Following the "lead": how you AND your dog can be more active together #Pets#dogs#exercise#health#pets December 7 | Guest post by Kathie Lukas Flirt Pole V2 Dog Exercise & Training Toy from Squishy Face Studio Related Post 4 ways to make yourself exercise when you hate exercising I hate exercising. I mean I really, really hate it. I hate sweating, and I hate sore muscles, and I hate feeling out of breath.... Read more Over the past couple of centuries, technological advancements have been such that society has gradually become more and more sedentary. This sedentary lifestyle, circumstantial or otherwise, has had an effect on our pets as well, and it is not uncommon to find that they too are in need of daily activities in order to enhance their own physical and mental health. Dogs are borne to work, run, hunt, and play. In spite of their innate need to move and play, our dogs often find themselves sitting on the same sofa we ourselves sit on. It's easy for all of us to become couch potatoes together. Most of us do our best to accommodate these energy necessities, but in most cases, these quick walk outings are not enough. Here are some easy ways to make exercising with dogs more enjoyable for everyone. (As always, limit your movement, and your dogs, to your own physical restrictions and health and consult your doctor and vet for any medical needs!) Follow your dog's lead Possibly the simplest way of mixing things up: next time you and your dog walk out of the door for your daily promenade, instead of leading the dog, let him or her decide where to go. Follow his nose and see where that might take you! Keep up with the pace she has set. There will be a time when sniffing around in the same pocket of space will seem to be all the dog needs, while other times, a whiff of the wind blowing nearby may have alerted him that something wonderful is brewing that must be investigated immediately. This might involve some running but your dog will love you for it. Play fetch Dogs love chasing, hunting, and running after a moving object. It might be a ball you're throwing, but he or she will make it a life mission to catch it. Make it even more interesting? Instead of simply waiting for the dog to return it, why don't you run after the ball yourself? The other incentive of beating you to the ball will make it an even better game, notwithstanding the fact that dogs are social animals used to hunting in packs. And who better than you, the leader of your dog pack, to run along with? Make your dog work for its treats Hide and seek is the name of the game here. Dogs love treats, love sniffing around, love chasing and hunting, so looking for that yummy treat that is tickling his or her ever-sensitive nose will be all she'll ever need to set upon searching for it. Treadmill time This tip relies on having one at home, but treadmills are not only great for humans to get our blood flowing, they are also a lot of fun for our dogs. I had the cutest female poodle once who loved her treadmill. I would often hear her barking from the room where the treadmill was set up, which I knew as my cue to turn it on. I often wondered if she really knew that this activity was taking her nowhere fast. When it comes to exercise, we often think in terms of physical benefits and of course. But exercising is not just beneficial for our heart, our muscles, our joints, and our overall well-being, but just as importantly, it helps our mental state, too. Plus, exercising with our dogs enhances our bonds even further. Quick and easy exercises you can do at your desk in 7 minutes or less I'm not an exercise buff by any means -- the most I do is yoga three times a week, when I'm really disciplined about it. Most of the time my… Read More Join our community! Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Kathie Lukas Kathie Lukas is a freelance writer mostly covering pet health and pet grooming. She loves to travel and has a never-ending love for food. She has completed her degree in animal sciences from Kansas State University. https://www.petlove.love/ PREVIOUS Privilege & bigotry: how I'm owning it and un-learning false narratives NEXT Second marriage is not a dirty word: finding new love and marriage after divorce Show/Hide comments [ 5 ] A few things worth mentioning: 1 – PUPPIES should never undergo forced exercise. This means no running on leash, no treadmill time, limited use of a flirt pole or fetch, and short walks. NO running up and down stairs at all until they're mature. It's bad for their joints to make them do too much too early. Research your breed's specific needs, as well as when growth plates fuse. For medium and larger dogs, this is often 18 months-2 years. 2 – Human treadmills are often too short for larger dogs – the dog's gait is too long for the tread. If you have a small dog they're fine, but if you have a medium-giant breed dog you're better served by looking into a dog-specific treadmill. Also, don't ignore the need for mental work. Mental work often trumps physical work with regards to tiring out a dog. 3 agree Reply Thank you for mentioning about the size of the treadmill! I hadn't thought of that, and had considered trying to train my pups on it, but they may indeed be too large. Do you have suggestions or examples of mental work? I think this would help one of my pups, but I'm not sure where to start, other than some of the puzzle-type food things. 1 agrees Reply I love Nosework. Look into it! 😀 1 agrees Reply Excellent points! 2 agree Reply I strongly disagree with letting your dog run up and down the stairs as a form of exercise. This can be harmful especially for dogs with long backs (dachshunds, corgis etc) and for dogs that are fairly big and heavy (a labrador, eg). Stairs can damage both the hip joints and the elbows, and for some breeds the intervertebral discs. From all I've read and learnt, it's a good idea to carry a dog up and down the stairs for as long as possible, at least until they're half a year old, and then guide them up and down slowly. And even after they've learnt to walk stairs calmly, they should only use the stairs when it is truly necessary. Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via emailGet only replies to your comment, the best of the rest, as well as a daily recap of all comments on this post. 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