Exercise With Your Pet to Lose Weight!

Did you know that when people exercise with their dogs they are more successful at losing weight and keeping the weight off than when they exercise alone? I bet you are wondering how that can be possible but have a think about it. Dogs can provide companionship, motivation, a reason to get up and about and, as all dog owners know, even if it’s raining, you cannot get away from taking them out. But even if you do not own a dog, just by having some sort of pet is beneficial as pet owners on average tend to:

  • Make fewer doctor visits and use less medication

  • Have lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure

  • Recover from illness and surgery more quickly

  • Are able to deal better with stress

  • Are typically less likely to suffer from feelings of loneliness.

Any kind of pets, from cats, dogs, horses, rabbits can be a great remedy for all kinds of illnesses and can help you shed those pounds. Just by engaging in one of the activities below, you can burn off some huge calories, and with company!

  • Walking for half an hour with your dog can burn up to 190 calories (so long as you are going at around 4mph so get a wriggle on!)

  • If your dog loves to run then jogging with your new chum (based on 6 mph) can burn up to 300 calories per hour.

  • Going out on horseback for 30 minutes will not only blow those cobwebs away but will also burn off up to 120 calories.

  • And when you get back, giving your horse a good groom for 30 minutes, which will probably be needed if you have had a good ride, can burn up to 200 calories.

If your pet is overweight then this is the perfect time for the pair of you to embark on a fitness regime together. You can go walking, running, swimming and even playing with your pet is good exercise. It also provides great mental stimulation for your pet, and helps to keep them happy and contented. There’s nothing worse than a bored dog I can tell you! Here are some tips and advice if you are just starting out.

Easy exercise tips and ideas for you and your pet:

Walking:

  • Walking is a great way to begin an exercise routine as it is low impact.

  • Try to walk at least 20 minutes a day to reap the benefits.

  • Walking improves flexibility, stops muscle wasting and improves circulation to the joints.

Jogging:

  • Is high impact, especially on concrete or tar roads so be wary if your pet is getting on in years.

  • Grass is a better option for both pets and people especially if your pet is old.

  • An active dog will want about 30 minutes a day but 20 is enough to start with.

  • In the summer, morning and evenings are preferable – to limit heat stress, especially on those pets with flat noses or those with dark colouring. Remember, dog cannot sweat.

  • Ideal for fit and active breeds. Working dog breeds will run more than 20km a day when on farms. They thrive on at least 30-60 minutes of exercise a day.

Swimming:

  • Very low impact and good for animals with joint problems.

  • The best exercise for animals that like water.

  • Great relief from the heat when the summer sets in – dogs will love splashing around and keeping cool.

A few precautions:

  • If you are playing with your pets and throwing toys, be careful not to overdo it, as the twisting nature of a tug and pull toy can be bad for the joints.

  • Make sure you choose a suitably sized ball. Too small a ball may stick in the animals throat.

  • NEVER throw sticks, a stick can lodge in their throats.

  • Be aware of your limitations and those of your pet.

  • If you’re not used to exercise, start gently and build up – you’re less likely to burn out and give up.

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