Dogs are called ‘man’s best friend’ for a reason – they are always willing to listen and comfort us, are always happy to see us, and provide us with constant companionship. But they also offer something that isn’t as widely publicized – they help keep us healthy.
Dogs of all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages need exercise. Whether you have a six-year-old, five-pound Chihuahua or a six-month-old, fifty-five pound Boxer, exercise is a must. And who is going to give your dog exercise? You!
According to a survey conducted on behalf of the Petcare segment at Mars Inc., which includes such well-known pet brands such as Pedigree, Whiskas, Nutro, Royal Canin and Banfield, nearly two-thirds of dog owners engage in exercise on a weekly basis because of their dog and that 29 percent of dog owners who engage in regular exercise other than walking do so because of their dog. The survey also found that dogs are the driving force behind two-thirds of the walks their owners take each week.
Dogs force you to get outside for some fresh air and exercise, no matter if it is raining, snowing, you have little time, or you just don’t feel like it. And inevitably, once you are forced outside, you feel better and appreciate the push. It’s almost like having a very persistent personal trainer in the family.
There are many forms of exercise you can participate in with your dog that goes beyond daily walks.
Hiking – Taking your dog into the great outdoors is great for both of your health and wellness. Hiking trails are perfect for dog walking. You can even purchase a backpack for your dog so he can carry his own water and food supplies.
Rollerblading – Dogs love to run and if you are not able to run yourself, strapping on a pair of rollerblades can be a great compromise. You still get plenty of exercise but can also keep up with the pace set by a high-energy dog.
Beach Combing – There are many dog-friendly beaches all over the country and walking in sand is one of the best workouts you can do. Wading in the water and chasing the surf is also a fun way to get more exercise.
Agility – Training classes are highly beneficial for your dog’s mental and physical well-being, but agility in particular can also provide an avenue of exercise for a dog owner as well. You will definitely break a sweat running along the obstacles leading your dog.
So, it turns out you don’t need a gym membership to stay healthy. Bringing a dog into your life can keep you healthy while also providing all the additional benefits of being your constant companion.
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