Physical Activity Ideas to Get Your Dog in Shape

July 6, 2019
Physical activity and a healthy lifestyle are the key to a healthy pet and a healthier you.

With the arrival of good weather, there are many types of physical activity you can do with your dog. Here are some ideas.

Before you start exercising and running marathons make sure you devote at least 15 minutes to warming-up. This also applies to your dog, who’ll need at least 10 minutes to get their muscles going prior to a good race. Follow these simple steps to avoid possible injuries:

  • Pick up the handle of your dog’s leash in your right hand and try to keep the distance between your body and theirs about a couple feet away. Once you get going, walk speedily in one direction for two minutes. Then, turn around and walk in the other direction for two more minutes. Repeat this sequence at least four times.
  • After the fourth repetition, speed up until you get into a light trot or a sprint. Keep walking back and forth for two minutes each way.
  • To exercise your shoulders while holding your dog, command them to stay still at a given point while you spin around it. To exercise your dog’s shoulders, swap the routine.

Biking, skating, ball games…

A dog going through an obstacle course.

A healthy lifestyle doesn’t just happen overnight, nor even if you do it a couple of times a week. It’s preferable to do some every day. Because trying to stuff a complete physical activity routine of your animal in two sessions would be too intense for them. Here are some easy routines you could do daily with your pet:

  • Dust off your bike, take it out, and bring your dog along. Start with easy rides around your block and make sure your dog can keep up. Note that it’s not easy to go out with your dog on a bicycle through the city. Make sure your dog is well trained and calm. If so, half an hour of this physical activity will do wonders for both you and your dog.
  • Perhaps you still have your old skates. Take them out for your walks with your dog, it’ll make them a lot more fun. Needless to say, be careful with your dog’s strength as they may pull you too hard.
  • In addition, there are the classic ball games that never stop being a fun way to do physical activity for both guardians and their dogs. You can play with a ball nearly everywhere, whether you live in an urban or a rural area.
  • One more thing you can do is to play agility games. You can compete with your dog and stimulate them physically and mentally. There are several places with areas specifically dedicated to this kind of physical activity.
A man and a woman each walking a dog.

Physical activity for small dogs

Of course, smaller dog breeds love physical activity as much as the larger ones. Plus it’s easier to play with them indoors. For example:

  • Getting your small dog to follow you up and down the staircase is an easy way to get them into shape without leaving home. Do be careful with breeds that have short limbs, such as Dachshund and Corgi, as they can easily injure themselves.
  • Playing hide and seek is another great way to challenge your dog physically and mentally. It’s also great entertainment for a rainy day.
  • If you have a treadmill at home, train your dog to run on it. It’ll be a great company for you during your workouts at home.