Every dog needs exercising daily. Just keep in mind that exercising is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to dogs. The amount of exercise varies according to dog type. A little dog can’t exercise for as long or hard as a bigger dog.
So don’t take your Chihuahua and your Rottweiler on the same run and expect the little one to keep up. While no written guidelines exist, your veterinarian can give you sound advice on what is appropriate for your dog(s). Just like you, your dog should have a physical and a clean bill of health before starting an exercise program.
Types of Exercise
There are several different types of exercise you can do with your dog. What comes to most peoples’ mind is walking or running. And while that is two popular types of exercising, there are several more, such as:
- doggy bootcamp
- chase me
- agility workout
Doggy bootcamp is a combination of playing fetch with your dog and working out at the same time. Check to see if you can find a bootcamp already established in your area by searching Google; if none is available, start your own.
Basically, you throw a favorite toy of Fido and while he is running out to get it and bring it back, you are static in-place exercising, such as doing push-ups, sit-ups, squats, jumping jacks, jumping rope, etc.
If your doggy bootcamp is in a public park, you may soon find yourself in company of other dogs and owners who want to do the same thing.
This routine is a moving tug-of-war between you and your dog. Place two objects as markers, such as water bottles, 10 feet or so apart. With your dog’s favorite toy in hand and your dog trying to wrestle it from you, side shuffle (you in the squat position) back and forth between the two markers. Do these as many times as you can.
As a dog owner, you have probably watched dog agility trials on TV. Now it is your turn to take the leash in hand and do your own agility workout. If no established course is in your area, make your own out of common items found around the house. Your dog will enjoy the challenge and both of you will get exercise at the same time.
No Dog – No Problem
If you don’t own a dog, there are a couple of ways you can still workout with one. Dog shelters welcome responsible volunteers to check out a dog and exercise it. Maybe you have a home-bound neighbor that can’t exercise his or her dog. Ask if you can take their dog out for some exercise.
Keep in mind that getting outdoors is not only exercise for a dog, but an enhancing social interaction for them. With their keen sense of smell, they are enjoying the outing even more than you!