4 Creative Ways to Boost Your Dog’s Endurance
If you’re looking to boost your furry friend’s overall health, focusing on dog endurance and stamina is a great starting point. By making simple changes to your dog’s normal routine, every trip to the dog park, lake, or hiking trail can make them stronger and more athletic.
And focusing on dog endurance won’t only help your pup keep up with the big dogs! Increasing your dog’s stamina can offer a range of other benefits that will make your pooch healthy and happy.
So, get ready to rethink Fido’s fitness routine!
What are the benefits of increasing dog endurance?
According to the AKC Canine Health Foundation, there are many benefits that come along with working on your dog’s athleticism, such as:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Stronger muscles, joints, and bones
- Stronger immune system
You might also notice that your dog sleeps better and is less likely to revert to behavior problems like chewing and digging. And, trying out new exercise activities can deepen your bond with your pet.
As we explain in our article, 5 Health Benefits of Having a Dog, you might even notice some improvements in your daily life as a result of increasing your dog’s endurance!
Now, let’s get to the ideas for stepping up your pup’s workout routine:
#1: Try interval walking
To be sure, there are benefits to allowing your dog to follow their nose on their daily walks. After all, our dogs experience the world through their sniffer. So, it’s a great form of mental stimulation to walk slowly and let them explore.
But, that doesn’t mean that your walk has to be completely leisurely! By incorporating a few power-walking intervals, you can give your dog the chance to get their heart rate up. The idea is simple. You walk at a normal pace for a few minutes, and then pick up the pace for about a minute. Then, slow it down again.
What we love about this dog endurance booster is that it’s a good way to ease your dog into a more active lifestyle. If your dog is out of shape, for instance, keep the intervals short and don’t walk them too fast. Eventually, you’ll be able to increase the intensity until your power intervals are more like jogs or sprints.
#2: Change up the exercise landscape
Just like you might get bored of running the same route every day, your dog can benefit from a switch-up in their exercise scenery. And, it’s a great way for you to introduce some more challenging exercise opportunities.
Let’s take your normal game of fetch, for instance. If your pup is used to playing fetch on a flat stretch of grass, you might increase the difficulty by finding a more hilly area. Or, maybe you can take that game of fetch to a sandy beach where they will have to use different muscles to stay steady on their feet.
What we love about this exercise switch-up is that it may encourage you to take your dog to new places. Not only will this build up your dog’s endurance level, but the new scenery will also provide your dog with mental stimulation.
And, when you’re driving to new destinations, remember to keep your pup safe in the car with BreezeGuard Screens! They’ll help keep Fido safely in the car on the way to your exciting workout destination!
#3: Take it to the water
If your dog loves water, then this one is easy! Swimming is a low-impact, high intensity workout for doggos. And many of them absolutely love it!
To build up dog endurance, you’ll want to encourage your dog to go beyond splashing around in the shallow zone by giving them something to chase after, like a ball or a stick. If you’re confident in your dog’s swimming abilities, you can even use a tennis racket to send the ball farther from shore.
Another great way to get your pup to doggy paddle is to get in the water yourself—provided that the weather is good!
Keep in mind that some water-loving dogs aren’t strong swimmers. If you can’t be in the water with them or provide them with a doggy life-jacket, it may be a good idea to find another dog endurance workout.
#4: Think vertically
Often, when thinking about upping the endurance of our dog’s exercise, we visualise our furry friends running farther and longer. Here, we’re going to consider how we can challenge our pups to build their jumping muscles.
Frisbee is a great example of this. With a little bit of patience and practice, dogs can learn to jump up high to catch that disc mid-air. It’s an amazing way to help them build their reflexes, strength, spatial awareness, and—you guessed it—stamina.
Another fun activity with some hops built in is agility training. Like frisbee, agility courses will offer your dog mental stimulation, while motivating them to move in new, challenging ways. It’s okay if your doggo isn’t as quick as those competitive agility dogs. They’ll get a great workout at their own pace.
Dog endurance and safety
Remember to always tailor your exercise routine to your dog’s unique needs, and consider how their age and medical history will affect their ideal exercise level. It’s always best to start with very small changes and then increase the intensity over time.
You’ll also want to keep an eye on your pup during exercise. If your dog looks overly tired or hot, make sure to give them a cool place to rest and plenty of water.
And if you’re unsure of how to set fitness goals for your dog, make sure to talk to your vet for personalized advice.
How will you boost your dog’s endurance?
When you’re ready to work on dog endurance with your four-legged friend, these simple changes will have a huge impact on their health and well-being. So get out there and have some fun!
For more ideas on how to keep your dog fit and happy, check back in with the BreezeGuard Blog!