Exercising with your Dog? Try these Conditioning Tips First.

There’s no better exercise than an outing with your four-legged friend. Well, at least that’s how we feel at Alcott.

Whether it’s hiking through the mountains or jogging around the block, we’ve found that fitness is a lot less daunting with your dog by your side. But, as Outside Magazine reports, dogs can’t go couch to 5K in one day. They have to train and build up endurance just like humans. Here are some of Outside’s tips for getting there.

Start slowly, building up fitness levels over a six-month period.

If you’re training your dog to run, try shorter workouts like one to three mile walk-runs (a combination of both). Also, try a cooling bandana to keep your dog comfortable in warm weather.

For those attempting mountain climbs, begin with smaller climbs and build up to those bigger, more intimidating mountains. The “start small” tip can be translated across all fitness activities.

Your dog is what it eats, so keep the kibble clean.

According to Outside, active dogs need diets higher in protein, just like humans. They suggest diets of about 30 percent protein, 15 to 25 percent fat and 10 to 15 percent carbohydrates.

"One University of Florida study showed that dogs who have glucosamine at an early age have less problems later down the line," Steve Sheldon, a Colorado-based veterinarian, told Outside. “It comes in treat form, or you can give the human kind. At the least, it's harmless, cheap, and well-tolerated."

Do you have tried-and-true tips for getting your dog in shape? Share them below!