There’s nothing better than taking your pup on a walk, a run, or to the local dog park. Not only does your pooch enjoy the physical activity, but they get mental exercise as well. If you’re looking to take your exercise routine up a notch, why not take your pup out for a workout too? Working out with your dog can combine physical and mental stimulation with the satisfaction of spending quality time with your four-legged best friend. Here are some tips on how to get started.

Benefits of Working Out with Your Dog

There are many benefits to exercising with your dog. Not only do you and your pup get the delight of being in each other’s company, but you can both reap the physical and mental benefits of exercise. Here are some of the perks of working out with your pup:

• Perfect for all ages and skill levels: Whether you’ve just begun to exercise or you’re a seasoned pro, working out with your dog can be a great way to get both of you moving.

• Improved bonding with your pet: Working out with your pet can increase the bond and understanding between you and your pup.

• Mental and physical stimulation: Exercise is important for both physical and mental health. By working out with your pup, you’re not only providing physical stimulation, but your pup is getting mental stimulation as well.

Choosing the Right Workout

Picking the right workout for you and your pup can be the key to enjoying working out together. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

• Walking: One of the easiest and most simple ways to workout with your pup is by taking walks. The beauty of walking is that it can be done at any age, any skill level, and it’s often a great way to get acquainted with your pup’s likes and dislikes. A simple thirty-minute walk every day can make a world of difference in your pup’s physical and mental health.

• Cycling: If you’re an avid cyclist, you can take your pup out with you. Just make sure your pup can keep up with your speed, and ensure your pup is wearing the proper safety gear.

• Swimming: Swimming is one of the best exercises for dogs and humans alike. Not only does it provide a calming effect, but it’s a great full-body workout for both humans and canines.

• Dog sports: Working out with your pup can be a great way to bond, and there are many dog sports that you could take part in with your pup. Activities like agility, dock diving, flyball, frisbee, and nose work are great ways to get both of you moving.

Tips for Exercising with Your Dog

• Make sure your dog is healthy: Before you start any workout plan with your pup, make sure your dog is in good health by making an appointment with your veterinarian.

• Have the proper safety gear: Be sure to outfit your pup with a collar and ID tag, leash, and special booties if needed. It’s also a good idea to have an LED flashlight handy for nighttime walks.

• Start slow and go easy: If your pup isn’t used to exercising, start off slow and gradually build up. Not only will this help prevent injury and overexertion, but your pup will also learn to love the activity.

• Check the weather: When exercising with your pup, keep an eye on the weather. Potentially dangerous weather like extreme heat, cold, and rain should be avoided.

• Carry water: Bring plenty of water with you when you take your pup out on a walk or other activity. Not only will you need water to stay hydrated, but so will your pup.

• Take frequent breaks: Working out together can be a great bonding experience, but be mindful of your pup’s limitations and take frequent breaks for rest, hydration, and play.

• Stick with a schedule: Once you have a routine, stick with it. Not only does consistency help your pup learn to look forward to the activity, but it will help keep you accountable as well.

Exercising with your pup can be a great way to stay active, increase your bond with your pet, and create lifelong memories. Even if you don’t have any previous experience in working out with your pup, hopefully these tips have provided you with an idea of how to get started. Just remember to choose an activity both you and your pup can enjoy, take frequent breaks, and above all, have fun!