I’ve enjoyed working with Wellness® over the past several months to help spread the word about their TruFood line of wholesome pet food and treats. Today I’m sharing some of my tips for staying fit with your dog.
One of the most enjoyable ways to increase your workout regimen is to include your dog, or in my case, dogs. By just adding a couple of good hikes to our workout routine each week, we’ve kept Bruno and Bridget happy and healthy and I’ve seen an improvement in my overall fitness, including my weight. Walking is fabulous exercise. It’s free, you can do it pretty much anywhere, and it’s surprisingly effective for building fitness if you challenge yourself to increase your pace and distance over time. We’ve worked our way up gradually and our pups are now capable of going on walks up to 5 miles. It’s good for us, it’s good for them! But, there are lots of things to consider when working out with your dogs.
Handle the Heat
Some breeds tolerate heat and exercise better than others and speaking with your veterinarian is the best place to get information specific to your dog. Boston Terriers and other short-snouted breeds do not handle heat as well as dogs with longer snouts so their owners need to take special care when it’s warm outside. It’s still very important to exercise these dogs because becoming overweight can worsen issues common to the breed, but thoughtful, careful exercise is in order. This is why we opt for walks with our pups and do our runs on our own. Start slowly, build up your distance over time, and watch your dog closely for signs of fatigue. Try early morning or evening walks when the pavement and the temps are cooler and avoid exercise all together on very hot days.
Take frequent breaks for cooling down and be sure to pack some healthy treats for a reward. It’s always a good idea to have an irresistible goodie on hand when you’re out and about with your pups in case you need to get their attention quickly or for a quick energy boost on a long walk. Our doggy treats of choice are these grain-free TruFood CocoChia Bakes from Wellness. These wholesome goodies include chia seeds, whole-prey protein, antioxidant-rich superfoods, probiotics, and coconut oil. They come in an assortment of three flavors and Bruno and Bridget are crazy for them. Check out my post about Take Your Dog to Work Day to find out more about this great line of food.
Water is a Must
If you aren’t walking near accessible water, bring some with you along with a collapsible water bowl.
Bridget never fails to get the most out of our water breaks. Some dogs just love the water! Dogs cool from the bottom up so to cool them down, be sure to get their paws and stomach wet. You can do this with water from a water bottle or let them take care of it themselves if you are near water.
Download an app to keep track of your walks and runs to be sure you don’t push your pup to far. For our walks, I use Map My Walk and for runs, I use my Nike+ Running app. They are both free GPS-based apps that track distance, pace, and calories burned. I love my fitness apps so much that if I forget to bring my phone with me for a workout, it almost feels as if it didn’t happen! There is a lot of satisfaction in having that record of your efforts.