How Your Dog Can Help You Get in Shape for Summer

Shopify API March 06, 2023 No Comments
 If you own a dog, you don’t have to get in shape alone – you already have a workout buddy! Here’s how your dog can help you get ready for summer.
Australian Shepherd dog
March 2023. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.
Australian Shepherd dog

Dog owners get so many benefits from their four-legged friends. Our dogs help reduce our stress levels, combat loneliness, improve our heart health, and relieve the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms. But they can also help us get in shape.

Keep reading to see how your dog can help you get in shape for summer!

 Dogs Need Lots of Exercise

Did you know that dogs need at least 30 minutes to 2 hours of walking per day? The exact amount your dog needs will depend on their health and breed. For example, breeds like border collies, Australian Shepherds, Huskies, and Labrador Retrievers should ideally exercise for over 2 hours a day. Smaller breeds, like Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers, need at least 30 minutes per day.

In addition to 30 minutes to 2 hours of daily walking, most dogs can benefit from playtime with their owners. Smaller dogs might do well with an extra 30 minutes of playtime, while the larger breeds we mentioned above may appreciate an extra hour or so, resulting in 3+ hours of exercise.

If you're not ensuring your pooch is getting the minimum amount of walking and exercise they need each day, don't beat yourself up. Life is busy. Plus, many dog owners are shocked by how much exercise their four-legged friend really needs.

Instead, use your canine companion’s needs to motivate you. It’s like how having a human workout buddy helps keep you accountable because you’re doing the same for them.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking Your Dog?

If a 150-pound individual walks their dog for an hour, they’ll burn 211 calories on average. And if they do that every day for a week, they’ll burn 1,477 calories. In a month, that’s 5,908 calories, which is equivalent to over 1.5 pounds of fat burned.

Now, let’s say that your dog is tiny and can only walk for 30 minutes a day – in that case, you can carry your dog for the other 30 minutes. The first 30 minutes of walking burns 107 calories, then the next 30 minutes carrying a 15-lb. dog burns about 179 calories.

That’s a total of 286 calories burned every day! Which adds up to 2,002 calories a week, 8,008 calories a month, and the equivalent of over 2 pounds of fat burned.

On the other hand, if you have a larger dog that needs two hours of walking per day, you can double the initial figures. So, you’d burn 2,954 calories a week, 11,816 calories a month, and nearly 3.5 pounds of fat a month!

How to Start Getting in Shape with Your Dog

How to Start Getting in Shape with Your Dog

Okay, so you’re ready to be your dog’s workout buddy. What now? The first step is finding out how much walking your dog needs.

The best way to do this is to ask your regular veterinarian. If your dog is overweight or inactive, find out how your vet would recommend building up to the ideal amount of walking time. And remember to ask if you need to feed your dog more to account for your walks (you probably will if you dramatically increase their activity levels).

Then, check with your doctor if you have any existing health conditions or do not usually exercise this much. Make sure you’re cleared to walk as much as your dog needs to walk.

From there, you'll want to find time to walk your dog. Most owners break this into two walks – one in the morning and one in the evening. You don't have to do the same amount each time, though.

Instead, you might walk your dog for 30 minutes in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. And now you're exercising twice daily for over 10 hours a week!

Tip: Remember to bring a water bottle for yourself and water for your dog! Some dogs also need treats and short breaks on longer walks.

Taking it to the Next Level: Running and Jogging

If you own an active breed, consider taking things to the next level after a month or two of regular walks. Going running or jogging with your dog will seriously up the calorie burn for both of you. It'll also help you both build muscle and lose weight.

While you can find a running or jogging plan to follow, you can also just play around with adding it to your walks. Get yourself some running shoes suitable for the terrain you walk on (e.g., concrete, trails, etc.), and add short bouts of running to your daily walks.

For example, on an hour-long walk, you might:

  • Walk for 10 minutes
  • Jog for 3 minutes
  • Walk for 2 minutes
  • Jog for 3 minutes
  • Walk for 12 minutes
  • Repeat

Or you can simply jog as far as you can each time, stopping to walk when you need to. The idea isn’t to train for a 5k (although you and your new workout buddy can definitely do that!), it’s just to help you and your dog burn more calories.

Tip: Most dogs love running with their humans. However, you’ll want to bring extra water when you’re taking things to the next level. And it’s best to avoid running on hot days in the full sun.

Dealing with Hot Weather

Speaking of hot days, summer is just around the corner, and it'll be here in no time if you spend Spring working out with your pup. Plan your walks for cooler times of the day in the summer, and pay attention to your dog’s needs.

You may also want to consider walking on dirt trails instead of concrete if you live in an area with lots of sun. As a rule, if the sidewalk, sand, or ground is too hot for you to keep your hand on for 60 seconds straight, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.

Hiking trails are an excellent option for summer days, as the dirt is often cooler, and there are usually spots of shade.

Kailo Can Help You Keep Up With Your Dog

While those with small dogs might need to carry their pups, most of us will be trying to keep up with our furry friends. Especially if you deal with chronic pain!

Remember to apply your Kailo Pain Patch before each walk with your dog to make it easier to get the exercise both of you need. The Kailo Pain Patch is designed to relieve pain in seconds and doesn't involve any oral painkillers! And in a recent clinical study, 99% of patients felt pain relief with Kailo within 10 minutes.

Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.


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