We at Cross Peak Products promote active, healthy lifestyles. We also know that dogs need physical and mental stimulation to avoid boredom and unwanted behavior. A perfect start is getting the proper exercise for both you and your four legged friend. This is easily accomplished by walking, running, and/or hiking with your dog.
Not only do dogs make great companions, they also are great workout partners. There are many benefits to owning a dog. They are loyal, energetic, enthusiastic, and excited to explore new areas. They never want to skip an exercise session due to a hectic day or bad weather. They help you stay motivated and in shape with no excuses. Exercising with your dog is not only a bonus for you, but it also gives your dog the exercise they need to stay fit and healthy.
In fact, a number of serious health problems are reduced by physical activity and exercise for your dog, particularly as the dog ages. These include diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and other health issues. Exercising will help you lose weight if needed or maintain your already healthy behavior. Exercising reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast or colon cancer and other diseases for you as well. No matter what type of exercise or outdoor activities you choose, both you and your dog will reap the benefits.
Now that you are convinced that dog walking, runs, and hikes with your dog are great ways to stay in shape, how do you get started with an exercise program? What supplies do you need for a walk or run with your pooch? What camping and hiking gear for dogs do you need?
For walking the dog, a good start is to walk 20 – 30 minutes each day. This could be one walk during the day or it could be split into multiple walks. It may be easier for your schedule to plan a 10 minute neighborhood stroll in the morning and a 20 minute run and play time in the park after work. Or maybe three 10 minute walks fit better into your day.
Consider your dog’s age, weight, and health. If you have a dog that is a ball of energy and very active, you may need to go for longer walks, runs and hikes. If your dog is overweight or you are just starting to exercise, plan on starting with small exercise time frames. You don't want to just jump into a long hike with your dog. Slowly increase your walking times and then you can switch to jogging or running after you can briskly walk for 30 minutes. Lastly, you can switch to hiking with dogs on various terrains and trails. Most dogs will keep going as long as you do, which is great for active dogs. However, you must know the limits of older dogs so that they are not pushed too far to where they will be hurting and in pain when they get home. You also don’t want to overdo it for small dogs or puppies. Long distance workouts are not good for young and developing dogs.
This is concurrent with knowing your dog’s limitations. Know how your dog is built. Some dogs have body shapes ideal for short quick bursts while some are built for distance running. Medium to large dog breeds with long legs and slender builds usually have good endurance and need longer periods of exercise. Breeds with short legs may not be able to keep up with a fast pace or may tucker out quicker. Breeds with flat faces, such as Pugs or Bulldogs, do not move air in and out as efficiently as other dogs and can become overheated faster. If you have a very energetic dog breed, walking and running with them may just not seem like enough exercise for them. For these breeds, you may want to consider mixing in other activities, such as bicycling and swimming.
All you need for walking or running with your dog is a proper collar or harness and a dog leash. You may also need dog clothes to help keep your dog protected from the weather, such as dog boots, a dog raincoat, a dog vest or a winter dog coat. All weather dog boots are great to keep your dog’s paws from burning on hot sidewalks, blacktop or sand in the summer. They also work great to keep their paws warm and protected in the winter from snow, ice and salt.
If your dog is a puller or has not learned to heel (especially during distractions), you may want to look into a specialty harness that will make it easier to control your dog. If you have a small breed that cannot keep up to your pace or gets tuckered out quickly, you may want to invest in a dog carrier or a dog stroller.
Hiking with dogs can be a great experience for everyone. At Cross Peak Products, we have all the hiking gear for dogs that you need for your next trek. We have a wide selection of dog hiking packs, dog hiking boots, backpack carriers, and clothes. We offer collapsible water bowls to ensure your pooch stays hydrated on the hike. If you plan on spending the night after a long hike, we also offer camping gear for dogs, such as travel dog food bags to carry food along on the trip and travel beds.
Always keep you and your dog safe. If you are walking in low-light conditions, wear reflective clothing so that vehicles and others can see you and your pooch. Check out our visibility gear such as LED light-up collars & leashes. If you are hiking during hunting seasons or walking near game lands, wear fluorescent orange. For dogs, we carry bright colors/blaze orange vests that keep your dog seen. Do not tie a dog leash to your wrist as it could cause injury to you if your dog makes a sudden pull.
Be mindful of the temperature. Dogs can get overheated if the temperature is too hot. Always make sure you have plenty of water for both you and your dog.
Change up your walking route, hiking trail or running path. Your dog will love to be stimulated with new sites, views and smells. Most dogs will also enjoy exercising in all weather conditions. Don’t let the weather stop your daily walk, run or hike. At Cross Peak Products, we carry the best hiking gear for dogs, outdoor dog clothes, and supplies that allow your active dogs to get outside no matter the elements or the conditions.
“Dogs motivate us to play, be affectionate, seek adventure and be loyal.” -- Tom Hayden