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  • Benefits of Pet Ownership

    Your pet could be keeping you happy and healthy, read on to find out how. More >

    Exercises

    Pedigree™® Fit Families offers advice and tips on how to exercise with your pet and increase your activity level in a fun and safe way. More >

    Tips for Humans

    Pedigree™® Fit Families offers advice and tips on how to exercise with your pet and increase your activity level in a fun and safe way. More >

Exercises

Exercises

Exercising with your dog is a great way to interact with them and has benefits for both of you. We have listed a variety of different exercises you and your family can do with your dog, which range in level of difficulty. If you are at all unsure about whether your dog is fit and healthy enough to take part in these activities, then it is always best to check with your vet in advance.
These exercises are designed for fit and healthy dogs. It is important as a responsible dog owner that you take into account your dog’s age, needs and ability to exercise and start off slow, building up the level of exercises gradually.

Before undertaking any exercise, it is important that you, as owner, also know how to get the best out of the activity and that you are prepared. If you are in the slightest doubt about your ability to perform exercise, or if you are suffering from any medical condition, which could affect your suitability to participate in a particular activity, seek advice from your GP or a fitness professional before starting.
Whilst we believe that your dog can have a positive effect on your fitness and health, it is important that you seek and heed advice from your GP and /or vet if you have any concerns about your or your dog’s ability to exercise. We can’t be responsible, in the event that you overdo it or take part in an activity, which isn’t suitable for you or your dog.

Walking

Walking is the most obvious form of exercise you can enjoy with your dog and is one of the best ways to ensure you all get your daily dose of fresh air. You can use a Flexi- lead to safely increase the distance your dog can go but use common sense- for instance, do not allow your dog to invade the space of another dog, or to run into the street. Allow your dog some sniffing time then move out at a brisk pace. Walking on uneven terrain is the best way to challenge yourself and your dog and brings variety to your walking routine. To make longer walks more fun for younger family members think of games you can play along the walk, you could also take along a homemade spotter guide and award star stickers for every item spotted along the walk.

If you want to take the exercise to the next level, why not try jogging? Depending on the stamina and discipline of your dog, you can work up to a full jog slowly by walking and jogging at intervals. If you jog with your dog on a lead pay attention to assess your dog’s ability and not push it until it is ready to handle a faster pace. If you can find a safe fenced-in area to let your dog run off leash, let them run around. Your dog can set his own pace and stop when he is tired, plus he has the mental stimulation of sniffing to his heart's content.

Doggy Paddle

Dogs love nothing better than to take to the water. This is especially good for dogs with joint problems since it is non-weight bearing. Make sure it is safe and permitted for your dog to swim and they can even enjoy some ‘dog diving’, by throwing a toy into the water for them to retrieve. Please be respectful to the local environment and don’t let your dog jump in water that is inhabited by local wildlife.

Fetch

Probably the best known exercise game to play with your dog, fetch is a timeless classic. Throwing a tennis ball or other toy (try a kong) for the dog to fetch is fun. You can use a tennis racquet to increase the distance the ball (and your dog) travels. If your dog is in good condition, try throwing the ball uphill as an extra challenge. This is also a great one for all the family as it appeals to all abilities of throwing and helps hand to eye coordination.

Frisbee is also a great game to play with your dog in the garden and is great exercise for all the family. You can buy special Frisbees in pet stores, which will not damage your dogs teeth. Be careful to keep your throws low to the ground to prevent your dog being injured. The more family members you can get involved the more fun you can have.

Football

If you think your dog could be the next Ronaldo, teach him to master ball skills. Canine exercise balls can be bought from the pet shop and resemble bowling balls. They come in different sizes, and are made of virtually indestructible hard plastic. Big dogs such as Labradors and Dalmatians love to play with these, using their paws or heads to bat the ball to their human companion. To extend this activity, invite other owners and their dogs to participate – you could even start your own team! This is another great one for younger family members as it provides good practice for a common sport.

Dog Agility

Most dogs love to jump and you can make your own jumps from materials you have around the house such as cardboard boxes. If your dog enjoys the activity, consider enrolling them in an agility club, a popular canine sport for both dogs and humans. A fast-paced obstacle course is created for dogs, where the animal's fitness and the handler's ability to train and direct the dog over and through certain obstacles are tested. Agility tests your dog’s discipline and obedience is great fun as a day-to-day activity. Most dog agility clubs offer membership to all ages and are a great way to meet new friends.

Although your dog will be vaccinated against kennel cough as a matter of course, it’s especially important to make sure he’s protected if he has regular contact with other dogs at training classes or shows, or if he’s due to stay in kennels.
http://www.agilityclub.co.uk/

Flyball

Flyball is a race involving two teams of four dogs. The dogs run and jump over a series of hurdles (usually four), run to a box, activate a catapult machine with their forepaws, catch the ball that flies out and race back to the start.

To do its best the dog has to not just clear the hurdles, but keep a smooth approach and landing to clear the maximum distance in a minimum time. The turn at the box can mean the difference between winning and losing, so a lot of effort goes into teaching the dog to do it well. Flyball clubs are across the UK and offer a great opportunity to join local teams for competitions. Flyball is a fun, fast paced and exciting game for everyone involved

Heelwork to Music

Dancing with your dog is great fun and tests the co-operation and co-ordination between dog and owner. The concept was first introduced by Mary Ray in the early 90s and involves dog and owner performing a heelwork routine to music. Many dogs love performing to music and it is a great way to both motivate and reward your dog. Lots of training guides exist to help you start out with making a routine for you and your dog to perform. This is a great activity, which allows everyone in the family to have fun and get active
http://www.maryray.co.uk/




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