5 Reasons to Exercise with your Dog

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Ensuring that your dog gets ample amount of exercise is a pet owner responsibility. Most dogs are well suited for endurance type activities, which means they are perfect workout partners for us humans. Not only can they keep up with us, but they can push us to work harder simply due to their enthusiasm and willingness to do what we ask them to. So instead of looking at exercising our pets as a responsibility (e.g. a chore), perhaps we should look at it as a privilege?

There are so many reasons to exercise, (at least once a day), with your dog. Some of our favorites are:

  1. Longer lifespans. Both the human and the dog is likely to live a longer life if they are fit and exercise regularly. The Purina study showed that thin littermates lived about 2 years longer than fat ones, which translates to roughly 10-15% longer life span. To put this in human terms, a 10-15% longer life means an extra 10 years or so (assuming an average life span of a human is near 73 years).
  2. More active and fuller lives. Exercising with your dog daily means that both of you will be strong and have sound bodies. This means that you will both very likely live more active and fuller lives. When your dog is fit, they will be better able to handle whatever comes their way.
  3. Human Animal Bond. A family that exercises together, stays together. At least when it comes to you and your dog. Exercising with your dog can create a remarkable bond between you two. This is for 2 main reasons: 1) the simple act of doing something together strengthens the bond and 2) exercise can cause both you and your dog to experience a feeling of euphoria, (aka runner’s high) and experiencing this feeling of joy together can cement the bond like virtually nothing else.
  4. Smarter Dog, smarter human. Regular exercise has a positive impact on brain function so both you and your dog might become smarter, retain memories longer, and perhaps become more curious as well. All of which can enrich the experience of and improve the overall quality of life.
  5. Fun. Last but not least, exercising with your dog is more fun than exercising alone. I often find myself smiling when I am out on the trails running with our dogs. I can see how much they enjoy running with me, and their enjoyment reflects back to me. In fact, all of us seem to wear a big grin on our faces as we go up and back on our route.


While these are my 5 top reasons to exercise with your dog, I know there are many more that could be added to the list. What are some of your favorite reasons?

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  1. 5 great reasons. I exercise my dogs to keep them in shape for their competition work during the summer so they don’t get hurt and have to be laid up.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…A Glorious Thank You To ThunderMy Profile

  2. I love exercising with my dogs! The give me a reason to. 🙂
    Lauren Miller (ZoePhee) recently posted…Hiking Lost LakeMy Profile

  3. I do it for me and for Easy, a tired pup is a happy pup and I’m happy too, specially when I need no special tools to jump in my pants :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog A LETTER TO:My Profile

  4. Hi Y’all!

    Anymore I exercise for the same reason my Humans do, keep fit and trim, or try.

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…Parade of FitnessMy Profile

  5. Those are 5 great reasons ~ we exercise every day to stay fit, in shape, and avoid pent-up energy for relaxed puppies while we’re not home!
    I watched the entirety of your playlist & loved it, particularly the Pooch Hotel in West L.A.! It made me miss civilization so bad. I can’t wait to move closer to it again!!
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…How to keep dogs cool in the summer heatMy Profile

    • Thanks for sticking through that list…we haven’t done any vids in awhile, will have to get that camera out soon.
      mkob recently posted…5 Reasons to Exercise with your DogMy Profile

  6. hahaha! I love that first photo! Steve’s face! hahaha!!!
    We have really been taking advantage of getting out with the dogs more since our overly extended winter is over. I love this time of year because everything is just starting to bloom, and the smells are everywhere, so my huskies noses are getting a good workout as well!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Finding Beauty – Fun With Dog WalksMy Profile

  7. We got the fun part covered for sure. Eko and Penny are still holding out hope the “smarter human” part of the equation kicks in eventually.

  8. I exercise with Kilo as we both need to lose weight and build muscle, balance and fitness. He is a fun little buddy who gets me out and about, away from my computer several times a day. Knowing he needs to go and the sun is shining inspires me to explore places and meet up with people (we walk with our family and one or two friends- we often bump into people and he is quite a conversation starter). Have a great weekend. See you in Nashville soon X Susie and Kilo

  9. I love knowing that our dogs will have a longer life, because they’re healthy. I also love that each door to our house represents something to the dogs. The front door means we’re going on a drive or company’s here. The side door means we’re going to play. The back door means that we’re going to go hang out.

    All lead to the same yard, but I love watching how each dog behaves differently depending on the door we exit. LOL

  10. Exercising is definitely more fun with a pup! I have always hated getting sweaty and gross, so normally having to walk any distance when it gets up to 80 degrees would make me very cranky, but watching Barley splash in the lake to cool off makes me smile.
    Beth recently posted…Weather RollercoastersMy Profile

  11. If something isn’t fun, people are not going to do it for very long and walking dogs, seeing the world in a whole new way every day is fun. Inspiring post.
    jan recently posted…Dog lost in tornado reunites with his familyMy Profile

  12. Fun is our favorite reason! Everything is more fun with a buddy, and a dog is always there and ready to go and have fun!
    Emma recently posted…How To Get Lost In A CircleMy Profile

  13. Ah…to be outside walking or running with my dog. I can think of no better way to start my day. It clears my head before for the day starts. And Garin loves to be outside in the fresh air no matter what the weather or activity.
    Anne recently posted…Your Pet’s Medical RecordsMy Profile

  14. All great reasons. #5 is probably my favorite.
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Wellness CORE Grain-Free Protein Bars ReviewMy Profile

  15. Excellent information. Exercise is so important for both us and our beloved dogs. We do agility, which is running and obstacles, which keeps Earl incredibly fit. Ethel will soon be old enough to start, but right now, she is still developing.

    Earl Lover recently posted…Young MusclesMy Profile

  16. I’ve always been a self titled exercise junkie! 🙂 I’ve been pretty sad that my studies have recently kept me from doing what I want to do. But rejoice! I’ll be rejuvenating my exercise routine as soon as I graduate. The dogs on the other hand we have to exercise or they go nuts!
    I want them to live long healthy lives so we’re very good about diet and exercise with them. Now, if only I had someone to monitor my diet and force me to exercise i’d be set!
    DZ Dogs recently posted…The Boys – UpdateMy Profile

  17. We just love exercising with the dogs! Its so much fun! We have had to adjust some of our activities with one senior and one pup, but we are flexible, and just try to have fun and work their body and brain!
    MyDogLikes recently posted…10 Week Journey to the #PerfectWeight!My Profile

  18. Great reasons! We also like to exercise together so we both stay fit and trim!
    Diane recently posted…Chicago Dog Walk in Lincoln Park at Belmont HarborMy Profile

  19. I love all of these reasons, but far and above keeping us all healthy and happy is the most important to me! I always find myself smiling when playing, walking, or jogging with the dogs….their happiness is contagious.
    Jan K recently posted…Sheba’s Bucket List: Item 6 – Check!My Profile

  20. Mr. N makes me notice all the wildlife lol. The ones that he wants to eat (bunnies, squirrels) and the ones that want to eat him (coyotes, hawks).

  21. A regular dog exercise routine is also great for preventing boredom. When you need to go out, and can’t take them with you, it helps to give them exercise so they’re more likely to sleep while you’re away.
    Sam Ivy recently posted…Introducing the Raw Food Diet for a Healthy DogMy Profile

  22. Being active with your dog(s) is the greatest feeling ever! I just spent the entire day in the backyard with the Boys. Fun in the pool, then racing up the hill in the yard, tossing frisbees, balls, and just hanging out. We are all exhausted, but it feels so good!
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…MY DOGS BIRTHDAYMy Profile

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