She loves binge-watching prestige dramas as much as you do, but your dog would be even happier if you guys spent more of 2019 getting in shape together. Dogs need exercise literally every single day, and as it happens, so do you. So after 8 hours of sitting at a desk all day, come home and leash up your new trainer. It’s go time.
You’ll both see benefits.
You became total couch potatoes together, but did you know you and your little spud can burn calories at a very similar rate? Dogs burn about 0.8 calories per pound per mile when moving at a brisk pace of 3.7-4 mph (miles per hour), which measures up very similarly to humans’ 0.73 calories per pound per mile at a similar pace. So whether you choose to power walk or run, you’ll both be getting trimmer.
You’ll live longer together.
Heart disease and type 2 diabetes aren’t just for humans. Your dog (who you obviously want to live forever) can suffer from them too. The good news is that regular aerobic exercise, staying off the carbs and maintaining a lean body mass can reduce the risk of these diseases.
You’ll also play harder.
When you’re carrying some extra pounds, chasing your dog around can leave you out of breath. If your dog’s overweight, he’s feeling those same affects too, and it can lead to difficulty breathing, distress during hot temperatures, and heart trouble. Being overweight can also take a toll on knees and hips. If you want to keep you and your dog playing well into the future, weight-bearing exercises (like walking and running) can help strengthen muscles, joints, and helps to prevent osteoporosis.
You’ll both feel calmer and sleep better.
Exercise is a huge stress reliever for both you and your dog, which is great because stressed out dogs can act out. Big time. This can lead to coming home to all kinds of disasters, from knocked over trash cans to mangled shoes (i.e. more stress for you). Exercise also makes it easier to sleep. You know what doesn’t? Your dog waking you up to play. When they’re not getting enough exercise, your dog might beg for attention or ask to play at odd hours, so make sure they’re tuckered out enough for a great night’s sleep .
You’ll be (even more) bonded.
You’re already attached at the hip, but now you get to have the fun of teaching your dog your favorite sport. Dogs can have fun participating in a lot of different workouts. Running is a classic, but you’re going to want to adjust your distance based on your breed (for example, a lab or pit bull shouldn’t go any more than 5 miles, but your Jack Russel terrier or Weimaraner can go way further). If you’re the outdoorsy type, why not take your dog hiking or teach your dog some ultimate frisbee skills at the park? Love soccer? So will your herding dog if you have a breed like a collie. Your dog can even do yoga with you (there IS a position named after them) or join you for a kick-butt doggie bootcamp class.