Losing weight or getting in shape seems to be on just about every other person’s to-do list for the new year—and if it’s on yours, you may already have a great workout partner: your dog!
Just like humans, overweight pets are more likely to develop diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint injuries, and cancer. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the U.S. are overweight.
Plus, from a behavioral standpoint, walks can be a fantastic way to help your dog “reset.” If your pup is prone to the zoomies, or has a tendency to bounce off the walls on a near-daily basis, setting aside time for daily walks can be life-changing — for both you and your pet!
Here are some tips to help you stay active together:
- Try interval walking/jogging with your dog instead of just a simple walk. You’ll both burn more calories and it makes the walk more interesting for your pet.
- Play hide & seek with your dog. Put him in a “sit/stay”, hide somewhere in the house, then call your dog to you. Reward with small treats and praise when he finds you.
- Instead of a game of fetch, play “catch me” with your dog, rewarding him with the ball when he tags you.
- Try agility! This obstacle-course-based activity is hugely fun for dogs and is quite a workout for their owners as well.
And remember, these activities are great for the whole family! This time with your pup can be equally special one-on-one time for partners, children, and siblings. Make it a part of your daily routine and everyone will be feeling happier and healthier in no time!