Christmas time means presents, family and food, lots of food. Now, if you are anything like the rest of us you would have over indulged maybe just a little (or a lot) on food and drink over the holiday period which has left you feeling a little bit worse for wear. You probably would have spoiled your pet with lots of yummy pet treats and toys leaving your four legged friend maybe a bit on the heavy side. You know what they say ‘New Year, New Me’, so here are a list of fun exercises you can do with your dog to get your fitness, and your dog’s fitness back on track in the New Year.
Dogs love to run, so they make the best running companions. Dogs are also creatures of habit which means they will ALWAYS be waiting for that daily run with you, which definitely gives you that motivation to go running. You can’t let your best friend down now can you? Rain, hail, or shine you and your pooch will be out there running. Just be mindful of the hot weather over summer and choose the times you run wisely as to not over heat your dog. Keep this up and you and your dog will be fit in no time.
We have all seen those videos on Facebook of the dog interrupting their owner who is trying to do yoga. Well, did you know there are now classes specifically designed for you to take part in yoga with your dog? Doga, as it is affectionately called, is the act of Yoga, but with dogs. Yoga is great for core strength, muscle development and flexibility. Not to mention it’s super fun when you can hang out with your furry friend whilst doing it.
Does your dog love water? Why don’t you take them swimming with you? During the hot months you can take them to a dog friendly beach or lake and take them into the water with you while you swim. Maybe take a ball or a toy to chuck into the water for them to run in and retrieve. Not only will this provide them with much needed exercise, it will also cool them down during the hot weather.
Take them on a bush walk
Dogs love adventures! Take them with you on a bush walk. They will be able to get into nature, have a field day with their noses, and maybe meet some other dogs or wildlife. Make sure you check that walking trails near you are dog friendly and pick a day that isn’t too hot so you pooch doesn’t over heat. Also, keep an eye out for snakes as it is the season for them!
At home work outs
Give working out at home a try! This is super accessible and on a hot day you can exercise in the comfort of air-conditioning. Grab your dog’s favourite toy or some health treats to get them motivated and try working out with them at home. Shape.com has some great home workouts to do with your dog to get ride of that Christmas belly: http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/7-moves-you-can-do-your-pet
Take your dog to your local park or football oval, take a round ball (like a soccer ball), take your dog and let your dog chase the ball around while you kick it. This will give both you and your pooch a great cardio work out. After a while your dog will be learn to kick and nudge the ball with their nose or paws.
Doggy Boot Camp
There are some dog-friendly boot camps out there which allow you to go and exercise in groups with your pooches. These give plenty of opportunity for socialisation as well as getting active with your dog!
Remember to get regular weight checks at your local vet clinic – this will allow for your vet to monitor your pet’s weight and will help to prevent any diet/weight related diseases that could affect your dog’s quality of life.