Need a change of pace from ball at the park? Here are cool new exercise ideas to help you and your dog get fit and have fun.
IMAGINE having to do the same workout everyday for the rest of your life, eventually you’d stop working out. For dogs, it’s usually a trip to the park and a few rounds with a tennis ball. Nothing wrong with that, but if you’ve done it a hundred times you’re ready for a change of pace.
Variety is the key for making exercise a daily part of your life, and the same goes for your four-legged member of the family. Try these exciting new ‘Poochercizes’, designed to transform waistlines and your social life.
In the swim
The call of the ocean can send dogs into overdrive, as they lap up the sights and the smells of the beach. If your dog is an agile swimmer – like many Labradors – then it’s a sure bet they’ll love a paddle at a dedicated dog beach. In Sydney, there’s Sirius Cove in Mosman, Port Melbourne Bbeach in Melbourne and beautiful some foreshore along the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Indoor dog pools can also offer a warmer option in winter, with the launch of canine aquatic centres.
Jo Woolley says she opened Aqua Paws on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula to offer dogs a chance to improve fitness, lose weight and rehabilitate after an injury or surgery.
“We have a heated pool and an underwater treadmill, which we use for conditioning and endurance training.”
Jo says three times a week on the underwater treadmill helped chocolate Labrador Maddie, win her first agility race.
“She’s tried 12 times to win but she just couldn’t get fast enough. After working her on the underwater treadmill she smashed her record time by 10 seconds,” says Jo.
Against the clock
Lisa Ruberry’s two lab crosses virtually do cartwheels down the hallway when it’s time to hit the obstacle course that lets them leap over hurdles, teeter on wobble boards and power through tunnels.
Lisa, who is secretary for the Agility Dog Association of Australia (ADAA), says $45 for a four-week course is a great way to stimulate your dog’s body and mind. She says most breeds can enjoy agility, without the pressure to compete seriously, with clubs available across the country.
“You get out of it what you want – for social reasons or for competition. My dogs cry all the way to the agility field. They My dogs love it, not just for the equipment, but the socialisation. Other dogs are obstacle obsessed. You put them on the starting line and they’re ready to go.”
The beauty of Poochercize is that you and your best bud can get fit and healthy together, without spending a precious moment apart.