July 9, 2014
Summer Fun & Fitness with Fido
For some of us, the Dog Day of Summer means oppressive heat, staying indoors and dodging the outside for the comfort of the air-conditioned inside. But what if we were to turn those dog days of summer, into a pawsitive, a summer of fun and fitness with your best friend?
Number one, make it fun! Whether you have turned into a couch potato over the winter, or have certain fitness goals, you will never find a doggone better fitness partner!
Start by keeping the adventure fun by providing encouragement for your dog. Whether it’s “good dog!”, or the smile and laughter traveling down the leash, your dog will know that this is awesome – and who needs a reminder for that!
Add some “Spring” to your Summer
By “spring” we mean a little spring to your step! Instead of your normal walk around the block, start with high knees, lunges, and hops, a skip or a sprint. If you see a hill, don’t avoid it, walk up and run down. Not only will it keep you moving and your heart rate flutter, it will also make your pup more attentive to you and happy to please. (not to mention being dogtired!)
Most dogs excel at obstacle courses. Try being a bit creative with a “circuit workout. Use hurdles, tunnels, and stairs at the local track or jump ropes to ensure your dog uses all of his muscles and improve agility. The good news? When you try to keep up with your best friend, you increase your own fitness. These dynamic movements are tremendous for all-over conditioning for both you and your dog.
Be a Social Dogfly
Always keep in mind that exercising may involve coming across other “like-minded” dogs. Does your dog react around other dogs? Do you have a plan should if they assume control. You will also need to consider how you and your dog will react to other dogs that may be ill-behaved.
No matter what summer fun or fitness you do together, always watch for warning signs of heat stroke or dehydration. Prevent overheating by exercising in the mornings or evenings.. Because dogs do not sweat (except to a minor degree through their foot pads), they don’t tolerate high environmental temperatures as well as their pet parents do. Make sure your dog has access to clean, fresh water at all times and most importantly, make sure to consult with your veterinarian before you exercise regularly outdoors