond between dog and owner too.

What to do and where to go

Getting fit with your dog opens up a world of new environments;  when jogging around the streets of your home gets boring, why take a jog around the local parks or woodland, or even take a trip to the coast and run along the beach. Each environment adds obstacles and increases your fitness levels, and adds extra excitement for your furry friend.  You can visit some breath-taking landscapes with your pet and create memories that will last a lifetime.

As your levels of fitness increase, so can your fitness regime. Use this as a way to introduce new sports to your dog and experience them together. Dogs have the ability to join in lots of sports, from marathon running and water and snow sports to flyball and mushing. There’s a great range of equipment available so that both dog and owner are fully prepared and remain safe during particular games.

The benefits of exercise to you and your dog

The benefits of exercise to dogs are the same as with humans. It keeps them fit and healthy, reduces the likelihood of diseases and can increase life expectancy, as well as providing physical and mental stimulation. But as with humans, dogs can become injured, and you have to consider any traits in breeds that could impact their physical ability. Remember, if you use your dog as a fitness partner that any physical exercise you complete must also reflect your dog’s age and level of fitness and any routine should be adjusted accordingly.

When getting fit with your dog, remember to take the necessary equipment depending on your chosen sport, for instance, a harness and safety equipment or a towel if you’ve joined in water sports.  A portable dog bowl for fresh drinking water is vital, and you can also get these for food if you’re likely to be out for a while.

Getting fit with your dog doesn’t just benefit you both physically but mentally as well. It’s already been proven that pets improve our mental health, but by exercising together, your pet’s mental health is improved too by keeping the brain active.

Remember when we are out on walks with the dog, we can learn a lot from them to help improve our own mental health and enjoy nature.

When your dog slows down to check the wee-mail or just have a good sniff or just slow down to let your dog explore the environment. 

When did you slow down to look at nature and appreciate the wildflowers, the birds singing?

So next time you are out walking your dog, leave the phone in the pocket and take a moment to learn from your dog and enjoy the environment

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