You both need to be in shape. Why not do it together? Following a few tips, you will become the perfect partner for sports.
Exercises with your dog
The benefits of exercising with our dog are multiple, both for us and for them. The main one is that it will keep us both physically and mentally active and that we will establish an even greater bond. He will be very happy to share one more activity with you. It can be your moment to disconnect from the routine and spend some time together, since in the day to day it is difficult to find those moments.
For them, exercise is essential because it keeps them healthy, active and happier . He will sleep better, his muscles will stay in shape, he will be more sociable and if you accompany him and establish a routine he will become more obedient on a day-to-day basis. In addition, it prevents the obesity factor in dogs , which is very dangerous, especially in small dogs and with hereditary joint or bone conditions.
Another great benefit is that you will learn to know him better: his reactions, his interactions with other dogs (in the park, for example, or when you pass other dogs while doing sports) and his resistance to exercise.
In addition, like us, after exercising you will be much more relaxed , and will have less chance of suffering stress (because yes, dogs can suffer too). It will be a much more balanced dog , it will quickly become familiar with external stimuli (cars, bicycles, noises) and it will be less prone to aggressiveness and insecurity.
The benefits are proven. A George Washington University study found that people who walked or exercised with their dog regularly had lower body mass indexes, fewer chronic health problems, and had fewer symptoms of depression than people who did not own a dog. or those who did and did not go for a walk or do another activity with them.
However, in order for them to enjoy and benefit as much as possible from exercise, we must take into account their age, their physical conditions … For example, for older dogs with arthritis, several short walks throughout the day are better than half an hour or an hour of vigorous exercise, which would be harmful to your joints.SEE 15 PHOTOSMar Aguilar02/20/2020
Know your physical form
Very important: you must know your physical shape and that of your dog before starting an intense exercise that both or either of you are not used to. How long you have not done intense sport, how is your dog’s muscles … are key factors.
Choose the right time
It will not be the same to go out to exercise on a relaxed Sunday than on a weekday after work, for example. To acquire the habit , it is better to have an idle day (he will also notice that we are more relaxed and will identify it with a game). As for the moment, in summer avoid the hot hours, for you and your dog.
Beware of the puppy
Do not force the puppy to run from a very young age; he is still weak and must build his bone structure and musculature, and he may hurt himself. However, you can train him when he is older by taking small walks.
Play as a form of exercise
Not everything has to be running or cycling. You can take him, as usual, to play ball (they usually love football) or frisbee, but you must also get involved. If not only he will exercise, and the idea is that it is a joint activity.
Walk briskly, all the way to a jog and then a run, or play with the ball a bit before you start. Keep in mind that he can get hurt too.
Must be well socialized
It is becoming more and more common to exercise with our dog and you will meet other pairs of athletes. If you don’t get along with other dogs it can be a problem.https://8d02f4673e2dab52f6cf76677f94e6d0.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Lay the foundation
Teach him to walk with you first, keeping up with you , and when he learns and you start running or cycling, follow the same method, and make eye contact with him. He has to keep up with you at all times to avoid accidents. It’s a good idea to go for a jog with him a few times a day at first until he gets used to it. After all, establishing an exercise routine also requires some training.
Step by Step
Like when you start exercising alone, don’t start with an hour-long run. We must give him time to get used to the new activity, to follow the rules and enjoy himself.
Swimming is a perfect sport for them, especially for those who suffer from dysplasias and congenital defects in bones and joints, such as Labradors or German Shepherds, or for those recovering from an operation. It is a bit more complicated (due to the lack of beaches for dogs and the almost absence of swimming pools), but if you are lucky and have one at home, it is the ideal sport.
Watch out for injuries
Pay attention to any signs of injury: if he limps, stands up, holds a limb up, looks at you carefully, does not want to walk, and of course if he whines, stop immediately and go to the vet.
This is fundamental for both him and you. You should always carry a bottle of water for him (there are many models on the market) and another for you, or make sure there are fountains on the route you take. Stay alert for any signs of dehydration.
Being with you when you ride a bike is a good sport because he will be running, and also usually amuses them. However, it is not a good idea to start here, as the dog has to be very well trained to keep up with you. Otherwise, it will end up throwing you off the bike.
Not all dogs are the same
You have to take into account the breed (or mix of breeds) and the size and musculature of the dog. It seems obvious, but not everyone requires the same type of exercise or the same frequency. A bulldog, for example, should not be forced to make long runs, due to its breathing difficulties, just as a dog as active as the ones in the photo will be short a simple walk.
We will also have to take your «preferences» into account. A small dog, like this one in the photo, surely does not want or can run long distances (others of the same size, yes, of course). Keep in mind that we also want you to enjoy it and not see it as something negative. If we want to exercise with them, we will have to find alternatives.
Finally, not everything has to be running, swimming, cycling or obstacle courses: a simple walk at a brisk pace two or three times a week, or a trip to the mountains on Sundays, is very beneficial for humans and dogs, and you will enjoy it together.