5 Reasons to Exercise with your Dog
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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?