10 awesome ways to exercise with your dog!

We all know that dogs, the little (and sometimes big) bundles of energy, enthusiasm and excitement need their daily exercise. Veterinarians agree that on average, dogs should participate in one hour of exercise per day for their physical well-being. And it’s good for their humans’ too! The research from Michigan State University found dog owners were 34% more likely to get the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week than folks who didn’t have a dog.

exercise with your dog
Virginia and ‘Peru’ enjoying a swim in the fresh water lake.

Things to consider before you exercise with your dog?

The breed of the dog, genes, age and current health status play a role in determining the best exercise plan for your dog.

Breed – Breeds like Labradors, Jack Russell Terriers, Border Collies and Golden Retrievers love high energy work-outs and they thrive on it. In many cases of anxiety and behavioral issues in high energy breeds can be alleviated by more physical activity and social interaction.

On the other hand, Pugs and English Bulldogs due to their narrow nostrils get tired after long walks. Short walks during the coolest time of day is recommended for such breeds.

Age and health – if your dog has a history of some medical ailment, operations etc. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting a new exercise plan.

This blog post brought to you by Himalaya Companion Care, explores the exercises for your dog to keep them healthy and fit!

10 ways to exercise with your dog!

  1. Walking – As simple as it sounds, walking not only keeps your dog engaged but also strengthens your bond with him. Ensure that you choose mornings or evenings, because of the relatively lower temperature. Try walking longer but at a slower pace so that your pooch can take in the scents, sights and sounds. You may also include some jogging toward the end.
  1. Running Dogs make the best runners! You’ll never hear them complain of the rains, the terrain or the time. Once you get your dog into the routine of a morning run, she will ensure that your exercise is also taken care of! Running (or jogging) with dogs takes some work and training, so that you and your dog maintain an understandable pace.hiking with dog
  1. Hiking Hiking is a great way to make your daily walk more exciting and challenging for your dog. It might be a climb up the hill, soaking in beautiful scenes or a fun holiday involving a lot of nature walks. Dogs love to explore and in them you’ll find your perfect hiking companion!
  1. Running your dog up and down the stairs Running the stairs is a great exercise in a dog’s workout, as they engage different muscles than those used on a regular walk or run and add an extra level of difficulty with the change in elevation.
  1. Fetch Engage your dog in a good old fashioned game of fetch and keep away. These games keep your dog engaged, active, and help to release pent up energy.
  1. Stand on Hind Legs & Stretch – Use a treat to lure your dog to put his front feet up on a chair or on you. Now let him stand and reach out for the cookie or your loving caress. This exercise helps your dog stretch his hips.

    dog exercises stretch
    Shrida & Buffie show how to do stretch and reach exercise.
  1. Hide-n-Seek Remember the good old childhood days? Hide somewhere and whistle or call out your dog’s name. Now, your dog has to find you. Ensure that you reward him when he finds you.
  1. Trace the Scent – We all know about the dog’s great sense of smell. This exercise tries to challenge our dog to find treats hidden through the room. This encourages your dog to look from place to place in search of the prize, and also develops your dog’s focus and confidence.
  1. Swimming With the mercury rising to unbearable heights, there ain’t nothing like a dip in the cold waters. Swimming certainly is a great way to exercise with your dog and it helps keep your dog safe in summer. It serves the dual purpose of exercising and bonding with your dog. Look out for water bodies near you where you can take a safe plunge with your dog. There are some clubs that offer dog-friendly pools or you can look out for fresh-water lake nearby, or even invest in a kiddie pool for your backyard. dog swimming
  1. High Jump – All you need is a carton or overturned chair and some encouragement for your dog to jump over. Raise the height as your dog becomes more limber.

Have more tips on fun ways to exercise with your dog? Please share with us in the comments below.

