tips for working out with pets

Posted by Dr. Jules Benson on Jul 28 2009


If your dog should shed more pounds than fur, then read on. Running or biking together is an excellent way to trim down, tone up and boost your bond. Even better, you get to work out with the world’s best exercise buddy. Just think about it – anytime, day or night, your dog’s ready to go (and he won’t trail behind on a cell phone). So make the most of your workout together. Help your pooch lose the paunch. It’s easy.

Vet Your Pet. Just like us, some dogs are out of shape and have exercise limitations. Older or overweight dogs may need low-impact exercise to relieve pressure on their joints. Others may be prone to hip and bone problems that can be exacerbated by regular running. So before lacing and leashing up together, make sure to ask your vet to assess your dog’s physical condition.

Pad on Over. Hot asphalt, gravel driveways and hard pavements take a toll on your dog’s paw pads. To avoid scrapes, burns and hard impact on the paws, choose grass and other softer surfaces when running with your dog.

Pace the Pup. He may think he’s Super Dog, but your best friend needs to work up his endurance. Too much exercise too soon can lead to injury, and doggie burnout. So start slowly with short sessions with your dog running next to you, or alongside your bike. If he starts panting a lot or just seems tired, call it quits for the day and fill up his bowl with fresh, cool water frequently.

Time it Right. All dogs need a little extra help to avoid heat exhaustion. Remember, they can’t take off that fabulous fur coat no matter how hot it gets outside. And since they don’t sweat like us, they need to pant to cool down. You can help them beat the heat by exercising together in the morning or evening hours, especially during the summertime.

Get in Gear. Pedaling with your pup just got better. No more tangled leashes or hands-free riding. Nifty bike attachments keep your dog at a safe distance from your bike, while absorbing the tugging and pulling as he runs alongside. Just attach it to your bike frame and go for a smooth, safe ride together.

Ready, Set, Glow! Now everyone will see the bright spot of your day. Reflective collars or jackets keep your dog in clear view of traffic, cyclists, anyone he encounters on his evening run or ride.