Kamp Kommandants Jodi of Kol’s Notes and Peggy of Peggy’s Pet Place have issued another fitness challenge for K9 Kamp. It’s to use fun and games to make you and your dog more fit. Learn more about the K9 Kamp challenge and enter to win great prizes.
I can’t think of anything more scary than going to camp by yourself.
Luckily, thanks to the regular presence of foster dogs in our house, Honey doesn’t have to go to K9 Kamp without canine company. And that’s a good thing. Because Honey’s favorite games (bitey face, doggie gladiators, chase, tug) are better with dogs than with humans.
Fitness Benefits of Dog Play
No one gives Honey a better workout than another dog.
Games of chase in our tiny backyard test Honey’s cardiovascular strength, coordination, and cornering abilities. Tug is a tough workout of her legs, core, and jaw. Wrestling makes her more agile as Honey daintily steps over the puppy she outweighs by 40 pounds. And you should see how fast a game of fetch goes when you have two retrievers in competition for the ball.
If you want a demanding fitness partner for your playful dog, get another dog.
But isn’t the K9 Kamp challenge about me and Honey getting fit at the same time? How does having Honey play with another dog get me into better shape?
Sorry to say I have no pictures of me being body slammed by two dogs, hopping on one foot to avoid stepping on the stray tails of dogs wrestling at my feet, or running with a tug toy dangling behind me to entice play. But believe me, when I actively engage in Honey’s play with another dog, I get exercise too.
So is there any reason not to add dog-on-dog playtime to your fitness routine?
Contraindications for Dog Play
I believe every dog park and every toy dogs use to play with other dogs should carry a warning.
Dog play may not be suitable for all dogs. Side effects may include tiredness, napping, and a look of profound satisfaction. Serious side effects in some dogs may include nervousness, snarking, and even dog fights. Do not institute dog play if your dog feels uncomfortable with other dogs or if he does not have the strength or conditioning to endure a challenging workout. Always make sure the size, energy levels, mood, and strength of dogs engaging in play are well matched. Or that the dogs are appropriately socialized to handicap themselves for a weaker opponent. Dog play should always take place under the supervision of an engaged owner.
There. That should do it.
Now I better go. Honey’s auditioning dogs for her new workout video. I gotta supervise.
Your Turn: Does dog play have a place in your dog’s fitness routine? Are your dog’s playmates family members or outside dogs like in a dog park or at a play date?