How to keep a dog fit and healthy

keep a dog fit and healthy

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With your four-legged friend, wellness, fitness and sport become a pleasure. Not only our dogs, but also ourselves benefit from taking care of our protégés. Anyone who does something good for his four-legged friend – brushes him extensively or walks with him for a long time – also does something for himself. Our guide outlines how to keep a dog fit and healthy.

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Dogs and pets in general have been shown to have a calming and balancing effect on us. Studies show that the pure presence of the animals and, above all, petting them help to lower human blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, at such moments there is no reason for the body to release stress hormones such as adrenaline – we relax, and so does the animal. Researchers even believe that diseases such as diabetes and bronchitis, thanks to the presence of dogs and the regular movement of people when they take a walk, take a better course. And as for the dogs themselves: the more we keep a dog fit and healthy, the more we take care of them, the more time we spend with them and care for them, the more comfortable they feel.

Ways to keep a dog fit and healthy

Grooming: wellness for your dog

So let’s start with loving, extensive grooming as a way to keep a dog fit and healthy. Not only in spring and autumn, when the mandatory change of fur is due, our four-legged friends enjoy the support in this hairy affair. Anyone who regularly brushes, combs, massages, fondles and cuddles his dog ensures that the bond and trust between humans and animals is deepened. 

Patience and sufficient time are the basic requirements for optimal fur care. Even nervous animals that, for example, do not necessarily want to be brushed and combed at the beginning or on the head, can be persuaded with time, love, patience and soothing words to gain enough confidence to finally enjoy the care. This also applies to shampooing or hosing down with water if the dog has taken a bath in the muddy lake while walking. With patience and calmness, your four-legged friend learns to be no longer afraid of the shower head or the garden hose and ultimately to even enjoy the procedure.

And that’s a good thing, because activities like brushing, combing and showering or even shampooing are extremely good for the dog – not only because it is clean and beautiful afterwards! Brushing is like a massage: it ensures good blood circulation and stimulates the circulation. Another advantage: by regularly brushing and petting your dog, you can feel it and quickly discover and remove knotted tufts of fur or ticks. Your dog gets used to the fact that mistresses or masters are tampering with the fur and keeps increasingly calm when, for example, you want to remove a burdock from which it has stepped, or when you otherwise feel and “examine” it. would like.

 keep a dog fit and healthy

Games and sports to keep a dog fit and healthy

Of course, the time you spend with your four-legged friend is not just limited to cuddling and grooming — playing is also a must in between to let off steam! In addition, your dog wants to be challenged; even old dogs can still learn a lot. Boredom is number one, we know that from ourselves and that also applies to dogs. So always give him new tasks and let him repeat what he has already learned regularly.

The walk together is well suited for this – here old exercises can be built in from time to time (seat, place, foot) and new arts can be trained, such as retrieving. By the way, did you know that humans and their dogs go for a walk for 9,000 hours in the course of a dog’s life? 9000 hours in the fresh air is at least as good for the animal as it is for the human being! The hours you spend together are great for using them for fitness and not just sneaking through the forest. For people, this starts with the optimal clothing – it should be breathable, the shoes have to fit well and withstand mud as well as dust and water. And let’s go!

Stretching exercises, short sprints & obstacle course

It is not bad for your personal fitness to orientate yourself a little on your four-legged friend: When he wakes up, regardless of whether in the morning or after an afternoon nap, he first stretches extensively. Also try this: stretching gets oxygen all over the body and the muscles relax. Take a deep breath and watch your breathing as you walk. We humans often breathe shallowly unconsciously. Breathe well in the fresh air – inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth, but not too hectically, but for long and regularly.

Your dog will have been amazed at the many activities. Now it’s his turn: did you take toys with you? Retrieving keeps the four-legged friend fit and fun. After having plenty of time to sniff, the short sprints are the right training for him. Of course, he also likes a lot of praise; Meanwhile, mistress and owner train their arms while throwing squeaky animals. Alternate your arms calmly – it may look strange with a weak arm, but you will notice that throwing will soon be better.

If enough has been printed, you can start looking for an obstacle course. Your dog will follow you when balancing over tree trunks or jumping over small ditches. And he will be thrilled if you deviate from the path and fight your way through the bushes. Keep a close eye on how your animal behaves and what he enjoys, and always make sure that you have variety. This is good for everyone involved and the walk becomes a fitness lesson without any problems!

10 tips to keep a dog fit and healthy

Don’t forget the water for the dog and yourself during long hikes.

  • Take a few treats with you to practice new exercises.
  • Look for tree trunks to practice balancing with your dog.
  • Small walls or benches are suitable for practicing the command “Hopp!” – soon your dog will jump over with a sentence.
  • Also use the leash or a favorite stuffed animal to make your dog jump and run. Retrieving is good for him.
  • Talk to your pet a lot – the best time for the dog is the time you spend with it.
  • Practice classic commands such as seat and place in between. If you spend a lot of time with your dog, you keep him fit.
  • Let the walk end comfortably – this gives the muscles time to cool down a bit.
  • Treat your dog to an extensive petting at home.
  • Brush your dog’s coat well.
  • Also keep your doggies paws well moisturized. Invest in a nourishing paw balm to keep those little tippy tappies in top shape.