This summer why not ask your dog if you can be their workout buddy? You know that your dog can’t keep up with everything you do – but they’ll try. Instead of focusing these workouts on you and your needs, focus on your dog’s enjoyment and abilities, and figure out how you can be more involved to get in a good work out with your best friend.
When you take your dog for a swim, they should be the only 1 of you swimming. For every dog that is suited for swimming, there are dogs that just aren’t. Maybe their legs are too short, or their body gets cold easily, or they aren’t strong enough to make swimming fun, but before you take your dog into the water, be sure it’s safe and fun for them. Your job is to throw the stick and act as lifeguard. The workout for you is getting outside, walking, and throwing that stick over and over and over!
Speaking of throwing toys for your dog, whether you’re playing fetch in the water or on land, get your own workout in by taking turns to throw the toy with your right and left hands, overhand, and underhand. A lot of dogs are happy to chase that ball or stick for at least 30 minutes, so be sure to stretch first.
Your dog will love the different environment because there are so many new smells! Scope out the trail yourself before taking your dog along to ensure that the trail is safe and suitable for their level of fitness. You’ll still get a good workout in, even if it’s an easy trail.
It’s tempting to go on the same walk every day, and particularly in winter, a short one. But summer is a great time to walk for longer periods of time and in new areas. Your muscles will benefit from different routines, and that previously untraveled path may provide the varied inclines you didn’t know your body craved. And again, your dog will be thrilled with all the new smells!
RUNNING AND JOGGING:
Next level walking is fun, just be sure to warm up with a few minutes of walking and cool down with a walk at the end. Adjust your pace and time to suit their needs and be prepared to stop so that they can sniff and relieve themselves. You can drop them off at home at the end of their run and continue yours if you need to.
Just like you, your dog needs to work up to more vigorous activity to avoid muscle strain and other injuries. It’s a good idea to run new exercise ideas by your vet before beginning something new. Bring water for both of you, and always have your dog on a leash. When the weather is too hot, look for a dog agility center, or sign them up for daycare and you can go to the gym after work.