If there's anything we've learned from circuses and movies is that animals have a great potential to be athletes. You probably consider your labrador as the love of your life or can't find a better way to relieve stress apart from stroking your cat. Why not engage in activities with your pet, not just pony-riding but other pets too. There are really different ways to practice sports with animals.
1. From Running to Paddling
Marlene and her Australian Shepherd, Olaf, are inseparable. She decided to join a dog club with him when he was still a puppy. “The idea was to give him some basic training, so that he could come running with me”, explains Olaf’s owner. Since then, the two friends have covered quite a few kilometres, and they have even discovered the joys of paddling together. It’s never too late to train your dog to behave when you go out for a run together. So, even if you adopt a dog that is a few years older, he can still learn to go out for a run with you.
2. Veterinary Care
“A number of precautions are necessary before you take your dog for a run or a bike ride. First, check that the dog is fully grown”, explains Marion Fasquelle, dog behaviourist. “You also need to make sure that he is physically capable of running alongside you at a faster pace than on an ordinary walk”. Regular check-ups by the vet are welcome, especially to make sure that his articulations are in good working order. All breeds of dog are capable of exercising. But the length of training required can vary, depending on the animal’s temperament.
3. The Right Equipment
You can opt for a back belt with a lead equipped with a shock-absorbing system. They allow runners to keep their hands free and prevent them from losing their balance, if the dog pulls on the lead or changes direction. “If the dog is properly trained, and in a suitable environment, the dog can also run alongside his master without a lead”, explains the behaviourist.
You can also do other sports in the company of your pet. Try gymnastics or yoga under the sceptical watch of your cat.
The most important thing is to spend some time together.
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