10th January 2019
Regular exercise is a great way to keep you and your dog fit and healthy – but what do you do when the daily walk around the park just isn’t enough? Whether you’re getting fit for the new year, or just want to get more active in general, there are lots of fun and energising ways to get your heart racing and their tail wagging.
Step up the pace of your usual walkies with a cross-country run. Find a dog-friendly spot like a local woodland and set yourself challenges, steadily increasing distance and speed. You can buy a special harness for your dog that attaches to your waist to make sure you keep them with you at all times. Organisers like CaniX (or Cani-Cross) hold regular events and meet-ups for more serious runners and their dogs – you can keep a look out for your next one here: http://www.canix.co.uk/index.shtml
Playing with a frisbee is another fun and inexpensive way to keep fit with your furry friend. Your dog will love chasing it, and you’ll get a workout as you run after them too! The best thing about frisbees is that you can play with them just about anywhere, as long as there’s a bit of open space. Make sure you buy a frisbee specifically designed for dogs – children’s plastic frisbees can hurt their gums and teeth.
This one is a little tricky and requires a bit more of an investment, but with practice and commitment you can enjoy cycling with your dog – also called bikejoring. With the help of special equipment including a harness and bike attachments, you can cycle while your dog runs in front, a bit like huskies pulling a sledge. There are lots of groups and events that can give you the best start in the sport, and learn from experienced bikejorists.
You’ve probably seen agility trials at dog shows, but you don’t have to be a pro to have a go at agility. Set up obstacles in your garden or in the park and encourage your dog to jump over or run through them – you’ll be surprised how much exercise you’ll get running around after your dog! If you’re looking to get competitive, there are lots of clubs and classes you can get involved with. Who knows, maybe you’ll take home a rosette one day!
Remember, always do your research before taking up a new sport with your dog. These sports aren’t for everybody, so make sure you try it out slowly and gently to begin with – never make your dog do anything it’s not comfortable doing, and always have water to hand to keep them hydrated. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019, to you and your new workout partner!