If you have a dog that’s get just a BIT pudgy around the middle, it may be because he’s not getting enough exercise. Exercise is important for a dog’s health and longevity just as it is for humans.
It seems we’re all pressed for time which makes it difficult to give you dog the exercise he needs My suggestion is to put aside 30 minutes a day for dog exercise time and stick to it. You’ll see the difference not only in your dog’s weight, but also in his attitude.
Unlike humans, dogs LOVE to exercise! Here are some ideas to enhance your dog’s fitness:
1. Take your dog on a fitness walk
It sounds pretty basic, but 30 minutes of fast walking with your dog is one of the best ways to maintain your dog’s weight and general health. If you walk at a fast pace, you can save even more time by combining your dog’s walk with your own fitness walk. This is a great incentive for you to exercise too!
To make it more interesting, walk a different path every day and enjoy the scenery.
2. Play a lively game of ball
Our German Shepherd who passed away several years ago absolutely adored playing ball. I would throw the ball for him nonstop for 20 to 30 minutes every evening. Not only did he maintain a perfect body weight, but he experienced no significant health problems throughout his life.
He passed away peacefully of unknown causes at almost 16 years of age. I attribute his longevity, at least partially, to his daily exercise routine which kept him fit and limber.
3. Time too much of an issue? Use a dog walking service
If you absolutely can’t find time to exercise your dog, schedule an every other day session with a dog walker. If you can’t find a reputable dog walker in your area, pay a friend or a teenager you trust to walk your dog on a daily or every other day basis.
4. Take your dog to a doggy day care facility
This is another solution for the time challenged dog owner. If you have a doggy day care facility in your area, drop your dog off in the morning on your way to work He’ll enjoy an action packed day of exercise and socialization with other dogs.
We took out dogs to a doggy day care facility for several years and they would come home exhausted from the high level of stimulation and activity. Some doggy day care facilities even have pools for the dogs to swim in which is an excellent form of exercise for dogs.
5. Take your dog to your nearest off-leash dog park
Dogs can get a great deal of exercise at an off-leash dog park as they play and frolic with other dogs. Plus, it’s relaxing after a long day at work to watch the dogs enjoy themselves. You’ll meet a lot of great dog lovers this way too!
6. Invest in a dog treadmill
More and more people are investing in treadmills designed specifically for dogs. If you live in an area where the weather is inclement much of the year, this may best solution for maintain your dog’s fitness year round. Stay tuned as I’ll be writing a full article on dog treadmills in the future.
Now that you know how to get more exercise for your dog, you can make sure your dog maintains optimal fitness year round. Plus, if you choose to exercise your dog with daily walks, you’ll be helping to meet your own fitness goals too!