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Barking Dog Fitness Blog

Fitness Walking with Your Dog

I just read a great article by integrative veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker about power walking and how good of an exercise it is for both you and your dog. I don’t know about you, but because the weather so nice right now in Central Florida, I just want to be outside! As such, I thought this would be a good article to share.

Admittedly, most dogs don’t get enough aerobic exercise. When many people walk their dogs, it’s more of a leisurely walk, where dogs stop to sniff what seems like every blade of grass, and spend time marking their turf. In my neighborhood for example, I see a few people running with their dogs, which is great, but most people are just casually walking.

If you aren’t a runner (and I’m definitely not!) but want to give both you and your dog a good workout, try power walking.

What do you need to do to get started?

First, make sure your dog is healthy enough. Power walking might not be suitable for your dog if he’s older, overweight, or has some physical condition. If you’re uncertain, it’s best to take him to the vet and have him thoroughly checked beforehand.

Dr. Becker offers 3 tips for getting the most out of your power walks. They are:

  • Start strong. By this she means to begin immediately after you leave the house. Your dog may need a quick bathroom break, but she advises against letting him think it’s going to be a potty walk because she says it may be more difficult to get him going faster later in the walk.
  • Set a brisk pace. Dr. Becker says an average pace should be around a 25 minute mile. She advises that you should be the one setting the pace and it should be comfortable for you.
  • Do it regularly. She advises a 20 to 30 minute power walk at least 5 times a week.

Dr. Becker says that as long as your dog is healthy, there’s no way to overdo a power walk.

To read her article in full, please click here.

And if you are interested in learning about interval training, which involves periods of higher intensity exercise combined with lower intensity, read our blog post on the subject!

Whatever exercise you choose, an aerobic workout is necessary for both you and your dog to maintain the health you deserve!