How Your Dog Can Help You Slim Down This Summer

How Your Dog Can Help You Slim Down This Summer

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 As the first brave flowers of spring emerge, and the memory of a seemingly endless winter begins to fade away, your thoughts may be turning to exercise and weight loss. After all, itโ€™s likely been a while since you contemplated wearing shorts and bathing suits. Having a dog can be a great first step to getting in shape: already, Fido helps ensure that youโ€™re getting outside on a daily basis for walks. Find out some ideas for ways that you can work exercise into your daily or weekly routine with your dog -- and keep in mind, your workout will do wonders for your dog's health, as well as your own.

RELATED STORY: The Benefits of an Active Dog

Take a Longer Walk

When itโ€™s cold outside, itโ€™s easy to fall into the habit of walking your dog just far enough that he relieves himself. Take advantage of the nicer weather, and extend how far you go on each dayโ€™s walk. Bored with the usual walking path? Vary your route near your home (turn left from your front door, instead of your usual right). Or try going to a new neighborhood or hiking nearby trails. Even a few blocks more on your daily walk, especially if youโ€™re walking briskly, can help you get back in shape.RELATED STORY: Safety Tips for Walking Dogs at Night

Play Frisbee or Catch

Are you thinking that itโ€™s your dog that does all the leaping, running, and bounding when you play fetch, frisbee, or catch? No way! Those trips to the park involve a ton of exercise for you, too, as you play along with your pup and run after the balls your dog fails to catch. Make your dogโ€™s weekend: spend next Saturday in a nearby park throwing around a tennis ball.RELATED STORY: Our 10 Favorite Dog Toys

Go for a Jog

Depending on your dogโ€™s size, training, and health, she may be a great running partner for you. Before you take up jogging, make sure your dogโ€™s health is up for the challenge. Youโ€™ll also want to make sure itโ€™s reasonable for her to jog alongside you -- interval runs would be a real challenge for a chihuahua. Finally, youโ€™ll want to make sure she wonโ€™t get the leash tangled up in your feet. Once youโ€™re off and running, you may find that as a creature of habit and routine, your dog makes an excellent running companion and motivates you to hit the pavement.RELATED STORY: Teach Your Dog to Heel

Try Something New: Doga

If you love yoga, try this twist: do doga, or dog yoga, with your dog. Doga may be the perfect pup-and-person workout for you if you like a bit of structure to your exercise, respond well to classes, and thrive on schedule and routine. Generally, the joy of a doga comes from doing the stretches and chants together with your dog in a group, classroom setting.RELATED STORY: The Doga Fad ExplainedDo you enjoy exercising with your dog? Leave a comment and share your workout tips! Consider signing up forย PetPlus

, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more.ย 

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