What if you could find a personal trainer who will never cancel an appointment, is ready to exercise whenever you are, and works for free?
A trainer with all of those qualities just may be waiting for you at your house – it is your dog!
Starting a regular walking program with your dog is a great way to keep you both in shape, with no gym membership or other equipment needed. There are 3 main ways that regular walks can help keep your senior pet healthy:
- Weight Control: More than half of dog in the US are overweight, according to a study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). Being overweight can increase your dog’s risk for diabetes, heart disease and many other health problems. Walking is a great way to help your dog stay at a healthy weight.
- Maintaining Mobility: Keeping your senior dog moving can help them overcome some of the mobility issues that come with age. Regular walks (without extreme exertion) can help keep joints moving and muscles and balance strong.
- Mental Health: Walks provide mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Keeping your pet mentally active can help increase their awareness and overall brain health.
Walk This Way: Exercising With Your Senior Dog
Whether you have recently adopted a senior dog, or are ready to start a new exercise program with a long-time companion, you can ensure that walking will be wonderful for both of you by following these tips:
- Establish a scheduled time for walks. Your dog will soon learn when it’s time to walk, and they will remind you – keeping both of your exercise programs on track.
- Walk at a steady pace to keep your dog focused on walking, not other animals or epic sessions of sniffing. Walking together is a great time to work on leash training and other commands.
- Remember that your senior dog may not have the same amount of endurance they had in the past. Three ten minute walks spread out through the day may be easier than one 30 minute walk.
- Pay attention to the weather in your area, and make sure that you take the necessary precautions to keep your pet safe while outdoors.
The World Health Organization recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week for adults to stay healthy. In order to get the exercise you need in a relaxing, enjoyable way, make a date with your senior dog for a walk today.