6 Creative Ways to Get Fit with Fido

This week’s post is a guest-post by anonymous writer “Terrier Trouble.” I plan to include guest posts along with my own writings as I want this to become a community that includes other people’s perspectives, and also shares your amazing ideas. If you are interested in guest-posting on Biscuit Life Companion, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via our contact form.

Pre-Post Note From Amanda: I think increased fitness is one of the more commonly cited benefits of having a dog, but it is probably so commonly referenced because of how true it is! With a dog by my side, I can run an extra mile. With a dog by by side, I’m out walking and getting fresh air all winter long. What I love about TerrierTrouble’s post below is how creative some of these ideas are. Only one of them – dancing – is something I’ve ever tried with dogs before. Enjoy!

Sometimes it is so hard to get motivated to work out.  Luckily, for dog owners, there is always a reason to get some extra steps in: your dog.  But it can get boring to simply walk around the block with your dog.  Over the years, I developed some physical activity where I can also involve my dogs.

1. Dancing

My dogs are terriers, so they are incredibly prey-driven.  So they go nuts when there is any quick movement, like my feet.  I turn on some music (which they also respond to—especially if it’s disco for some reason…) and dance.  Even dancing for one or two songs will get you to sweat and also get your dogs’ blood pumping.2626

2. Obstacle Course

I do this one when it’s just too cold outside.  I set up a series of obstacles—climb under the kitchen table, jump over a chair, sit for ten seconds, stay for one minute—for the dogs.  There are also some “high value” treats involved (like shredded chicken).  They go crazy for it.  It really tires them out mentally as well as physically because they have a series of tasks they are required to complete.  Moving around with them provides good exercise.  I also do some of the activities too (like jumping over the chair—great to maintain agility!).

3. Playground Romp

Make sure there are no kids around, but take your dogs to the park.  We treat the jungle gym like a series of obstacles—rushing over the bridge, going down the slide, etc.  We also do a series of sprints around the perimeter of the park.  This one will tire both of your out.

4. Bike Rides

Biking with a dog is actually not that difficult, although you do need to take care that you are wearing a helmet and that you have trained your dog to do this.  Start out with some nice rides around the neighborhood before you do a five-mile ride!  You’ll also want to make sure your dog is physically okay.  Remember that while you’re riding a bike, your dog is running!  This will really get your dog good and tired for the rest of the day.

Black dog swimming in pool with green tennis ball in mouth

I’m excited thinking about swimming with a pup this summer! I’m like a fish in the water, and hope we have a visitor who might like to swim.

5. Swimming

Some dogs hate water, but others love it.  There’s nothing better on a hot day than to take a dip, especially if your furry friend also likes the water.  Get your dog to sit and stay on the dock while you swim away.  Then release your dog and have him come chase you.  You can also have the dog jump off the dock and try to catch a ball before hitting the water.

6. Dog Training Classes

In the advanced classes especially, you will have to walk a great deal with your pet.  When I take my dog to her advanced class, I sometimes walk 6,000 steps in just one hour.  It is a great way for you to get your steps in while also mentally stimulating your dog.