Get fit with your pet

Looking for the perfect exercise partner? Look no further than your own backyard! If you have a dog, you have a reliable partner to join you during your workout.

Get fit with your dog : a companion guide to health
Karen Sullivan.
Hauppauge, NY : Barron's, 2008.
In recent years, obesity has become a nationwide problem among human beingsand also among dogs. Heres a helpful guide for dog owners who need to control both their weight and the weight of their chubby canine friends. Overweight dogs and overweight human are prone to strikingly similar health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and reduced longevity. Author Karen Sullivan helps readers rate themselves with a Food and Fitness Questionnaire. Then she outlines a fitness regime for both master and dog that concentrates on healthful and enjoyable exercise together and sensible restriction of calories at meal times. She points out the danger of dog owners who love their pet too much by giving them too much food and too many treats. Just as important is her advice on how dog and master can be both happier and healthier as they get fit together. Approximately 150 color photos, charts, and sidebars.
The little dogs' activity book
Deborah Wood.
Neptune City, NJ : T.F.H. Publications, c2007.
  1. Includes index.
  2. "Fun & frolic for a fit four-legged friend"-- Cover.
The encyclopedia of dog sports and activities : a field guide to 35 fun activities for you and your dog
Diane Morgan.
Neptune City, NJ : T.F.H. Publications, c2009.
The Encyclopedia of Dog Sports and Activitiespresents a detailed overview of more than 35 sports and activities that are ideal for keeping dogs physically fit and mentally stimulated. Its comprehensive scope ranges from competitive events like agility, field trials, and hunt tests to noncompetitive pursuits like search and rescue and therapy. Each chapter profiles a different sport and includes information on its history, the equipment and skills required to get started, titles available for dogs to pursue based upon their breed and physical traits, competition classes and divisions, judging criteria of sponsoring organizations, and strategies for success. All profiles offer practical tips from experts who are heavily involved in and have achieved success in a given activity. Colorful photographs highlight each sport and activity, while an extensive glossary defines key sporting terms.The only book on the market to cover such a wide variety of sports and activities in one indispensable and portable volume, The Encyclopedia of Dog Sports and Activitiesmakes an ideal carry-along reference for sporting events to help the viewer understand what is happening. It is also perfect for use as a home reference to get more involved in your canine companion_s daily activities.

One of the first things anyone will tell you about getting fit is that having someone to work out with is a great motivator. Most people will choose a close friend or a romantic partner as their fitness buddy. It is easy for people to come up with excuses not to work out. Why not choose man’s best friend instead?

Most dogs love to go for a walk. They will let you know that it is time to go if you start with a schedule and maintain it. 

Walking With Your Dog

When going out with your dog don't forget to:

Use a leash
Bring plastic bags
Carry water for both you and your pet

More tips

If you are not in optimal physical shape, start with walking. Start by walking for half an hour at a time. You can walk at a park or around the neighborhood. Dogs are naturally inclined to sniff everything. Once your companion is used to walking at a reasonably brisk pace, this desire will subside a little.

Once you have increased the amount of time that you walk, you can consider adding running to the mix. Or consider hiking in a more rugged terrain. 

Other fitness activities work with dogs as well. Some places have “doga”, a yoga program for dogs and their owners. Some fitness centers have swimming areas for dogs and their owners.

Fitness can be fun with a canine companion!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff