Five Exercises You Can Do With Your Dog
Are you still in “New Year’s resolution” mode? Since the top resolution in America always seems to be exercise-related, we have some good news: It’s possible, and highly encouraged, to get into shape with your dog by your side. These exercises can be done with your pup, so not only will you be getting in a good workout, you’ll be bonding with your best friend.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure your dog is healthy enough for exercise. If he has IVDD, make sure he’s well past the crate rest stage and able to move around again. Taking it slow is perfectly fine.
Think about it: Dogs invented the “downward facing dog” pose, so it’s not such a stretch to modify your practice to include your pup. Need some help? Look up YouTube “doga” or “dog-friendly yoga” videos, or visit yoga4dogs.com.
Of course, one classic way to get your exercise is to take your pup on your morning run. If your dog is in decent shape, you can both get in a killer workout before lunch, and your dog will have a happy (albeit sleepy) afternoon. If you have an off leash dog park in your neighborhood, you can also get in a good game of fetch.
Hide and Seek Squats
Squats are great for your legs, and this exercise allows you to incorporate some playtime. Stand in front of your dog with your feet a little wider than hip width apart, toes slightly turned out. Hold your dog’s favorite treat up with your right hand. Push your hips down to squat and pass the treat under your left leg from your right hand to your left hand, letting your dog try to find it. Stand back up, holding your treat up with your left hand. Repeat as much as you can before you drive your dog crazy.
Puppy Pop-Up Jacks
Crouch down on the floor in front of your pup, holding his toy with both hands. Jump up and jack your feet apart, landing with your feet wide and your arms open in a wive “V” with the toy in your right hand. Jump your feet back together, crouch back down. Repeat 10 times, alternating which hand holds the toy each time.
Start in a modified pushup position, holding a treat or small toy in your right hand. Lower your body into a pushup. As you press back up, extend your right arm, reaching the treat up toward your dog. Bring your hand back down and repeat the exercise. Do 10 pushups total, then give your dog his treat.
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