Canine companions can motivate you to get active and they’re good for more than a leisure stroll through the park or a game of Frisbee. Researchers at the University of Missouri found that people who walked with dogs improved their balance and increased their speed and distance more than those who walked with human companions.
Dogs benefit too. Regular exercise helps dogs maintain a healthy weight as well as a boost in neurological reaction called “runners high” after moderate to vigorous activity.Dogs can maintain a fantastic level of health and well-being when they have the right diet. Vitamins, minerals and enzymes are all part of keeping that canine immunity high and the organs within your dog’s body healthy and happy. The food that your dog eats literally creates the cells within his/her body, so give them good food at every opportunity to prevent illness and promote tip-top health.
Outdoor activity at a dog park can also have social benefits for dogs and humans.
Walking and hiking are perhaps the most obvious forms of exercise and will benefit dogs of all ages. Older dogs can suffer from osteoarthritis and regular exercise will reduce some of the clinical symptoms in dogs. A word of caution, don’t over do it but work up to longer distances gradually for maximum mutual benefits.
Medium to large dogs makes good running buddies. Pace yourself and you both will avoid injury or fatigue. A rule of thumb is to increase distance 10 – 20% per week. For puppies, it is recommended to wait until 12 months until growth plates have closed before starting your running regiment.
Watch for signs of fatigue in your dog and slow down to allow gradual improvements in durability.
As summer arrives, swimming is a great way to refresh yourself and your dog in a pool or lake. The resistance of water provides easy exercise of joints – more so that walking or running. Water offers a great form of strength trainings for your pup.
Dogs are great workout partners and will make you smile while you sweat.
Quick Tips for Healthy Dog Companionship
- Carry Water
- Stay on the Leash
- Get a Dog Tag to Identify Your Dog
- Help Dogs Stretch
- Dress for the Weather