Exercises for You and Your Pup
Besides the obvious health benefits – like reduced heart disease, joint support, and weight loss – exercise is a great chance to bond with your dog, and an outlet to prevent bad behaviour due to excess energy.
It is recommended that a puppy has five minutes of exercise, twice a day, for every month of age until they’re fully grown; so a three month old puppy only needs 15 minutes twice a day. Once they are fully grown, aim for 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise a day.
It’s important to consider your dog’s individual needs before beginning a new exercise regime. Energy levels are influenced by both the breed and temperament of each dog (just as some humans are more inclined to exercise than others); and with medical conditions, like arthritis, you might consider low-impact exercises. Always speak to your vet if you have concerns.
#1 Agility Training
Make your own obstacle course using found materials – it’s a fun way to get the family involved - or buy a pre-made pack online. Start off easy to avoid injury, and slowly increase the difficulty. Lead your dog through the course and when you both feel confident challenge the whole family to a race.
#2 Dog Friendly Exercise Classes
From Doga (dog yoga) to dance classes, pets are becoming accepted participants in human activities. Have a look in your local area for an aerobic or fitness class that’s pet friendly, and if none exist, consider starting your own group with friends. Exercising with others helps to socialise your pet and encourages you to achieve your fitness goals.
#3 Walking (Mix it up!)
- Take your dog to a pet friendly beach to experience new sights and smells. A day at the beach can include exercise such as swimming, running, rolling, and fetch; all with the added resistance of sand.
- Explore a pet-friendly hiking trail. Just remember that dogs are generally sprinters, not marathon runners, so there’s no need to make the walk excessively long for it to be enjoyable. Before you go, wash your dog using John Paul Pet’s Tea Tree Shampoo or spray with John Paul Pet's Tea Tree Leave In Conditioner to repel insects during the walk.
#4 Lunges and Squats
Try incorporating lunges into your walk; or see how many squats you can do while your pet is sniffing a tree.
This is a great exercise for you and your pet that includes elements of training, jumping, and running. Watch this YouTube video to get inspired by the possibilities of owning a Frisbee playing dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oI4xGqkzSE. To add a competitive edge you can join a “disc dog” team, or better still, start your own.
#4 Dog Park
Not such a great work out for you, but a perfect way to get your dog off-leash and socialising with other pups. Just make sure your dog is vaccinated and de-sexed. It’s also a good idea to have a container of John Paul Pet Wipes in the door of your car, or at the entrance of your home to clean your pet off before they head inside.
Soccer may seem a little far-fetched for a dog but it’s worth a try if you’re looking for something new. Use a soft soccer ball that your dog can manoeuvre with its snout.
#8 Rollerblading and Cycling
The idea is not to let your dog pull you along, or to drag your dog behind you, but to practice keeping the same pace for your mutual benefit; it’s a fun balancing act. Don’t push your pup to exhaustion by forgetting that they don’t have the benefit of wheels!
Swimming is a great low impact exercise. If your dog is unfamiliar with swimming, slowly introduce them to a smaller body of water to avoid spooking them. Amp it up by training your dog to fetch the ball from the water. Then wash your dog with a PH balanced John Paul Pet shampoo after the swim to avoid skin irritation.
If you have an exercises that you enjoy and would like to share – please leave a comment below - we would love to hear from you!