Happy Saturday! As you are reading this I am either out doing my 15 mile run or I am spending time at the coast with my hubby! We took advantage of this quick holiday and headed down to the beach last night after we got off work. I am trying to soak up every second we have, so Anna was gracious enough to take over the blog today!
As you all know I love love love my puppy so when she offered to talk about staying active with your dog I knew it was right up my ally!
Take it away Anna….
Norman, my dog, and I take playtime very seriously. In fact, there are a few outings we look forward to more than those spent cuddling and gazing into each other’s eyes. But, there’s more to man’s best friend than warm cuddles and funny Instagram pictures.
Ask any dog lover and they’ll confirm that keeping your dog happy and healthy is just as important as couch time. That’s why we put together these non-boring activities that sculpts and strengthens your body while creating bonding time for you and your pup!
Here’s 7 ways to stay active with your dog:
Next time you’re looking to perfect your asana, practice your Zen at home. Turn on Enya, grab your yoga mat, and sit your dog by your side. You can incorporate a doggy massage, meditation, or have the pose with you, depending on the pose. Try to stay calm and not talk during the session. Dogs can read your energy. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your furry friend will be.
2. Circuit Training
The benefits of sweating it out during midday walk are great for your bod and help you feel good. But let’s be honest: it can get a little boring. Make yourself sweat by mixing it up a bit by walking for 500 yards and sprinting for 200 yards. Or add in air squats or push-ups for 30 seconds while asking Fido to sit or stay for those 30 seconds.
3. Dog Friendly Races
Cue the costumes, trendy gadgets, and custom leashes. Running with your pooch is more like a running “experience” than actual race. Sarasota, Florida hosts one of my favorite events, the Doggie Bone 5K. Norman and I trotted along the 1-mile fun run for the beginner’s course. Here’s a list of a few others worth checking out:
- The Dash 5K & Doggie Run – Washington, D.C.
- Race For Rescues – Los Angeles, CA
- Rocky Dog Trail Run – Vail, CO
Want to get a workout, a sun-kissed tan, and doggy time? Yes, yes, and yes! Throw on your sunnies and SPF then head to the water with your best friend. Make sure to have a personal flotation device for your dog, even if they are good swimmers. For safety reasons, this is a must. Try to look for one with a convenient handle to make pulling your pup out of the water easy. Be sure to start out on a lake or where the water is calm to get your dog familiar with the kayak and used to the paddling movement.
Dogs love to soak up the sun, splash in the surf, and enjoy the salty, ocean air. Dogs love to de-stress and they love the freedom of open endless beach run. Dogs can also get hypnotized by the rush of the waves so make sure to keep them close to ensure they can hear you. Also, if your dog is sensitive to sunlight, you may want to bring some Doggles (googles for dogs) and doggy sunscreen. For more safety tips, read this.
Swap the treadmill for the trail and take your dog hiking for a day. Most dogs make awesome hiking partners. They love the excitement of the great outdoors and it can boost your creativity. Just be sure to be realistic about your expectations for yourself and your dog. Prepping to take them into the backcountry takes a bit of time and extra packing. Here’s what I include in my backpack when Norman and I head out:
- Basic first-aid kit
- Trail treats (if you’re going for a long route, bring dog food)
- Water and collaspible water bowl (this helps save space)
- 6-foot leash and harness
- Insect repellent
- ID tags, microchips, and a picture (You can also get a GPS system)
- Plastic bags
- Brush (this helps keeps the ticks away)
7. Game Time
Turning exercise into playtime benefits both you and your furry friend. If time isn’t on your side, try playing fetch with a Frisbee outside or chase each other. Norman and I play tug o’ war to engage the core and keeps both of us feeling challenged. There’s a bajillion benefits to running and playing outside from living longer to lowering your blood pressure.
If you haven’t already head over and meet Anna, mom to Norman Larry, the basset hound, and world sailor. When Anna & Norman aren’t exploring another adventure or eating peanut butter, they can be seen hanging out at the local dog parks. Head over to her blog or follower her on twitter!