Looking to shed a few pounds? Enjoy the prospect of working alongside a personal trainer with a wet nose and a waggy tail? Look no further for our top 20 fitness tips for you and your dog!
1) Doga! All the benefits of Yoga, suppleness, flexibility and muscle toning and dogs can join in too. Take your dog with you on that journey for internal peace. You can both hold the ‘mountain’, ‘lotus’ or ‘cobra’ position, but don’t forget to warm up first.
2) An excellent work out for both human and dog is a good old ‘tug-o-war’. Although usually spontaneous, a five minute session will burn off as many calories as a brisk fifteen minute walk. Use an old rag or t-shirt and go for it. It is best if you crouch down to start with to avoid bending the back improperly. Your dog will love this one, but make sure you win, or you could be saddled with a very cocky young pup! Note of caution: not all dogs are appropriate to play this game with. If you have a dog that is showing signs of possession aggression (guarding toys etc) this game is NOT suitable. Seek the advice of a suitably experienced dog trainer. (Choosing a dog trainer).
3) Short and often beats once a day. Walking the dog should never be a chore. Frequent, shorter walks are often more beneficial to you both than one long stroll a day. Bringing your heart rate up regularly, increases cardio-vascular fitness. A two minute jog completed by a five minute stroll four times a day will get results pretty sharpish.
4) Make minor diet adjustments. Replacing fizzy drinks with cordial will benefit a weight loss programme. Small changes that do not overhaul your lifestyle are easier to stick to. Changing an overweight dog’s portion size beats re-designing his whole diet plan.
5) Worming your pet is important all year round, however, for one hookworm in particular, Uncinaria stenocephala, there is a sharp rise from July to September. In heavily infested pups, it can have nasty results such as diarrhoea, anorexia and lethargy. By worming your dog every three months your pet will be protected.
6) Camp it up. A camping trip with your dog is fun and can offer lots of opportunity for exercise. It will give him a whole new world to sniff and the exercise happens without you even noticing.
7) Let him do all the work. If you are looking for an easy ride, but want your dog to get a work out get a Frisbee. All you need to do is toss the thing and he will (hopefully) bring it straight back. This will provide an excellent aerobic work out for him that will also relieve any boredom. If possible, incorporate water into the activity. Toss the Frisbee into the pond or lake (it will float) and let him swim for it.
8: A natural, high meat diet. A great way to maintain a healthy nutritious diet. Some people achieve this with a BARF diet, some with a more ‘human’ friendly way of sourcing a high nutrition value food from a supplier such as Burns Pet Nutrition.
9) Hide his toys. If you have a lazy dog, a good way to encourage exercise is to move his toys whenever you go upstairs. If he is loafing about down stairs make sure, the next time you go up the stairs that you take his favourite toy with you. It may only be a small amount, but any exercise is better than none. This can also be practised at meal times.
10) To avoid a soaking. Long haired breeds require frequent grooming. When showering or bathing your dog, always wait until the very end to wash the head. You will notice that your dog will only ‘shake out’ when his head gets wet.