Indoor and outdoor workout tips to keep your dog healthy and active

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    GETTING YOURSELF TO the gym can be a significant challenge. It’s even tougher when you can’t drive, you lack opposable thumbs, and your primary skills are “Sit” and “Stay.”

    Yes: Dogs need to focus on their fitness, too. And like any good workout partner, they depend on their fellow friends to keep them in shape.

    For a primer on keeping your dog healthy, we talked to Ernie Ward, D.V.M., a veterinarian and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Ward is also the creator of K9 Fit Club, where personal trainers, dog trainers, and dog owners can take classes to exercise with their dogs. (They have over 46 locations around the country. You can check out other dog fitness centers near you.)

    Ward walked us through the best exercises you can do to get your dog moving, and the exercises you should probably avoid. Here are a few workout scenarios for different types of canines.

    When your dog thinks kettlebells are toys

    Kettlebell swings make for a great at-home workout, until your 10-month old Labrador-mix puppy (like mine) decides to jump up and get involved.

    “I’m kind of anti-kettlebells-around-dogs,” Ward says. “It’s critical to evaluate [how dangerous the exercise you’re doing] could be to your dog when you’re doing swift, fast movements or you’re moving weight. Sometimes you can’t overcome that movement instantly—like the arc of a kettlebell swing—and if your dog is in the same room, you could injure them,” he said.

    When your dog thinks kettlebells are toys

    Kettlebell swings make for a great at-home workout, until your 10-month old Labrador-mix puppy (like mine) decides to jump up and get involved.

    “I’m kind of anti-kettlebells-around-dogs,” Ward says. “It’s critical to evaluate [how dangerous the exercise you’re doing] could be to your dog when you’re doing swift, fast movements or you’re moving weight. Sometimes you can’t overcome that movement instantly—like the arc of a kettlebell swing—and if your dog is in the same room, you could injure them,” he said.