Exercise Tips to Keep Your Dog Active

A little exercise can make a big difference. Not only will it enhance your pet’s health, but it will beef up your relationship as well.

PEOPLE AND DOGS

Power Dog Walks with Intervals

Take your dog for a walk on a leash. Throughout the walk, mix in some intervals of jogging, running or high stepping to help increase your heart rate and burn calories for both you and your dog.

Dog Tag

Just as you did so many times with your friends as a kid, play tag with your dog at your local dog park, in your backyard or even inside your house. You'll both get a great cardio workout as your dog tries to chase you down.

Fetch Races

A twist on an old favorite. Grab your dog's favorite toy and toss it at your local dog park or in your back yard… except this time, race your dog to retrieve it! For owners who don't have access to a dog park or a backyard, this can be done in the hallway of your home with a soft toy.

Fetch Tease for Abs

Another twist on classic fetch. Grab your dog's favorite toy and pretend to toss it as you reach the top of your sit-up. Try to get in as many reps as you can until your dog becomes wise that you still have his toy. This is perfect for your backyard, your local dog park or even inside your home.

Dog Squat Tease

Stand with your legs spread shoulder width in preparation to do a leg squat. As you descend, tap your dog with his favorite toy. As you rise, lift the toy above your head to encourage your dog to jump after it. This can be done in your home and outside as well.

Dogstacle Course

Place fitness steps throughout your backyard. Place your dog on leash and swiftly walk through the course. At each step, designate an exercise for yourself such as toe touches, modified push-ups or leg squats to give yourself a solid workout. Your dog will constantly be in motion and will love spending time with you. If you don't have fitness steps, find common household items to use. For pet owners who don't have a backyard, this can be done at your local dog park.

Dog Stairs

Climbing stairs is the perfect way to build up your leg muscles. Place your dog on a leash and walk up and down your stairs. Be sure to mix it up and throw in some high steps and side steps to work various muscle groups.

Regular walk

Take your dog to the local park or just along the street.

Resistance walk

Try to walk your dog on different surfaces like sand, shallow water, fallen leaves, snow or on a rough surface.

Enhanced walk

Use obstacles when you're out walking like benches, trees, ditches and logs for your dog to jump over, crawl under or balance on.

Fetch

Throwing a ball or toy is great exercise for your dog, and you can make him work harder by doing it on a hillside or stairs. Don't throw sticks, though, as they can splinter and cause injury.

Hide and Seek

Hide a toy or some kibbles and let your dog find it.

Swimming or hydrotherapy

Ideal for dogs with arthritis or back problems. Ask your veterinarian about hydrotherapy.

Obstacle courses

Set up low hurdles (use a broom stick across two objects), tunnels (available from pet shops or use cardboard boxes) and a slalom course (objects set one yard apart) to exercise your dog.

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