President Barack Obama plays a “keep away” with the family dog Bo in the backyard of the White House.
Walking: Walking is a simple yet beneficial practice for both humans and pets alike. When walking with your pet, try to stay on dirt or grass paths, as too much walking or running on concrete can stress joints and irritate your dog’s foot pads. Even though it’s cold, bundle you and your dog up and get outside, but always be sure to keep Fido properly hydrated. If it’s snowing, always remember to carefully wipe your dog’s foot pads after returning inside to avoid ice build-up.
Hiking: If your residence or community offers hiking, take advantage and bring Fido along. Most dogs love to explore the outdoors. Like walking, you’ll need to maintain a brisk enough pace to elevate you and your pet’s heart rate. As always, be sure to keep you and your pet properly hydrated, especially during extended excursions. Carrying a collapsible water bowl will help make hydrating your dog easy.
Jogging: Jogging is a great form of exercise, but not all dogs are built to jog. If you want to jog with your pet, choose a breed that is suited to distance-running. Your jog with Fido should include five minutes of warm-up, 20 minutes of jogging, and five minutes of cool-down.
Frisbee: A game of Frisbee provides a classic canine workout and some outdoor fun for both you and your pup. Before the snow hits the ground, you can play a game in your own yard or join a “Disc Dog” team. Participating in competitions may give you and your dog greater motivation to practice regularly.
Senior Pets: Consider the age of your pet when developing an exercise routine. Senior dogs in particular need adequate exercise, but adjust his or her routine to their abilities. A mere 15 minutes of massaging and stretching every day will raise your dog’s sense of well being. Jogging with your dog may not be appropriate if he or she is arthritic.