It is the end of the day, you are tired after a long day at work and your dog is also feeling lazy. On days like these, it is all too easy for you and your dog to sink into a comfortable dog bed or sofa, put your paws up and relax. However, on average, dogs need 1-2 hours of exercise per day and the Department of Health and Social Services recommends that adults get at least two and a half hours of aerobic exercise per week. With dogs being the most popular pet in America with 44% of American households owning a dog, your four-legged friend is your perfect fitness companion, time to put on your sneakers, grab your lead and get out there!
The simplest option for you and your dog to get fit is to take your dog for a walk or a run. If you really get into running with your dog then Canicross is a fun activity. It combines running and hiking and can be described as a cross between dog sledding and cross country running and is fast increasing in popularity in America. It is a great workout and the fresh air, beautiful trails and health benefits are enjoyed by both dog and owner. Six legs are faster than two and with your canine companion helping you while you run, you should also see your times getting faster.
Skijoring is popular in Alaska and involves your dog pulling you along snowy trails wearing a suitable harness while you ski. If you don’t like snow it can be adapted to bicycling (bikejor) or skating (rollerjor). Or if you are feeling competitive, there are skijoring races across America and who knows, one day skijoring may be an Olympic sport, equine skijoring was a demonstration event at the 1928 Winter Olympics, held in St. Moritz, Switzerland and Skijor USA are working towards skijoring becoming an Olympic event in the future.
Swimming With Fido
Most dogs love to swim and if yours is one of them then it is a great form of exercise offering aerobic exercise without the impact of running. It can also be very beneficial for older dogs with arthritic joints. So next time you swim in a lake, river or the sea take your dog with you. Cities such as New York even have doggie beaches. If you don’t fancy open water then some public outdoor pools offer end of season dog swims. Take some fresh water for your dog to drink after swimming, wash them down afterward with fresh water and don't forget to clean and dry their ears to prevent infections. If your dog is not a strong swimming then use a doggie life jacket to keep them afloat and to give you peace of mind.
Man’s best friend really is your best friend when it comes to being your exercise buddy. So now is the time to take your canine companion out for some exercise and tire you both out. Once you get home you can crash on the sofa, watch some television and your dog can snuggle down next to you in their comfortable bed safe in the knowledge that you have both had a good workout!