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Get into shape with your dog!

October 04, 2018 Jessica Knight

There's no better time to get in shape and have some fun while you’re at it.

Everybody knows that it’s more fun to exercise when you have a training partner. You mightn’t realise it, but you have a ready-made exercise buddy - your pet pooch!

Regular exercise is as beneficial for the physical and mental health of dogs as it is for people. Making your dog a part of your exercise routine will also make the bond between you tighter than ever.

And seeing their tail wagging when you’re getting ready to go should be all the motivation you need to burn some calories!

How many calories can I burn?

That depends on the following factors:

1) Your current weight,

2) How far you walk or run,

3) The time it takes you.

Thirty minutes of walking typically burns between 90 to 200 calories for the average person, while thirty minutes of running burns between 280 and 520. There are plenty of online calculators you can use to work out how many calories you burn on any walk or run that you do with your dog.

If you’re an average female aged under 50 and you’re going to be doing moderate exercise activity, you should be aiming to eat no more than 2,350 calories per day.  If you’re older, you should eat less. If you’re eating more than these amounts, you need to cut back, exercise more, or both.

If you’re an average male aged between 31 and 50, aim to eat no more than 3,000 calories per day while doing a moderate level of exercise. You can eat more if you’re a male adult under 30, and you should be eating less if you’re over 50.

Walking and running with your dog can also help you to build muscle tone, as well as burn calories.

 

Additional benefits for your dog

Besides improving your dog’s physical and mental health, exercising can also be a great way to help overcome any problem behaviours that they might have, like excessive barking or chewing. Many dogs do these things because they’re bored, or they have excess energy, or a combination of both those reasons.

Dogs weren’t meant to live the type of sedentary, lonely life that many of them now live. Their ancestors usually roamed free, so they’re biologically built to be far more active than going for an occasional stroll around the block. But Australian backyards are getting smaller, and many dogs are left home alone all day while their owners work. Is it any wonder they get bored?

Exercising with you will stimulate them mentally, as well as wear them out! Think of it as the canine equivalent of taking an unsettled baby for a drive in the car when you’re trying to calm them down or get them to go to sleep.

Tips for walking/running routes

If it’s been a while since you last raised a sweat, start by walking your dog over a relatively short distance every day.

Over time, you can gradually build up your pace to a brisk walk or jogging speed. You should also increase the distance you cover and incorporate more hills if possible as your fitness level increases. Regularly walking or running for thirty to sixty minutes each session is ideal.

Make sure you explore different walking or running routes for variety. Your dog will appreciate that too. They thrive when they have new sights and smells to explore.

 

Some practicalities

It’s important for your dog to have at least a basic level of obedience to make exercising with them as hassle-free as possible. They should be calm and non-reactive when they’re out and about, especially around any other dogs and people that you’ll inevitably come across on your travels.

You should also check with your vet before you plan your exercise program. Ask them  about the training intensity that’s appropriate for the type of dog you have and it’s age. 

Make sure that you exercise with your dog at an appropriate time of day, like early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Avoid the middle of the day when it’s usually too hot. Look for signs of them becoming exhausted or overheating. For example, if they’re panting excessively or struggling to keep up. If either of those things happen, you need to stop exercising immediately.

Finally, having appropriate gear for your dog will also help.

Gear you can use

At DOOG, we have everything you need to make exercising with your dog practical and enjoyable for both of you, including:

We also have walking kits available that combine many of our most popular products at bargain prices!

All of our products are proudly designed and tested in Australia before being made commercially available.

The bottom line

Most of us are busy with the pace of life these days. But it’s important that you find the time to look after your own physical and mental health, as well as your dog’s. You can ‘kill two birds with the one stone’ by doing both at the same time, and you’ll both reap the benefits. There’s never been a better time to enjoy the great outdoors by getting fit with your much-loved and eternally loyal canine companion!

 

 




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