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3 Fitness Ideas for you and your Dog

It’s time to get physical and make sure our furry friends are staying in tip top shape? Love it or hate it, exercise is just as important for your dog as it is for you. As we approach Pet Obesity Awareness Day on October 12th, it’s crucial to consider what we’re doing to keep our pets healthy. Just like us, dogs need their regular dose of exercise to stay fit and happy. While I can’t say, I love aerobics, I love walking and make sure it is a part of my day as well as Declan’s. The Pet Health Network points out that obesity can lead to future health issues like arthritis, heart and breathing issues, and can even take two years off your dog’s life!

“It’s important to start your dog on their fitness journey early. Don’t wait for an injury. Be proactive, not reactive when it comes to their health and fitness,” says Brittni Heywood who is a certified dog trainer, certified professional canine fitness trainer and the owner of Potential Unleashed in the Boise, Idaho region. “A regular fitness routine can help them develop the strength and balance they’ll need to have a great quality of life, even as they age.” 

I decided to share some fitness ideas, but of course you should check with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your own dogs individual health issues.

dog walker with 2 dogs


As I said, I love to walk. Declan knows when it is time for a walk and he is as excited to go as I am. Even if you are not a runner, try the Walk, sprint, walk routine. It is like canine interval training for energetic pups and people. Check out to check out the details. The best part of this exercise is that you can both do this at your own pace.

Hide and Seek

Have some indoor fun and get fit with a game of hide and seek. Calling your pup when you’ve hidden somewhere in the house is a fun game with a lot of fitness benefits. While my last dog Shamus would never have left my side in order to play this game, Declan will sometime laze in another room. I can hide myself and call him to have him sniff me out. it’s a fantastic way to bond and stay active together.

Doggy Play

This is a great one, as they won’t even realize they are exercising. (It might not be so great for us humans who should be exercising as well). By taking them to the local dog park or over to a friends house for a playdate with their dog, they will have a great chance to not only exercise, but practice their socialization skills as well.

Another furry friend isn’t even always necessary. My dog Midnight loved to fetch and could do it forever, whether it was a ball or a frisbee or a stick. I only needed to open the back door and throw. Shamus loved the water and would bound to the water anticipating getting the stick getting thrown. He was not always as eager in returning the stick though.

Our furry friends deserve to lead active and healthy lives. Don’t wait for an injury to kickstart your dog’s fitness journey. For those of us who appreciate capturing those precious moments through pet photography, keeping our dogs in tip-top shape ensures we’ll have many more joyful and active moments to photograph. So, let’s celebrate Pet Obesity Awareness Day by committing to keeping our beloved pets fit, happy, and by our side for years to come. Get out there and have some fun with your furry pals today!

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Sharon of Canovas Photography writes about how fitness matters to your dog’s health, but so does their diet.

Meet Ollie

This handsome boy is estimated to be between 1-2 years of age. Wandering alone in November of 2022, cold, miserable and very hungry as a stray, he just so happened across the right house because a nice lady took him in. He is potty-trained, crate-trained, knows basic commands, hand signals, and is practicing his loose leash walking and heel command.
BONUS: Ollie has graduated from Mind Your Manners Level 1 Training at CNY Pet Training and is learning new things each day.
He’d truly excel with an active family and a fenced yard where he can run and fetch to his heart’s content. He LOVES head rubs, butt scratches, playing with other dogs, going for car rides, going on longer hikes or runs, and curling up on the couch with you. This food-motivated, intelligent guy aims to please and learns quickly.
Visit our website for an application to meet this week boy!

Please contact Friends of Second Chance.

Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078

Capture your journey with your pet. Nancy Kieffer is a pet and nature photographer serving  Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond.  Capture how you share your life with your pet! It may be a vacation adventure or curled up on the couch. Travel assignments welcomed.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Darlene

    Hide and seek – such a fun one that the dogs LOVE! Great tips, Nancy!

  2. Sandra

    I have a Velcro dog so hide and seek doesn’t work with him but I like your other fitness ideas. Thanks

  3. Angela Schneider

    These are great tips for keeping your dog fit and happy.

  4. Elaine

    Hide and Seek…what a fun recommendation for indoor activity! And, Ollie is a very special name for me. Thank you for showcasing a dog in need.

  5. Sharon

    I love watching dogs having fun. I am going to try hide and seek with my dogs.

  6. Kim

    The doggie play photo is adorable! It’s so fun to watch them having fun.

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