By Kreg Atterberry
I have a relentless physical trainer. When I want to sleep in, she’s right in my face telling me it’s time to get up. And there is no rolling over, and trying to ignore it because she will stay on me like a drill sergeant until I am up on both feet. In the evenings, when I am all relaxed and would rather be a couch potato and watch TV instead of getting in my exercise that last hour of the day, she stares me down til I am motivated by my own guilt. Where did I find such a trainer who absolutely won’t let me skip a beat? She must be really expensive right? No, it was easy to find her, she is my dog Tipper. A 18 month old cock-a-poo.
We often talk about the needs and benefits to regularly exercising our pets, but one of the greatest benefits to doing so is the regular exercise we also receive. According to researchers, if you are regularly walking your dog in Broken Arrow, you are 34% more likely to reach your overall exercise goals.
Most experts will tell you that the easiest way to start an exercise program is to simply start walking. If you are just starting an exercise program, regular walks should be your aim. Start out walking your dog in Broken Arrow with small jaunts around the neighborhood, if you aren’t used to physical activity. After you can walk about an hour 5 days a week with ease then you can start adding longer, faster-paced walks or hikes and eventually add a more intense exercise regimen.
You will be surprised at how many calories you can burn a day doing this. I walk 50 minutes with my dog on a trail near my home. We walk a normal pace of 2.5 miles per hour. When I started, 30 pounds heavier than I am now, I burned 281 calories per walk. We walk early in the morning and again in the evening. I am fortunate to have the time to do this, but I am even more fortunate to have a relentless companion that is passionate about doing this by my side. My daily walks burn less than they used to, because I am less than I used to be, but I still burn over 500 calories a day.
Perhaps your dog is out of shape too. The same rules apply. Start off slowly walking your dog in Broken Arrow with short walks and gradually build to up to an hour per walk. If your dog is obese, or out of shape please check with your Broken Arrow veterinarian for advice on your pet.
Here Are Some Great Tips for Walking Your Dog in Broken Arrow from The Weather Channel’s Pet Care Advisor.
Just like people who aren’t used to exercise, dogs should start off slow. Moderately paced walking and swimming are a good way to start–they let canine athletes build their cardiovascular and muscle strength without putting undue stress on their joints. A daily ten- to 15-minute walking or swimming session is a good start; you can build to an hour a day if Rover seems up to it. If, after a few months, he’s doing well and can handle long, fast walks without fatigue, he can graduate to jogging with you. Once he’s adapted to the exercise, you and your dog can run and walk to your heart’s content, if you take a few precautions:
- Keep a close eye on your dog: watch for any unusual signs of fatigue or trouble breathing. If your pup wants to stop, let him. Dogs that overdo it can suffer strained tendons or ligaments or other orthopedic problems.
- Don’t expect your fuzzy buddy to be a weekend warrior, even if you only get exercise on the weekends yourself. After a long week without exercise, your dog may be ready to get out and burn off energy. But because of their enthusiasm, many of the popular breeds, such as Labrador and golden retrievers, will overdo it.
- Safety first–keep Rover on a leash when you run. Even the best-trained dogs can run into the path of a car or a territorial animal. And if you have to run when it’s dark out, put reflectors on your dog’s collar as well as on your clothes.
- Concrete and asphalt are tough on the paws, especially on hot days. Try to run on dirt paths or grass as much as possible. Gravel, cinders, and road salt can also irritate paws.
- Take it easy in extreme weather. If it’s freezing cold or hot and steamy out, either keep your run short or play a little indoor fetch instead.
- The more active your dog is, the more water he’ll need. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water before and after your run. If you’re going for a long run, take some water along for him.
There are many nice places for dog walking in Broken Arrow and Tulsa. One is the Katy Trail. The trail spans 7 miles from Downtown Tulsa to Sand Springs. Don’t worry about getting dehydrated on the trail; there are several water fountains located along the route. Because of the history of the trail as a railroad right-of-way, the trail is a very easy grade. Parts of the trail feature canopies, creating much-needed shade in the summer.
You and your pet will appreciate the time you spend dog walking in Broken Arrow parks and neighborhoods or along the Katy Trail. You will especially appreciate that extra benefit when you look in the mirror.
Village Vet Animal Clinic
2026 West Houston Street
Broken Arrow, OK 74012