E is for Exercise
We all know our pets need exercise to be healthy so this won’t be a post telling you that. Instead I’m going to show you how I exercise with my pets. I lucked out with a dog that has energy to burn and loves to be outdoors. ZuZu and I try to get in a 2-3 mile run every other day. Some days I’m lazy so we walk instead.
I start out by getting Zu into her harness. I’ve always used a body harness for ZuZu because it’s been what has worked best for us. I’ve always used it because ZuZu will occasionally pull on her leash which pulls at her neck. The body harness helps me control our speed as we run.
I used to have problems with ZuZu being aggressive with other dogs when I walked her. She would jump and bark, scaring other dogs. I started using the harness and making her heel when we approached other dogs and she learned quickly that she needed to behave. A friend who trains dogs told me a harness can sometimes cause dogs to be aggressive and suggested a gentle lead. I still haven’t tried it because as she has aged ZuZu has calmed when meeting dogs on the trail.
Once the harness and leash are secured on the dog we start off to the trail behind our house. Depending on the day we can go east or west. The trail east is mostly tree-covered so it works great for really hot, sunny days. The trail follows the creek so if Zu needs water she tends to hop in. The trail west is in the open for 3/4 of a mile. It only follows the creek for 1/2 a mile then deviates and we don’t meet back up to it again until we’re on the way back. It’s a longer, prettier trail and we see lots of geese hanging out on the lake.
We start off at a fast run but slow down to a steady pace after the first mile. For some reason ZuZu tends to run in the grass instead of concrete. Occasionally she weaves through the high grass and weeds like a jungle animal.
On days when exercise is Zumba at home all 3 critters end up with me. Roma will try to be close to me but gets mad because I almost trip over her. Sometimes she and Chubbs will sit on the TV stand and watch the figures on the screen. This keeps them intrigued for a little while and then they get bored and wander off. The sensor will pick up their movement and you’ll see a little body or sometimes just a tail on the screen. Not to be left out ZuZu will run back and forth between the couches to watch me. Every now and then she jumps in and wags her tail at me. She gives me a look that I’m pretty sure means she thinks I’m crazy.
Our exercise regimen is pretty simple but it works well for us. In mid-summer when the days are too hot to run we will wander to the dog park to go swimming or take our walks later in the day. Hopefully by this summer ZuZu will have a new yard to play in and we can get her a doggie pool. 🙂
How do you exercise with your pets?