Exercising with Your Dog – Shed the Pounds and Strengthen Your Bond

Exercising with Your Dog – Shed the Pounds and Strengthen Your Bond

Daily physical activity and exercise is essential to the health and wellbeing of any dog. Just as with humans, dogs can become obese if they do not burn off the calories they consume during the day. Even older dogs and those that are handicap need to participate in some activity, although not as rigorous as younger, healthier canines. Implementing an exercise plan can address this concern and help both you and your dog shed unwanted pounds and get fit together.

Benefits

Exercising presents a wide variety of benefits for you and your furry companion. By participating in daily physical activity your dog will become much healthier since losing excess weight can alleviate a number of other health issues. Exercise also helps with a number of behavioral issues. As an added bonus, you’ll see positive results in your own physique as well. Best of all, you get to spend valuable time bonding with your pet and you’ll both be healthier and happier at the end of the day.

Getting Started

As with any exercise plan, it’s important to start out slow and gradually work your way up toward things such as longer distances, faster speeds or more rigorous play. Remember to always include a warm-up and cool-down period before and after your sessions to warm your muscles, such as a leisurely walk to the park or around the block. Start simple and avoid putting pressure on yourself or your dog. Daily exercise shouldn’t be a chore but rather something you both enjoy and look forward to.

Don’t Overdo It

It’s important to remember that exercise needs differ based on a dog’s age, breed, size and overall health condition. As a rule of thumb, your dog should spend somewhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours on an activity each day. Be sure not to pressure yourself or your dog into doing things that are too difficult or strenuous. Start slow, especially if your dog is not used to being physically active, evaluate how he or she responds and increase activity level accordingly. Remember – after a workout your dog should be blissfully tired, not completely exhausted.

In a world of fast food and huge portion sizes, more and more people are realizing the importance of incorporating exercise into their daily routine. Including your four-legged friend will benefit you and your pet both health-wise and in terms of the strong bond you will continue to develop with each other. Of course, it’s important to note that before you begin any exercise program with your dog, you should discuss it with your veterinarian who can recommend an exercise plan that is appropriate for your dog’s age, breed and health condition.

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