Celebrate Canine Fitness Month With These 8 Unique Exercises
Spring is when many of us start getting serious about getting in shape. The weather is warming up around the country, making it easier to enjoy the outdoors. And since April just happens to be National Canine Fitness Month, this is a great time to get some exercise with your pup.
Of course, if your dog has IVDD or other health concerns, you’ll have to talk to your vet before attempting any physical activity. IVDD doesn’t mean your dog can never exercise again (far from it!), but you will have to wait until he is off of crate rest and cleared by your vet.
There’s nothing wrong with taking your dog on a good old-fashioned walk… in fact, we encourage daily walks. That being said, there are some creative and fun exercises you can do with your pets that will allow your to bond while you burn calories. These are a few of our favorites:
1. Follow the dog. Instead of guiding your dog on your daily walk, why not head to a park or a closed off area and let him walk you? Think of your pup as a four-legged, furry GPS and let him lead the way. You never know where you’ll end up.
2. Dance. Is your dog goofy? Put on some music and dance. Have fun!
3. Blow bubbles. This is a quick and easy game for dogs who like chase. Blow bubbles and then let your dog chase them. Then chase them with him.
4. Try paddleboarding if you live near a lake. Stand-up paddleboards were designed for canine co-pilots. They can ride on the nose while you get a workout. If you struggle to balance the board, paddle on your knees at first to lower your center of gravity. You will probably both get wet, so outfit your dog with a life jacket—it’ll be easier to lift him back on the board that way.
5. Go for a bike ride down a quiet road and let your dog run along with you. If you have a high energy pup, this may be the best thing for him. He’ll be excited that he gets to run.
6. Look into dog-friendly boot camp. Some cities like San Diego and Chicago offer boot camp classes that are meant for you and your dogs, and people (and pups!) love them. You can also look into dog-friendly yoga (Doga?).
7. Stair-running. If your dog is healthy enough to go up and down stairs, it’s a great workout for you both.
8. Go for a hike. As long as the trail isn’t too tough, dogs make amazing hiking companions. On the blog You Did What With Your Weiner, Jessica details the adventures of hikes with her two dachshunds.