10 Fun Ways to Work Out With Your Dog

There's no reason to leave your furry friend behind when you're eager to get in a workout.

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Biking

There's no need to leave your dog at home when you want to go for a bike ride. There are a number of dog leashes available online that are made for biking with dogs, like the hands-free WalkyDog Plus Bike Leash. The leash safely attaches to your bicycle, keeping your dog a safe distance from your bike. It also keeps you in control should your pup stop or pull on your ride.

Yoga

You could strike a warrior pose on your own, but why not do downward dog with your dog? Doga, as it's called, is yoga for dogs and it's a great way to incorporate your pup into your mind-body routine. Good Dog Pet Outfitters in San Diego, Calif., offers a monthly doga class so dogs and owners can practice mindfulness together.

Running

Get your furry friend involved in your running routine. Start small with a run around the block, then gradually work your way up to a 5K. The book, 5K Training Guide: Running with Dogs, can help you put a plan in place. Set a goal to run a race for dogs and owners, like the Furry 5K in Seattle or the Doggie Dash & Dawdle in Albuquerque.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Dogs love getting out on the water, but you'll want to introduce him to a stand-up paddleboard on land before taking it out on a lake. Practice sitting, standing and paddling on the board before taking to the water to make sure your pup is comfortable. When you're ready to go, strap a brightly-colored life jacket on your dog to keep him safe regardless of his aquatic abilities.

Boot Camp

Yes, you can take your dog with you to a fitness boot camp. Chicago-based K9 Fit Club has several dozen locations across the United States and Canada that offer core and cardio classes like Bow Wow Boot Camp and Pupilates. There's even a Waggin' Wheelchair class for dog owners with limited mobility to help increase flexibility and strength while bonding with their pup.

Dancing

If you like to dance, then musical canine freestyle may be for you. It's actually a competitive sport (you can win trophies!) in which you and your dog dance to a choreographed routine. Imagine burning loads of calories while listening to your favorite songs with your furry BFF. The Musical Dog Sport Association has all the scoop on performance guidelines and upcoming competitions.

Interval Walks

Power up your daily walks by incorporating interval training into your routine. You'll not only boost your metabolism, but you and your fur-ever friend will get a lot more out of a neighborhood stroll. Start off with a five-minute warm-up walk, then up the pace to a jog for one minute, then back down to a walk for a minute. The key is to alternate between low- and high-intensity movements.

Swimming

During the summer, there's nothing better than jumping into a swimming pool, but it's even better when your furry friend can join in the fun. It's also a great way for you to exercise together. Seek out a dog-friendly beach or lake, and make sure your pup is wearing a life jacket. Bring along a tennis ball that he can swim to and retrieve to add to the fun.

Hiking

Dogs love a good romp in the forest. It's a welcome change of scenery from walks around the neighborhood and oh, all the new smells and views. Numerous studies point to the benefits of nature, including stress relief and enhanced memory function, so go ahead and extend the benefits to your precious pup.

Stair Climbing

Your stairs may be the most underused piece of workout equipment in your house, yet they are such a simple way to keep you and your pup fit, particularly when weather keeps you inside. Run your dog up and down the stairs, taking two steps at a time when you can. This exercise will engage different muscles than walking or running, helping to tone up both of you.

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