Just a few days until spring, according to the calendar. We've already turned our clocks ahead, so the evening light lasts longer. Many of us look forward to longer, warmer days, greening grass, and blooming flowers. As the days lengthen and the temperatures moderate, we can help our dogs and ourselves be more healthy by getting outdoors and exercising.
Exercise is important for our dog’s health as it is for our own, and living with a dog can help us be more diligent in our daily exercise. Many dogs, especially those of the herding and hunting breeds, need activity to keep them not only physically healthy, but also from becoming bored. Without activity, a dog can become destructive, chewing on furniture or digging up the yard or carpet. Depending upon the type and personality of your dog, a romp in the park, a few throws of the ball, a couple of chases of the Frisbee, or even a meandering around the neighborhood all add up to a healthier, happier dog. Some dogs, like the toys breeds, don’t need lots of activity; a simple walk around the block will suffice. Whether it's an hour or two of playing fetch or a short jaunt around the neighborhood, exercise adds up to a more enjoyable day for your pooch – and for yourself!
Get Out and Smell the Roses!
Fresh air, sunshine, fragrances of tulips and daffodils, birds singing – the great outdoors is calling to us and our dogs this spring! Allow your furry friend some extra time in your fenced backyard to drink in the sights, smells, and feelings of the new season. Spend time out in that yard with your dog, enjoying your pet’s company and tossing a toy around for amusement.
Walk your dog in the park or around your neighborhood. Walking is great exercise for both human and animal, and partaking of spring’s flavorful sights and sounds stimulates the mind as well as the muscles in both you and your dog. A simple stroll or a long, leisurely walk benefits your physical and emotional health – and your dog’s as well.
Types of Exercise
Perhaps running is more your sport. Many dogs, such as labs and border collies, also benefit from a jog or run. These types of dogs need more active exercise than a short walk around the block, and the companionship you’ll share on such an outing with your dog helps cement the dog-human bond. Hook your pet’s leash to your waist and head on out there!
And, when those spring snows return, hike out to the ski trail, the city park, or an open field and spend time in the white powder, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing... or simply “hiking” in the snow! Throw a few snowballs for your pooch (but not AT him!), enjoy some fresh air and laughter... have some fun together despite the wintry weather!
Cabin fever strikes us all in the waning hours of winter; the coming of the new season of spring helps alleviate some of that by providing extra daylight, extra sunshine, and extra-stimulating fragrances. So, get outdoors with your dog and help bring in the new season of spring outdoors with your pet – you’ll both feel better for it!