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What you lose when you lose your dog? – RIP Kaali

Kaalu dog with blog

I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

~Pablo Neruda, My dog has died

On the eve of Ruskin Bond’s birthday, Kaalicharan died.  14 winters young, she exhaled for the very last time, late last night. She didn’t push the daisies or kicked the bucket but died. No euphemism can conjure, conceal or cure this pain.

Far off in the bleakness of a summer night in Delhi, I heard her last cries – the muffled barks, so unlike her. And the clock hasn’t been normal since. The cruel hours wouldn’t just pass. It is all quiet in the cold cellars of my heart. And once every few seconds, pain plays a cacophony I can’t bear.

When you lose your dog…the outside world moves on as if nothing happened.

With a calm indifference, the pines and the berries, and the gurgling Gola river were all the same as Kaalicharan was laid to rest near Rusty’s shrine. The twin rose buds from Rusty’s resting place caressing the wind to greet her little sister. The cruel hands of May, took in turns, both my furry friends.

And everyone keeps reminding me of the long happy life Kaali led. They say that I of all people, the Dog with Blog guy should know how to handle this grief. But I know no better. It feels as if my life force, the elixir has left me. Like mercury in May, this pain in my throat, shoots up to the center of my head and wouldn’t just die.

when you lose your dog
RIP Kaalicharan

14 years, truly is a remarkable life span for a huge mountain dog like Kaali. But why it can’t be 30, wasn’t there a dog who lived that long? What you lose when you lose your dog to death? Is it just your composure or an entire childhood melting away like ice cream scoop in mid day sun?

I don’t have pictures from Kaali’s pup days when my father rescued her from a garage. Her proud dark face with a snow-white French cut looking at everything around cautiously.  How I hid her in my denim jacket as we came downhill. How she looked at the sun, unflinchingly. How she saw me through my heartbreak, unlike those who promised they’d stay but never did.

Unlike the world and worldly common sense, a dog’s happiness isn’t defined by square feet. Not measured in spoons or bowls but even a tennis ball is happiness. So often, she would come running and throw herself at the freshly mowed grass and if you happened to be sprawled on the lawn reading Bond or Bukowski, you’d feel her bear weight on your limbs or back. Ain’t no massage like that! 

Over the seasons, her eyes turned from the honey shade to a cloudy vacuum and I could no longer see myself in them. No, she wasn’t blind but the signs were telling. Age and all the ailments it brings. Yet, she remained a hermit.

When you lose your dog, the one who has seen you mature (or not) from your childhood fancies, you lose the scale that pits you to reality and relevance. You lose the glue that bound everything for you.

And now I see her coal black fur everywhere, as if looking for me- winter coats, books shelves, TV rack…may be if I could just collect enough of it, Kaalicharan would come to life.

Kaali, I wish there was a secret frequency I could call you at and you’d come. But no matter how many times I give voice to your names Kaalu, Kaali, Kaalicharan, please?… I know you’d never return. Your paws would not come dancing to where your lad stands now. Alone. In dead silence. 

dog and vet
People from all over the world called a friend in Kaalicharan, be it Virve in Sweden, Virginia in Greece or Cathie in Canada, the Himalayan scent called them all.

She always loved me, even when I didn’t deserve it. And she loved me more than I’ve ever managed to love myself.

I wish I could have been a better boy to the wonderful friend that she was. Pulled poles apart in this grist mill called life, I saw her way less than I should have. With choked tears as I think about her at this moment, I can smell her coffee bean breaths, her glistening black fur, like that of a stallion. My own private dire-wolf.

Why do we always learn a little too late?

Love at the end of all things should be like this. Like how a dog loves you. You may be lost to the world’s design, little goals, planning that blue-print for life while there standing patiently, the dog waits for nothing or no one but you.

I’m sorry Kaali, for all the vacations, I didn’t come home. For those lost chances where I could have slept beside you, putting your giant paw on me, the weight that always made me light at heart.

As another stray gust of wind brings her fur, coiled like cotton candy, I know no vacuum cleaner can ever wipe her memory. Ever.

Dogs never die.

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