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April 2, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Keeping Exercise Fun for Pet Lovers!

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

Exercise With Your Pooch!

There are certain breeds that require a daily exercise program to help keep them mentally and physically in-shape. Meaning that, if their energy is not properly drained, these breeds will wreak havoc on your life. Boredom, along with all of their pent-up-energy is not a good mix. Imagine drywall torn up from chewing, a manicured lawn from digging, or an overturned trash can, jumping on people, excessive barking at everything, and so much more. These are just a few examples of a dog that is struggling with pent-up energy. These high active breeds thrive in an environment that provides an exercise program to stimulate them physically as well as mentally. If they need the exercise, how about you exercise with your pooch?

Think of it this way

If you are trying to get healthy and have a high energy dog that requires daily exercise, why not kill two birds with one stone? Get your exercising done with your dog, this way you won't have to exercise separately.

The human obesity rate is at an all-time high, and the percentage rate of dog obesity has increased as well. We all know how hard it is to hit the gym sometimes to exercise. Believe it or not, our pets have similar struggles. As we all know, not exercising can lead to being overweight. Those extra pounds can keep us sluggish and weigh us down. Yep, those extra pounds are unhealthy for our pets as well. The saying goes "if your dog is getting overweight, you're not getting enough exercise."

Don't do it alone!

If your goal is to lose a couple of pounds, don't do it alone. Dogs can play a role in helping us stay in the mood to exercise. Exercising with your pet can be very fun and rewarding. Grab the leash, your running or walking shoes, and GO! Your dog can be even more faithful than your routine workout partner. Dogs are dependable, they know your mood, and can't wait to see you. Look on the bright side, you don't have to worry about your dog calling you 10 minutes before it&'s time to work out saying Sorry I can't make it, something came up.

Choosing the right gear for you pooch!

Hike, run, or walk, depending on the exercise you choose to do with your dog, selecting the proper gear will be needed.

Hiking - Doggy Backpack, Collapsible Water Dish, Water Bottles, Poo Bags, Booties, Retractable Leash, Easy Walk Harness

Running - Water Bottles (attached to human), Collapsible Water Dish, Poo Bags, Booties, Retractable Leash, Buckled Collar

Walking - Doggy Backpack, Water Bottles (attached to human), Collapsible Water Dish, Poo Bags, Booties, Retractable Leash, Easy Walk Harness

Booties help protect your pet's paws from objects getting stuck in them, burnt from the hot surface, or cuts from the icy pavements.

Backpacks are a great way to let your dog carry the load. This is only recommended for hiking and walking. If running your dog, leave the backpack off to prevent injury.

Retractable Leash - Typically, as a dog trainer, I am not a huge fan of these walking leads. However, for hiking or running, I think they offer a great alternative to keeping your dog on a "short leash." Allowing them to explore on hikes and giving them some lead-way during the run, the retractable leash will come in handy.

Easy Walk Harness - This is a great tool to help prevent your dog from dragging you during the hike or walk. I don't recommend using it for running, however, because it can prohibit movement of the front legs.

Water bottles and a collapsible water dish are important if you plan a long hike, walk, or run. However, if you are running and need to bring water with you, the human will need to be responsible for carrying this load, not the dog.

Poo bags, do I need to say more? Be a responsible pet-parent, your neighbors, the parks, the trails, the wildlife, and the joggers, walkers, and hikers out there will appreciate your effort in picking up after your dog.

Weather Permitting Only Please

It is important to get out there as much as possible, exercising with your dog. However, safety should come first. Please do not walk your dog in midday heat and sun. Remember, their fur coat isn't removable. Also, avoid walking when there is ice on the ground, an injury to either yourself or your dog is just not worth it.

I hope these tips help you get your exercise groove on with the family dog!

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  • I love these easy walk harness's it makes walking so much easier. Also thanks for mentioning the poo bag I hate it when I see a big pile!

  • One of my biggest pet peeves, Nancy, it simply is just pure laziness.

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