This post was brought to you in partnership with our pals at NutriSource. They’ve been producing healthy pet foods sourced with care since 1964, so you know it’s good. If you plan to exercise with your dog, check out NutriSource’s new protein-packed Element Series dog food, available at independent pet stores.
Dogs make us healthier, and we ruv ‘em for it. In fact, a pup’s humans are four times more likely to meet current physical activity recommendations than a sad dogless person. The majority of this activity comes from walking. And not to knock walks or anything, but with all the best relationships, sometimes it’s good to spice things up. If you and floof are lookin’ to get your wiggles out, check out these effective ways to exercise with your dog.
Doga, or dog yoga, helps soothe you and your woof while strengthening your bond. With poses like downward facing dog and three-legged dog (or as we liked to call it–dog peeing on hydrant pose), it’s no wonder peeps decided to practice with pups. Find a doga class near you, or check out one on Youtube to get started.
2. Weight Training
Since he’s a velcro dog anyway, why not practice some weight training exercises together? Pick your dog up and hold him for wall sits. If puppo is too lorge for that, train him to put his paws on your knees to provide added weight while you hold a wall sit. You can also have a partner place the dog on your back during a plank. The balancing act will challenge pup’s core while you work yours.
Time for leg day. Keep it simple with a relatively flat and short trail, or amp it up with inclines and obstacles. Either way, you and pup’ll get the blood flowing and enjoy the benefits of fresh air. Review our hiking etiquette guide and hiking supplies list before you hit the trail.
Let your doggy paddler hit the water! You might find a daycare or dog gym nearby with a swimming pool to use, or the two of you can tread water at a local creek or lake. Swimming provides a grrr-eat workout for canines and humans, plus it’s a pup ton of fun (especially in the dog days of summer).
5. Stand-Up Paddleboarding
SUP is whassup, dog. Stand-up paddleboarding has exploded in popularity, and it’s a trend that many water-loving pups can enjoy too. You and fluff’ll use your core and leg strength to balance on the board. Our frens at KONG have a guide to SUP with pups.
We tend to slow down in the winter, but it’s super important to you and your dog to remain active. If you’re decent on skis (or open to learning), give skijoring a try. In this winter sport, your dog wears a special harness to help pull you along while you wear the skis. Bonus: It helps build trust between people and their pooches.
7. Fetch With a Twist
We’re dog people. We know fetch. And while you do get an arm workout throwing the ball for however long your bud insists, why not get a leg up on all those clowns stuck playin’ regular fetch. Launch that motherpuppin’ ball as far as you can (so fluff gets his zoomies out) and choose a workout to practice while your dog retrieves. You can even make it circuit training with burpees, jumping jacks, squats, and repeat!
Feel the Burn
Rest days, or what your dog calls every day, are important to any workout regimen, so don’t forget to get those snoozles in. It’s the perfect time to cuddle with pup, binge watch the latest and greatest in reality TV, and even enjoy some snackies (all things in moderation, my frens). And don’t fur-get the importance of a protein-packed dog food to keep pup happy and healthy through all of your adventures.
Are you and pup woofin’ on your fitness? Let us know your routine in the comments below or tag us in your sweaty selfies on Instagram.
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Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, then check us out on Facebook and Twitter.