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Get in shape in the new year with your dog

author Lucy Byrne | Health and diet

January is the month full of ambitious resolutions. Most of us wish to get in shape and feel great in the new year if we enjoyed the food at Christmas. It is similar with our dogs as we – let’s be honest – didn’t pay as much attention as they deserve to them during the chaos before Christmans and shopping for presents and they might use some extra exercise as well. :) How to do that so you both enjoy winter exercising and successfully achieve your goal?

Set realistic objectives

There’s nothing worse than to start with too much exercise. Therefore, it is important to set objective you can really achieve. And by that you won’t be tired or stressed out that you couldn’t stick to it. It’s perfect to start with easy walks. Pick various routes and choose another one for every walk so you still enjoy it. It should be at least for 20–30 minutes. And you can add more kilometres every week. Your furry friend will definitely appreciate that. If you feel well enough, you can start with level 2 – running with a dog, i.e. canicross (you can read more about this sport in one of our older articles).

Get yourself and your dog proper equipment

Doing sports with a dog in winter is something different from other seasons. Proper equipment is important in winter more than in any other season as it has to protect you as well as your buddy from cold. If you live in a city where the pavements are treated with salt or you have to walk on an icy road on your walk, you also shouldn’t forget about the protection of your dog’s paws. Therefore, I recommend getting dog shoes you can also use in the mountains both in winter and summer. Suitable clothes is definitely one of the most important things from the equipment. For a four-legged companion, a dog vest that covers the most sensitive parts of its body might be a good choice.. And you also can't make excuses when it’s raining outside and have to train in all kinds of weather. :)

Adjust nutrition to your training

With regular exercising, the need for regular diet comes. You shouldn’t take nutrition lightly in this case. If you increase the burden of your dog, even if it’s only a bit, you also need to adjust its feeding to it. And also in the case you want it to get fit again. There’s nothing worse than letting your dog starve. For example meat cans belong to great nutritional supplements and provide your dog enough energy it uses when walking with you. If you are not sure how to adjust daily food portions when under load, you can talk to your vet or a nutrition specialist, for example. There are also online advisory services which are for free.

Consult specialists or train with them

You can also get advice about training. There are many interest groups. You can get in touch with them not only through social networks. You can join some of their regular meetings these sporty dog owners organize for canicross beginners, for example. It was always the best option for us. It’s better for your motivation to be a part of a group.

And what is your experience with getting rid of the kilograms you gained during Christmas? Is your January also active or would you rather stay on the sofa under your blanket with your dog?