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June 4, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Top 5 Best Ways to Exercise Your Dog

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

I know, I know, it would be so nice to not have to get up off the couch and take Fido out for his daily exercise. If that is truly how you feel, mmmmm.......maybe a cat would make the better companion?

The majority of dogs need an ample amount of exercise to help maintain a healthy mental state, as well as keeping them trim. Just playing in a backyard by themselves (which they rarely do) is not significant enough to keep them happy and healthy.

So, get your gear on, grab Fido, and exercise on!

Dog Park

5 - Dog Park / Doggy Daycare

This is truly a very easy way to go for many pet-parents. You simply move off the couch, to a bench at the dog park while you watch Fido play with his besties! I LOVE regulated dog parks and Doggy Daycares. They offer a great opportunity for Fido to keep his proper socialization skills in check with other dogs, and get loads of exercise. Before bringing your dog to any of these establishments, make sure he/she has a good foundation of mannerisms, obedience training, and gets along well with other dogs.

Hiking

4 - Hiking

This is a great way to bond with your dog while strolling along on a trail, enjoying the scents of the woods, listening to the forest critters, and just taking it all in. Make sure to have Fido wear a doggy backpack to help drain his energy more, and to carry bottled water, snacks, and poo bags. Because fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes love the woodsy areas too, it is imperative to make sure your dog is heartworm, flea, and tick protected! Never EVER use human bug spray on your dog, the toxins are extremely dangerous if ingested (some dogs will lick their fur after they have been sprayed). Use only dog safe products.

Swim

3 - Swimming

There are an amazing number of breeds that LOVE the water! This is a great way to get your dog's exercise in; only, of course, if they LOVE the water! Dogs are typically natural swimmers, but for the ones that haven't quite got the hang of it, consider purchasing a doggy lifejacket. Yes, they have those too! Check your dog's ears often, as regular swimmers can get frequent ear infections caused by water getting into them. If your dog's skin is getting dry from the frequent swims (especially if it is in a chlorinated pool), consider giving them a daily Fish Oil to help keep their skin and coat feeling good.

Running

2 - Running

Listen up runners - dogs are the perfect running mate! They don't complain, are always ready to go, and majority of dogs love to run with the pack. Like any type of exercise regime, start slow and check their pads after each run to make sure there are no cuts or embedded items in them. Never ever run your dog in mid-day heat! Remember, their fur coat isn't removable. Dogs truly make the best running partners ever!

Walking

1 - Walking

The most common of all exercises, and why it is ranked as #1, is the simple - W A L K. Yes, it really can be this simple. A leash, walking shoes, and Fido are all you need. However, it wouldn't hurt to use a dog backpack, allowing your dog to carry the essentials (phone, poo bags, water bottles, snacks for both of you), plus it helps drain their energy quicker. A typical walk should last at least 30 minutes for a majority of dogs. Get up and get walking :-)

I hope one or two of these exercise tips fits in with your dog's needs, as well as your lifestyle, to keep everyone happy and healthy.

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