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Canines make the best workout companions. Full of energy, naturally curious and eager to spend time with you, your dog is an exercise buddy you can always rely on.

Exercising together is also extremely good for both of you. It raises the heart rate, burns fat and builds muscle. It is also proven to help maintain and lose weight, which in turn decreases the likelihood of developing a number of serious health conditions including type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Many people believe that the only real way to exercise your dog is to walk, jog or run with them. However, there are times that walking or running with your pet may not be possible. This could be down to weather, illness or something else entirely. Thankfully, there are alternative forms of exercise that your pet can enjoy – some of which will be a good workout for you too!

Stairclimb

Running up and down the stairs is a great way to up the ante of your dog’s regular workout, as the steps provide an additional challenge that requires concentration and agility. It also gives your dog the opportunity to stretch his climbing muscles, which often don’t get much use on a standard walk or jog.Stand at the top of the stairs and throw his favorite toy gently down to him. Once he retrieves it, call him to bring it back up to you. Then repeat.

Treadmill

If you can’t get outside for a walk then why not bring the walk inside instead? A treadmill provides exactly the same exercise. You may need to spend some time getting your dog used to the smell and sounds of the machine – a little reward-based training works well – but a slow speed walk on the treadmill can provide a great alternative when you need to stay indoors. Just remember, never tie your dog to the machine as this could cause them to become injured.

Agility Classes

Dogs are naturally quite agile creatures and if you have a furry friend that always seems to have lots of excess energy to burn off, an agility class could the perfect way to wear them out as well as helping them to develop new skills and gain confidence.

Agility classes are high-intensity sessions that require your dog to run, jump, duck and weave and we guarantee he will be thoroughly well exercised at the end of it!

Fetch

A classic game between dogs and owners that simply cannot be beaten, fetch is a perfect way to exercise your dog outside if your own mobility is limited. A big backyard or a nearby park is the perfect location, just throw your dog’s favorite toy and watch him go. For obvious reasons, this game is only good outside of your backyard for dogs with great recall. If there is even the slightest chance that he will run off, then this game isn’t suitable anywhere other than the backyard.

Tug of War

If you have a good relationship with your dog, then a game of tug of war is fun and energetic for them. However, it is important to remember that this popular game can bring out the predator instinct in some animals, so you should ensure that you have control over your dog’s power and can understand his body language and instincts in order to play this with him safely.

Brain Training

While physical exercise is important, so it mental agility. Dogs that are bored tend to start to exhibit less than desirable behaviors at home, becoming disruptive and even destructive. By teaching your dog new tricks you can help to keep their cognitive ability sharp.

Dogs who get regular exercise are more likely to live healthy, happy lives. For more advice on exercising your dog, particularly if he has some physical limitations, make an appointment with Best Pets Veterinary Hospital who will be happy to support you.