Fido Fitness: 5 Options to Keep Your Dog Fit and Healthy
You are likely aware of the central role that consistent exercise plays in helping you to feel, and perform at, your best. However, do you know that the numerous benefits of exercise also apply to your dog? Dogs thrive when they are provided with regular opportunities for activity. In fact, an overly sedentary lifestyle can contribute to physical and behavioral problems like undesired weight gain, poor health, hyperactivity, unruliness, and destructive chewing or digging. Keep your dog fit and healthy with the following five options.
Get Fit With Your Dog
Setting daily exercise time for your dog doesn’t have to disrupt your schedule. In fact, your dog’s exercise requirements can provide just the motivation that you need to get in better shape. The benefits of exercise are numerous - for both your dog and for you. Regular activity strengthens your heart and lungs, increases muscle tone, supports a healthy weight (and helps to guard against the many diseases that accompany those excess pounds), and even improves overall mood. From taking a brisk walk or jog around the block after work, to spending a free afternoon embracing the great outdoors on a hike, you and your dog have plenty of activity-rich options.
Tired? Play Fetch
Joining in on your dog’s fitness-focused time is fantastic; however, you may discover that your dog’s energy level far exceeds your own. If you own a highly-energetic dog you know quite well that you can only walk so many miles.
If you find yourself in this situation, a good old-fashioned game of fetch can provide just the solution you need. While playing fetch, your dog can release his pent up energy - running back and forth to retrieve a favorite ball or toy - while you simply sit back and relax.
Check Out Your Local Dog Park
If your dog is fairly friendly, and enjoys interacting with other neighborhood pups, a visit to your local dog park can turn activity time into a social affair. However, you must remember that a visit to the park is not an excuse to stop closely watching your dog.
In fact, you should be even more diligent to protect against potential fights. Watch for signs of aggression, like snarling, and remove your dog (and yourself) from the situation if you feel uncomfortable.
Stuck Indoors? Run the Stairs
From sub-zero winters to sweltering summers, there are times when going outside just isn’t an option. Luckily, with just a bit of creativity you can make sure that your dog still meets his daily exerciserequirements. For example, you can use a set of stairs to guide your dog through a highly effective workout.
Begin at the top of the stairs with your dog. Then, throw his favorite ball or toy to the bottom of the stairs and encourage him to retrieve it. Even the most energetic dogs will grow tired after a few rounds of this modified form of fetch.
Make Treat Time A Challenge
Both regular exercise and proper nutrition will help your dog to feel and perform at his best. Transform treat time from something that threatens to add unwanted pounds into an activity-promoting pursuit. A variety of toys - like the well-known