What has four legs, a wet nose and thinks you’re the best thing since chopped liver? Your new training partner! Just say the word and Fido is at the door, tail wagging, ready to go. Healthy pets are happy pets, and you’ll be motivated to meet your fitness goals with a workout buddy who will never cancel on you at the last minute. We have some ideas for some doggone fun activities that will get you both moving, plus a cool post-workout treat to reward your tail-wagger for his efforts.
Take that walk around the block from ho-hum to heck yeah with interval training. For starters, try a routine of 1 minute walking, 2 minutes jogging, 1 minute walking and 1 minute of shuffling sideways. Repeat six times for a heart-pumping 30-minute cardio workout for you and a fun, unpredictable outing for your pooch. Every few days, change it up by adding skips, hops — and a minute or two of playing fetch.
Agility training isn’t just for the Westminster Dog Show crowd. Look for a park with an agility course, participate in organized competitions or make your own agility course in your backyard. As your dog races through an obstacle course with ladders, hurdles and tunnels, you’ll run alongside offering plenty of praise and encouragement. The fast pace provides both of you with an excellent cardiovascular workout, while Fido also develops improved coordination.
Healthy pets love water, so take your canine copilot along when you kayak or stand up paddle board. Your first couple trips will be all about getting him comfortable with the motion and learning to stay onboard. Bring some favorite water toys along for when you dock, so you can reward your buddy’s good behavior with some water playtime. Go ahead, jump in and join him for a splash-filled game of doggy-paddle fetch.
Downward dog is a familiar yoga position, so it’s only natural that your pup might benefit from these moves too. Doga (aka dog yoga), a growing trend, may not be a great cardio workout for your pet, but the gentle massage and stretching might help calm your high-energy pooch. Some local yoga studios offer doga classes, but you can also try doga at home. Don’t expect a canine contortionist or even attentiveness. Fido might participate in stretches, or wander around the room, or just lay beside you getting a belly scratch while you’re in child pose. It’s all good, because in doga, anything goes. Doga’s all about sharing good vibes and togetherness with your pup. Namaste, friends.
After a “ruff” workout, make sure your pup has access to a full bowl of water, and reward him with a healthy treat. You know that protein-packed snacks like Artisa are the perfect post-workout treat for humans, but did you know that low-fat cheeses such as cottage cheese are a good choice for your dog, too? It’s easy to make homemade, all-natural, tail-wagging treats. Simply spoon Classic Artisa into ice cube trays, sink a small square of cheddar cheese in the center of each space and freeze. Pop them out as needed — one cube for small dogs, two for larger pups — for a job well done. Brace yourself, you’ll be in for a face full of slobbery licks of gratitude from your best workout buddy.