We are an active family. Mom is a runner, all of us dogs have run for at least part of our lives, we walk several times a day, do nose work, obedience work, chase and wrestle, and more. Staying active is important for dogs and humans, but cardio workouts are especially important for good health! Before you start any new workout programs always check with your vet to make sure you are healthy enough, and make sure you have the proper attire! It’s not what you do, but how you look.
Working out, especially cardio workouts used to be simple. Mom, Katie and I ran in the morning and then took two walks later on, but a couple years ago it was getting hard for Katie to run, so she retired. This meant I would run with Mom, and then Mom would take Katie for a walk in the morning. We did our other two walks together. This past year has really presented challenges as Katie has had a lot of issues with her Osteoarthritis, and Bailie joined out family. Now we have 1, 7, and 12 year old dogs plus an active Mom. How do we keep up our fitness?
Mom gets up earlier every year and has less time, because we all seem to have a different workout program. I enjoy a run now and then, but am not an avid runner. Bailie just started running with Mom in May, and Katie is still walking but not the distances she used to, and she has slowed down. Four mornings a week Bailie and Mom run, I join in once a week, maybe. After the run, the other dog(s) gets a 20-45 minute walk at the fastest pace they can muster. On walk only mornings Katie joins about once a week. What used to be an hour is now about 75 mins as she has slowed down, but we are happy she is along, so we accommodate her. If Katie stays home, Bailie and I get a fast hour walk in and then Mom walks Katie for 20 mins or so after. Midday walks are Bailie, maybe Katie and/or I will join. We all take our evening walk together. Besides walking and running we have our classes and playtime. Although it seems like Katie isn’t getting out much, think of your Grandmother and her energy level. Older dogs can’t do as much as younger dogs but we try to keep Katie doing as much as she can handle. It sounds confusing, but it really isn’t.
It is time consuming to accommodate all our needs individually, if we were similar ages it would be much easier. If you are considering adding a dog to your home, you need to take into account the time required to get in a good workout, especially cardio workouts. Mom is willing to give up extra hours each day to make sure we all get proper exercise. In the end it benefits her as well. Below is a great infographic from DogTread about why cardio workouts are so important for dogs.