It’s National Dog Day! There has been an outpouring of pet love on social media today. Clearly people love their four legged friends. Not only are dogs (and cats) wonderful companions, but owning a pet provides more than just sloppy kisses and mounds of fur. It’s time to bring that relationship full circle and get active with your pet! Here are just a few benefits of exercise in animals:
- Helps reduce behavior problems such as chewing and excessive barking
- Improves agility and keeps them limber
- Reduces digestive problems
- Improves sleep and decreases restlessness
- Weight Management
Now that you see your pet’s health benefits from exercise just as your own. Here are my top 5 things for you to consider and remember when you commit to get fit with your dog!
- Exercise Partner – Just like humans, dogs can also become obese. Not only does walking your pet help to wear them out and burn off some energy, but it will help them maintain their weight as well as your own. It might even end up that your dog pushes you more than you know. Fido might keep you more accountable than your coworker does at your corporate fitness center.
- Establish a Smart Routine – Whatever type of activity you and your pet enjoy, fit it in at some point throughout the day. Start with short burst of exercise and work your way up. Just as you should check with a physician prior to starting a workout regimen, your dog should have a check up to. It’s important for you to know the needs of your dog.
- Swimming – You may have felt a great workout from swimming, less impact on your joints and still gets your heart pumping. The same goes for dogs. Consider taking your dog for a swim, whether it’s to fetch a ball or just take a dip. Larger dogs who may feel the impact of their weight will feel the same relief as you when they get in the water.
- Dog Park – Visit your local dog park and make some friends, both you and your pet. Social wellness is just as important as your physical well-being. We all know dogs need social interaction for behavior reasons, what about you?
- Hydrate – Water is just as important in animals as it is for you. Make sure your pet is hydrated when increasing activity levels or when it’s hot outside. What for signs of dehydration such as excessive panting, weakness, and confusion.
Now get out and get moving after dinner and show your four legged pal some healthy love!