According to WebMD, around 50% of dogs are overweight in America. Obesity puts strain on an animal’s heart, increases risk of arthritis, and impacts quality of life. Of course, these realities apply to people as well. That’s why, in the article to follow, we outlined great exercises you can do alongside your furry friend: because in the end, losing weight is something that we can all benefit from.

Brisk walking

Walking is an underrated exercise for people and dogs alike. A thirty-minute daily walk can lower blood pressure, help bone density and lower the risk of depression – in both you and your pooch. If you feel like thirty minutes isn’t enough, increase the duration of the walk, or up the intensity. The great thing about this exercise is that you can do it with just about any breed – big or small.

Long-distance jogging/slow running

A slow run is a great way for you and your dog to bond and with the right companion, you can eat up the miles and get a darn good workout in.  That said, not all dogs are suited to jogging, which is why we’ve included a list of ideal breeds below. Remember, this is not a sprint, but a slow and steady movement that’s quicker than a brisk walk, but slower than a flat headlong sprint.

Best breeds for long, slow runs: Golden and Labrador Retrievers; Dalmatians; Rhodesian Ridgebacks; Border Collies; Portuguese Water Dogs; Catahoulas; Standard Poodles; Vizslas; Weimaraners.


A hike is a great way to spike your heart rate and get a sweat going. Your dog will love the outdoor sights and smells, too. Make sure to get tick repellent for your animal and potentially get them a vaccine for Lyme disease too.

Best breeds for hikes: Weimaraners; German Shorthaired Pointers; Vislas; Portuguese Water Dogs; Australian Shepherds.


The great thing about swimming is that it doesn’t hurt the body. It’s what’s called a “low-impact” activity, as it puts very little strain on the joints. At the same time, it works the muscles, and provides an holistic workout that stands you and your dog in good stead.

The problem with swimming is that not every dog likes the activity.

Dogs that enjoy swimming: Irish Water Spaniel; Newfoundland; Otterhound; Gordon Setter; Brittany; Portuguese Water Dog.

Dogs that don’t enjoy swimming: Chihuahua; Yorkshire Terrier; Pug; Shih Tzu; Pekingese; Boxer; Maltese; Pomeranian.

Of course, it never hurts to try the water and gauge the response. Whether you’ve got a breed that traditionally doesn’t like swimming, or are the owner of a mixed breed, try treats to entice them into the water and see whether they respond favorably or not.

It goes without saying, but if they’re putting up resistance, find another activity…


An absolute classic, fetch is something that all dogs can get onboard with, so if swimming isn’t to their liking, get a frisbee or tennis ball, hurl it into a decent patch of open space and let them fetch it for you.

The only downside to this activity is that you aren’t getting much of a workout, so consider bringing a skipping rope, doing jumping jacks, or performing crunches/pushups while you wait for the toy/ball/frisbee to be returned.

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