It’s hard enough to find the time and the motivation to exercise ourselves, let alone ensure our pets stay active too. But dogs are happiest and healthiest when they’re able to get outside the house and release some energy. They also make the best workout buddy, especially when you see your pup’s excitement while running alongside you or returning that ball. Check out these ideas to keep the whole family active together.
The Fitbit for Furballs
The PitPat is a dog activity monitor worn on the collar. It tracks walking, running, playing and resting, and provides tips based on the level of activity recorded. Set goals together as a team! Train to run a 10K, while empowering your pup to get those four legs moving too.
Since your phone will become a fitness tool, make sure to download the app onto a comfortable, reliable and water-resistant device. You’ll want a durable phone like an LG G6 if you start to elevate your fitness, moving from outdoor activity like jogging to outdoor adventure like hiking a mountain. With its wide-angle camera, you can capture epic scenic views of your pawsome trips together.
Races for Dog-Kind
One fitness goal couples and their dogs can make together is to run a dog-friendly race. Take your daily jogs together to the next level and bring your training partner to the starting line. Not only do you and your pup get to explore a new route and scenery together, but you can meet other furry families. Once you cross the finish line, you can celebrate with belly rubs and biscuits.
Iron Doggy offers a list of dog-friendly runs in various states that range from a 5K dash and half marathon to a jingle bell run and a zombie run. Many events also benefit a great cause, like raising money to rescue homeless dogs and to benefit the Susan G. Komen organization and National Canine Cancer Foundation. For more adventurous races, check out REI Co-op Journal’s list of racing events open to man’s best friend. They’re comprised of rugged, rolling terrain, dirt tracks, river crossings, switchbacks and smooth stretches.
Downward Dog, Literally
Namaste! Practicing the mindful exercise of yoga can benefit your pup too. Doga strengthens the bond between dogs and their pet parents beyond couch cuddles and strolls around the neighborhood. You can develop a sense of solidarity in a shared yoga pose, exchanging good energy and deepening trust. The practice can benefit your pup’s emotional health too — aiding in relaxation, calmness and stress relief, especially for hyperactive dogs or dogs with separation anxiety.
Check out Dogamahny’s YouTube channel for a collection of doga videos that you and your pooch can follow. You can also create your own practice at home referencing Doga Dog’s free videos as a guide. Many cities even host events like doga in the park where pet parents and their pup can hit the mat (and of course downward dog) outdoors.
Turn staying active with your pup into a “pawty” with other dog lovers through playdates and meetups. Plan playdates with your dog-loving friends and family—or meet people in your city who love to get out and about with their pups. Using the BarkHappy app can connect you with new friends, as well as dog-friendly places and events. Make your dog the happiest and discover the dog-friendly community around you!
Pet parents can also host their own meet up at a park where you can create a fun workout for both owners and dogs. Think of a dog-friendly CrossFit-like workout, such as sprints, fetch and tug-of-war for so many minutes each for a number of rounds. You can also incorporate playing with interactive toys from dog agility and training site Clean Run, like a flirt pole, disc, soccer ball and tug stick, to keep your dog happy, healthy and off the couch. You can find some great toy options here.