As we crawl out of our winter hibernation and welcome the incoming spring, a lot of us are probably focusing more on getting back into shape. As we shed our extra holiday weight, I’m sure some of our precious pooches could do the same. Exercising with your dog is a great way to make sure you’re both healthy and can be an awesome way to bond with your bow wow.
One easy way to get active is to go on a run. But just like humans, not all dogs are cut out for pounding pavement. For dogs with stumpy legs (like Corgis) or flat faces (like Pugs and Bulldogs), running might be just a little too stressful. But if you think your pup is up for the challenge, there are a few key tips you should keep in mind.
First, always check with your vet to make sure your pup is fit enough. Second, always start slow and work your way up. You wouldn’t be able to just hop off the couch and run a marathon, right? Think of your dog’s running abilities in the same way. It’s good to start with a walk or slow jog to get warmed up and gradually increase the distance of your runs. If your pet want to stop to sniff or pee, don’t try to pull them along. Set the pace together and make sure your dog doesn’t get too far ahead or behind you. Lastly, try to head for dirt trails, as they’re better for your pet’s joints than running on asphalt.
Once your pup masters the art of the run, try ramping things up with a little bike ride. For this, you’ll need a non-tangle leash and a body harness. Biking with your dog attached just to a neck collar can be very dangerous and painful for your pup. You may even consider getting a special leash “baton” that attaches to your bike and helps keep the leash from tangling in your tires.
All the same tips from running apply here too. Make sure you stop for frequent water breaks…exercise is hard work! And never exercise when it’s too hot out. That fur coat keeps your pup pretty toasty, but it can also cause them to overheat.
One you’re done sweating it out for the day, always reward your dog for being such a great pup partner. Keep up a good workout routine and you both will have a killer beach bod in no time.
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