how to encourage an active lifestyle for your dog

Exercising every day has been proven to be incredibly beneficial in many different ways. Not only does it help you maintain a healthy body weight, it strengthens your bones and muscles, improves your mood, improves your balance and coordination, and is also known to prevent or manage various conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type two diabetes. Even just thirty minutes of exercising a day on at least most days of the week is a great way to improve your overall health. In saying that, just like it’s important for humans to remain active, the exact same rules apply to your pooch. You may think that only active dog breeds – such as the Border Collie or the Siberian Husky to name a few – have to exercise. In reality, all dogs should have some form of physical activity in their life in order to remain healthy and happy. This article will cover the various ways you can incorporate your dog into your daily exercising regime, as well as ways to keep your dog active without having to rely on you. By following these few simple steps, your dog will be on their way to an active lifestyle in no time.

Active lifestyle for your dog

Establish a routine

Once you’ve listed the benefits of exercising for yourself, and you’ve established a stable routine that will help you stay motivated, the steps of encompassing your pet into that routine is a lot simpler than it seems. To begin with, take your dog for a walk with you. Whether it’s for a nice stroll along the footpath or a jog around the park, make sure your pet is always your companion. At first, until you build a mutual relationship with your pet, it may be difficult to let them roam freely anywhere outside of your home, but all that independence and freedom will come with experience in training. If your dog is feeling a lot more energised than you, don’t fret. Have a handy retractable lead with you at all times, head to your local park, grab a ball with you and let your dog run and catch it while you sit and rest. Don’t assume that your dog will not be capable of exercising a lot more than you. Even if you’re tired, let your dog run free. Challenge them. When you’re exercising together, run faster and see if they can keep up. Ride a skateboard and see if they follow beside you. Watch your dog carefully and learn their limits. Once you have a good knowledge of what your dog prefers, set up a routine for them. Before you know it your dog will become a lot more independent and soon enough you will be able to let them roam freely while you watch from a nearby distance.

Get outdoors!

When your dog is capable of simple physical activity, don’t be hesitant to take it that one step further. On those summer days where the weather is moderately hot and you would love to sit by the beach and enjoy a little bit of sun for a couple of hours, pop your dog in the backseat, turn up your air-con and head down to your nearest dog-friendly beach. If you’re unsure of which beach is dog-friendly many rules and regulations will be found on your local council’s website. Once you arrive at the beach, you may sit on the sand and soak up the rays while your dog goes for a nice, cooling swim. Did you know that for a dog, one minute of swimming is equivalent to four minutes of running? Let your pets enjoy themselves without having to rely on you. Not only will this guarantee your dog a day full of fun, but it will also strengthen and tone their muscles.

Agility training and behavioural benefits

If you’re feeling a lot more adventurous and your dog has exceeded any expectations you had, why not test their strength even further? Consider agility training for dogs. This is a great opportunity to provide a release for the energy of your pet and yourself in a way that can be much more interesting and exciting than simply taking your dog for a walk. Additionally, that energy and uncontrollable craziness that stems from taking your dog for a run is eliminated through this method. Agility training is known to solve behaviour problems, improve off-leash reliability, exercise your dog in a way that will tire not only its body, but also its mind, and most importantly build a strong bond between you and your pet. You will find that agility training helps in the obedience of your dog, as well as your dominance as an owner.

Agility training for your dog

Congratulations, you’ve reached this far and your pooch is one step away from being the personal trainer of the dog group. You’re a lot more tired than they are, or work has become too busy and you can no longer train as often as you used to. The question “How Can I Keep My Dog Fit?” replays over and over in your head. That’s okay! Did you know that it is possible to keep your dog active without you having to do anything at all? Consider purchasing the AFP Dog Toy Interactive Hyper Fetch Maxi. This machine is the ultimate interactive toy. Not only will it keep your dog entertained, it will also ensure they remain healthy and fit without a single inch of your help. Simply set it up and it will do the job for you. The ball will shoot out at speed, your dog will begin to run to try and catch it, and once they have popped it back into the machine it will repeat the exact same process.

Active dogs are less likely to exhibit bad behaviour problems because they are regularly burning the energy that’s usually the source of that type of behaviour. Meaning that with more exercise comes less digging, less chewing on expensive shoes, less scratching couches etc. The more you keep your dog active, the less interest they have in participating in or initiating destructive behaviours. All dogs will sleep better at night, meaning no barking or howling, and the best part is, studies show that regular physical activity in dogs helps shyness and improves confidence as well as feelings of fear and uncertainty. Not only are you helping your dog physically, you’re also helping them mentally. Think about how much easier your trips down to the park will be if your dog interacts with the other animals there. Think of how many friendships you and your dog might make if your dog seems approachable. Not only that, but if your dog desires going to the park to interact with their friends, you can always encourage your friends to also bring their dogs to the park and together you can continue to motivate each other as an attempt to keep your pets healthy and happy. It’s a win-win for all.

Nicole is a writer at My Pet Warehouse. Her love for animals began with her first pet, Roxy the German Shepherd. Nicole has grown up with dogs, birds, chickens and a little lamb called Christina.

Posted by Nicole Liko