This Holiday Season, Staying Fit with Your Dog Just Got Easier

Who says that exercise has to be limited to sweating at the gym?

Staying home, traveling cross country or just heading to nearby friends and family? You can keep the workouts going by partnering up with your playful workout partner: your dog.

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The holidays revolve around food, family and couch surfing while netflixing, so it’s easy to add on the extra pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. But that doesn’t have to be the norm.

Exercise and just getting outside, is key to both dogs and owners to avoid gaining extra holiday pounds (and lose the ones that have been added).  So get up, and get on out, your pooch will thank you!

Meet Michael Schaier, owner of Long Island based Michael’s Pack Dog Training facility. Schaier’s deep passion for dogs pushed him to leave his real estate career of 20 years and become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. He shares some of his best strategies for balancing the season’s indulgences with healthy choices for you and your best bud.

1.  HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS – If your home in New York for the holidays, long walks will help both the owner and their dog stay in shape during the holidays. Plus check out classes in your area that lets Fido work out with you. I really like Go Fetch Run. They offer the perfect total-body conditioning program for you and a stimulating, exciting experience for your dog. Their Cross-Training Fitness Circuit, taught by certified fitness instructors, combines strength, agility, and cardio in a challenging class that includes circuit training, trail running, and a Down and Dirty Obstacle Course!

2.  OUT OF TOWN FINDS- If you’re out-of-town, find the location of some dog parks that will let your dog run and get rid of some excess energy. Since you both have some extra time off during the holiday, take time to connect and re-bond with your pet. Think ball tossing and Frisbee throwing too.

3.  NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS- Come up with some holiday resolutions for both you and your dog on how to exercise more.  More frequent walks, running programs, dog yoga, jogging with your dog, etc. Dogs are great workout partners — they’re down for anything and they just want to spend time with you. The fitter the owner, the fitter the pet and good health equals long life.

4.  TREAT YOURSELF- If you don’t have one, think about treating yourself to a treadmill for the holidays. It’s a great way for both you and your canine companion to stay in shape and since you can purchase one for just a few hundred dollars, it’s a win win. All dogs have some type of energy requirement, and if you allow them to play and be mentally and physically stimulated, it can decrease unwanted behavior and tire them out. A sleepy dog is a happy dog.

5.  FORGET IT- This is a big holiday No No – don’t over treat your dog during the holidays.  Sure a little meat treat is fine, but don’t go overboard. PS- tell your friends and family members too! You want you pup to actually enjoy the holidays as much as you do, so treat him with love and new toys and leave out the sweet potatoes and fruit cake.

Michael has garnered much praise for his ability to work with dogs and learn how humans and canines can live harmoniously through better communication. He has extensive knowledge within this dog world and in his new book What Can You Expect When You Are Expecting A Puppy”, Schaier prepares you for everything you’ll need to know in order to raise a happy, well-centered dog using positive reinforcement training methods. Learn more on

Photo Credit: Ty Milford/Radius Images/Getty Images

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