Dogs and Fitness

Many people are concerned with keeping fit as well as maintaining a healthy level of
exercise, and having a dog for a pet can be an asset in that department.

As many of the breeds - especially the larger ones - need frequent exercise, this
can be the perfect addition to any outdoor fitness routine.

Rather than simply opening a door and letting the pet out a few times a day, there
are activities that pets and their owners can participate in that are sure to be
mutually beneficial.

To begin with, a dog can provide protection. Many people, especially women, who may feel apprehensive about exercising outside by themselves can look at their dog as a guardian. Having a companion may make people feel less uneasy about exercising outdoors during the early morning or evening a dog doesn't just provide company, but can also help boost your exercise routine. Hiking and walking on trails can be interesting experiences for humans, but for dogs, these activities can be extremely rewarding in terms of both exercise and experience.

Many breeds of dog enjoy running, so taking a dog for a run can help build stamina for people looking to increase the distance that they can travel. For those that want to increase the distance that they can throw, owning a dog that has been trained to fetch can be a valuable asset. For some, simply playing with a dog can be a workout, whether it is playing tug of war, allowing the dog to chase a person around a yard or park, or simply training it to perform on command.

Another good physical activity that dog owners can participate in with their pets is swimming. Though dogs cannot swim in the same manner as a human, being in the water for any amount of time will be exercise for both human and pet. This not only teaches dogs to enjoy the water at an early age, but opens up possibilities for other exercise options in the future.

No matter what the activity, your dog will simply love spending time with you and the fitness benefits - to both you and your dog - will be priceless. So get out there and start exercising with your best (four legged) friend!