Go To The Gym, Walk The Dog… Why Not Combine Them Into One!

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So you are on your way home thinking of all the things you need to do: walk the dog, go to the gym… Wait a minute. How about combining both of those into one?

“If you work your dog you’ll have a very calm, relaxed dog,” says Janet Ward, whose Standard Poodle, Penny, accompanies her to Fetching classes. Giving your dog a regular energy release can not only curb destructive behaviour but fight canine obesity and make for a healthier pooch.

Cat Repetowski runs 6Legs to Fitness classes in Surrey, B.C., and says working out together is a great strategy for busy dog owners. “A lot of people want to go to the gym and then they get home and have to walk the dog,” she says, adding that working out with your dog makes for a great bonding experience.

Perhaps the most important quality in this workout partner is the lack of judgement. Intimidated by gyms full of six packs and bulging biceps, doggie-and-me fitness classes attract participants who want a supportive workout environment where dogs provide constant companionship and encouragement. “(Your dog is) the workout buddy that will never judge you,” says Zaz Wright, Fetching’s personal trainer.

If you can’t attend a class, take advantage of hiking trails and walking paths in your area. Running and playing fetch are great full-body workouts for both humans and dogs. Walk up and down bleachers or go to an off-leash area to play ball. Toss the ball far enough to give you some time to get in a few squats or hold a plank until Rover returns.”

Indeed.

So many of us see walking the dog as just another chore. And we all need to exercise more, right? So why not combine the two?

I can’t wait to see the introduction of dog-friendly gyms. How good would that be!

And the great thing about it – everybody wins.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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