As a dog parent, it is your sole responsibility to nurture and care for your canine friend by choosing the best dog food for their diet and making sure they are well exercised. An active dog is a healthy dog. This does not necessarily mean that you need to put your dog on a 3-hour training routine or a 5-mile walk every day. There are some fun and simple activities, games, and exercises that can help improve your dog’s physical fitness. Here are 6 tips to improve your dog's physical fitness:
Walking your dog for fitness is entirely different from a leisurely stroll. Leisurely strolls do not cut it. When strolling, your dog will spend his time sniffing on grass and trees. To kick up your dog’s fitness level, accelerate the paceof your walk for a good workout. Preferably, 15 to 20-minute power walk per mile. At this rate, your dog will not only be panting but also be fully exercised for the day.
A simple game of fetch might be all your dog needs for his daily dose of exercise. This exercise is easy to squeeze into a busy schedule and can be practiced in your backyard, indoors from the comfort of your couch or at the park.
Dogs are natural swimmers. However, some breeds have a strong inclination to water while others are not drawn to it. Swimming is an excellent exercise in keeping your dog physically fit. Additionally, it is an activity that you can both enjoy doing together. Since this activity is not as physically demanding as running, it is highly recommended for elderly dogs to remain active.
This is another great activity to help improve your dog’s physical fitness. However, it is not an exercise that you just start right away, especially if your dog is not used to rigorous training. You will need to take the time to increase his endurance by taking him on a short jog 3 to 4 times each week. After that, start increasing the length and intensity of the jog.
Taking regular jogs with your dog will help maintain his weight, cardiovascular system, improve muscle tone, and build endurance. Most importantly, it makes your dog happy as he gets to explore the world through sounds, smells, and sights while enjoying some quality time with you. It also helps your dog to release any built up energy, making him less likely to vent his energy in destructive ways.
Agility is not only an excellent exercise for your dog but also very exciting and a lot of fun. It entails your dog completing obstacles in the shortest time possible by following your voice and hand instructions as you run alongside him. Running over planks and weaving through poles helps to cultivate muscle coordination, flexibility, listening skills as well as keeping your dog energetic. If you do not have an agility course, use whatever you have access to, including low walls, fences, and fence posts.
This is an excellent tool for exercising your dog. However, it is only supposed to be used in exceptional instances when outdoor walks or jogs are not an option. A treadmill is fantastic for those dog owners with physical limitations, busy schedules, or rehabilitating after an injury. You should note that walking on a treadmill is different than walking your dog outdoors. Therefore, it is not an exercise that you can just put your on and walk away. Your dog may suffer a severe injury. You need to supervise him when walking on the treadmill carefully to check for any signs of fatigue, shortness of breath or discomfort.
As your dog starts getting used to walking on the surface, slowly increase the speed, and incline until he begins to walk at a brisk, yet comfortable pace. Start with 4 to 5 minute walks with two-minute breaks and repeat.
Before starting any new exercise with your dog, it is prudent that you check with your veterinarian. Young, old, big or small, your dog deserves an active and lively lifestyle to benefit their health and wellness. The importance of exercising your dog can never be overemphasized. Engage him in various fun and exciting activities to improve his overall physical health. With the above physical activities, you should be on the right track to keep your furry friend fit.
Author Bio: June is the founder of TobysBone, where she shares her passion for writing and love for dogs. She wants to help you deal with your dog's behavior issues, grooming and health needs, and proper training. Through her blog, you can find informative and reliable posts, tips and tricks, and a lot of interesting reads that will help you maintain a close bond with your furry companion.