Now that some of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted it is a great time to get out and about with your dog. According to a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2018, 28.1% of adults in the United Kingdom are clinically obese. And our pets aren’t doing any better. 58.3% of pet cats our obese or overweight, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, and so are 52.5% of pet dogs.
Before you add any dog to your family, of course, a great amount of consideration should take place. It’s well worth putting in the work and research now so that you know exactly what you need to do once you bring your new addition home. But it is worth noting that energetic family dogs like beagles and Labradors are a great companion for those looking to drop a few pounds, as they need a significant amount of exercise. If anyone comes near your home, or they hear any suspicious sounds, they will alert you and look over your family and house. They’re very playful, and tend to make great family dogs because they’re great with kids.
You will need to put a lot of time and effort into training your pup, however, if you want your Beagle to be well-behaved. Remember: When you bring a dog home for the first time, they’re likely to find everything pretty overwhelming at first. Trying to jump on everything, chewing every last piece of furniture and just generally becoming overexcited is a very normal response for a dog who has just been allowed into the house for the first time, whether they’re a puppy or an older dog.
There are loads of different ways you can exercise with your dog. Today we’re going to look at just a few.
Start with a walk and build up from there if you’re not used to strenuous exercise, but completing a good hike with your dog is a great goal to keep in mind. Your dog needs to be walked, so it’s your job to make sure you have the time to stay on top of that. If possible, getting up a little earlier in the mornings is a great way to make sure you have time for that walk.
Your dog needs a walk of 10 minutes at the very least. Stretching that to 20 minutes will be beneficial to both you and your dog and, if your schedule allows it, you could even try to get in three walks a day.
2. Cut Out the Treats Together
Giving your dog extra attention as a reward works just as well as giving them treats. Interaction is often a dog’s very favourite thing. If you really want to give your dog a treat to eat, try breaking it in half and keeping the other half for tomorrow. You can treat your own favourite snack foods the same way – save half for tomorrow. You end up being able to have treats when you really want them, but the smaller portions means you’re eating half as much junk.
If you want to do something to make your dog happy, throw in a quick extra game or take them for a walk around the block.
3. Check Out the Dog Park
Not all areas in the UK have dog parks, but most will have a park where dogs are welcome. If at all possible, go to your nearest appropriate park. Toss a ball around with your dog once you get there. You’ll both get some exercise, and it’ll be fun!
Going to the park is also a great way to socialise your dog. Over time, they’ll become more comfortable around other dogs and people.
4. Hit the Beach
If you live near the coast, go for a swim when the weather is good! You and your dog can both enjoy swimming, which is a low-impact exercise which can be relaxing, exciting or both. Swimming can be especially beneficial for older dogs with joint problems. It will allow them to use up some energy without putting too much pressure on their joints. Just be sure to dry them thoroughly afterwards to avoid that classic wet-dog smell.
5. Running and Jogging
Pull on some comfortable running shoes and find yourself a dog-friendly running track. This cardio workout couldn’t be simpler. If you’re going for a long run, make sure you and your dog can both rehydrate by bringing a water bottle and foldable bowl. Make sure you also have everything you need to clean up after your dog so the track stays safe and clean for other runners.
6. Tugging War
Your dog will love a game of tug-of-war. They’ll be excited to spend time playing with you, and the game can actually help build your upper body strength!
You can find a tug-of-war toy for your dog in more or less any pet shop. If you want to save money, a piece of rope or fabric with a knot tied in each end will work just as well.
Go outside and play a game of catch with your dog – it doesn’t matter if you use a frisbee, a stuffed toy or a ball. This is the most classic of games to play with a dog, and it’s a great workout for both of you. Your dog will get exercise from running around, while you’ll be exercising your arms and upper body when you throw the ball.
For more information about building your relationship with man’s best friend, check out Need2Know’s Essential Guide to Dog Training which explains why positive reinforcement works much better than the outdated, scientifically disproved harsh methods and takes you step by step through the important elements of training that ensure your dog will be a pleasure to live with.