Get Fit with Man's Best Friend

Dog on a Walk Looking Up at Owner

There's no doubt that dogs provide a world of joy to the people lucky enough to have them as companions. With New Year's resolutions right around the corner, many people are challenging themselves to getting themselves, and their dogs, fit in 2017.

All dogs need to be walked daily, and most thoroughly enjoy getting out of the house. Though walking the dog can seem like a chore, it can be a fun bonding time between you and your pooch. Committing to a daily 20-minute walk with your dog will help both of you shed excess pounds while getting to know your neighborhood better. If you have the need to stop and stretch during your walk, your dog can practice sitting or lying down on command while you're stretching. This is just one other way to work something a little extra in. You can also play fetch with them, stretching after you throw and while you wait for them to return the toy.

How Walking Is Good for You and Your Dog

If you have a stubborn breed which isn't the best at walking, this is also a fantastic time to work some training into your routine. According to many highly regarded dog trainers, feeding your dog after a walk, instead of before, helps train them that there's a reward for good behavior. It's also a great idea to take some treats along if your canine tugs and pulls during a walk. By keeping your dog at your side, and rewarding them with small treats, they'll soon understand how you want them to walk and the entire experience will be that much more enjoyable.

Once you've been walking for a few weeks, you may want to "kick it up a notch." If you have a younger dog, this may be a great time to start jogging with them. Senior dogs may have a harder time with this as joint pain can begin to set in during their later years. In this case, a brisk walk or a doggie stroller may be a better alternative. So, make the choice to get healthy with your pup. Weight loss can often be a family goal and who better to start with than man's best friend.


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