By Dawn Celapino
April 11, 2012 (San Diego)--Do you run with your dog? How about kayak or surf? I know that you don’t leave Fido at home while you are out having fun! There is no reason not to include Fido into most of your outdoor exercise routines. Exercising with your dog is not only fun but it creates a great bonding experience!
Here are a few products that can make exercising with your dog a little easier and safer:
1/ Hands Free Leash. When you are running, walking or doing just about any activity it is really nice to have your hands free. Believe it or not, most dogs do not pull as much when they are tethered to your body as they do when they are on a regular leash because your body is more stable than your arms.
2/ Cooling Jacket. Many dog breeds overheat quickly. This can be very dangerous and life threatening. If you plan on taking Fido for long walks, runs or hikes you may want to consider a cooling jacket. The jacket will act as a protective barrier against the sun and keep your dog cool. They work by first soaking the vest in cool water and then having Fido wear the vest while exercising.
3/ Life Jacket. If Fido wants to take up swimming, surfing or kayaking you may want to consider a Dog Life Jacket even if your pup knows how to swim. There are a couple of reasons for this. One reason is the life jacket has a handle on the top for easy lifting into a kayak or onto a surfboard (or at least a guiding mechanism if your dog is too large to pick up). Also they will keep Fido buoyant in waves, currents or if he gets tired.
4/ Booties. If you like to go hiking, play in the snow or even running on hot pavement it may be worth checking out dog booties. They will keep Fido from getting snow, foxtails or other debris built up in their paws and also protect from hot surfaces in the summer. But beware; it sometimes takes a little while for Fido to get used to booties.
5/ Folding Water Bowl. Dogs can get dehydrated just as humans do therefore it is important that you get in the habit of providing adequate amounts of water throughout your workout. If you carry a water bottle for yourself, an easy solution for Fido is a folding water bowl. They make them so that you can easily carry them in your backpack or even your purse!
Ruffwear.com has many of these and other fun outdoor products that can help make exercising with your dog safe and fun. Exercising with your dog adds a whole new dimension to your workouts! Watching Fido have a blast will provide you with constant entertainment and an everlasting smile on your face and who wants to stay home when mom and dad are out playing?
Dawn Celapino is owner of Leash Your Fitness, a fitness company in San Diego where your dog is your workout partner. Their events include hiking, camping, kayaking, surfing and other outdoor activities.
Dawn Celapino, B.S., CPT, CGFI, RT(M)
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