Dogs are man’s best friend, and just like people they need to be exercised enough to stay fit and healthy.

According to a spokesperson from Petsandpaws, many dog owners don’t give their furry friends enough exercise, which can lead to serious implications and health problems. Symptoms to look out for are weight gain, destructive behaviour (because they are bored), and hyperactivity.

If you are worried about your dog’s health then you need to try improving his/her fitness and here are 5 perfect sports that you can try.

Walking

The most obvious sport is walking. If your dog is particularly overweight or unhealthy, then make sure you are going for brisk walks at least twice a day. Ideally, you want to exercise your dog for an hour each time you go for a walk.

During the walk, it is a good idea to take some water for your dog and a ball, so that they can do even more exercise by running after it too. Remember that in summer it might get too hot for your dog, so go out in the morning and the evening, to avoid your dog from overheating.

Running

Another common sport that people like to do with their dogs is running. Running is a great way to ensure you and your dog stay healthy. Running ensures that you and your dog’s heart and lungs are healthier.

Why not take your dog for a jog in your local park, or go to the countryside and do some hill running on your days off?

Swimming

According to a Canadian Veterinarians wellness report, the majority of dogs (55%) and cats (70%) that they see don’t receive enough exercise to maintain good health.

Swimming is a great way to ensure your dog stays healthy because it exercises the whole body and helps to improve your dog’s cardio and muscles. So if you live near the sea or a lake, make sure you encourage your dog to go for a swim.

Scent work

Want to try an exercise with your dog that is a little different? If your dog particularly enjoys smelling things (which most dogs do) then you could try scent work.

Scent work has been used for many years in a whole range of professions, for example, you might have seen some dogs at an airport before smelling people and their luggage. This sport relies on your dog’s keen sense of smell and their ability to find the hidden odour, it also requires your dog to be fit and healthy too.

Dog classes

Have a look in your local area at what dog classes there are available. If your dog loves to learn new tricks then agility training might be perfect for them.

Agility is a fast-paced sport that requires dogs to use their minds and their bodies at a quick pace. Even if your dog doesn’t make it to the championships, it can be great fun for both your dog and you, and is a great way to keep your dog fit and healthy.

Alternatively, if you can’t find any classes or can’t afford them, then you could set up your own obstacles and tests in your garden and try to train your dog that way.

Get your dog fighting fit

As you can see there are a whole range of fitness activities you can do with your dog, and they don’t always have to be boring.

Remember to mix it up every now and again, and enjoy spending quality time exercising with your dog, after all it is good for you too. Check out these other sports that both you and your dog can enjoy.

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