5 Ways Your Dog Can Help You Get Fit

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2023 is underway. Is one of your new year’s resolutions to be healthy and get fit? Like majority of people, you’ll probably fall by the wayside after January. While it sometimes feels impossible to stay consistent with your health goals long-term, your dog can actually help you more than you think!

Here are 5 ways your dog can help you get fit this year. 

1. Take your dog on a walk

Obviously, dogs need to be walked. By walking your dog, you also reap the rewards of getting some exercise for yourself. To challenge yourself a bit, try picking a route that might help burn some extra calories, such as:

  • Hills
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Long flat stretches
  • Grassy meadows
  • Wooded areas

When you walk on different terrains, your dog enjoys the varied exploration. You both also get a good exercise! You can vary your walking speed by mixing brisk walking with slower-paced strides. Of course, you must allow your pup time to smell all the good scents along the way.

It’s recommended that dogs get at least 30 minutes of walk-time in per day, 5 days a week. So, this is your prime opportunity to take advantage and make this a win-win scenario for both. By holding your dog accountable to them getting their daily exercise, you’d have no choice but to get exercise for yourself as well (unless you hire one of our dog walkers to take care of business, of course!).

2. How about a hike?

If your dog enjoys hiking, then you better tie those laces and pack that water bottle! Hiking can be a great calorie-burner for you and your pup, simply because it requires a lot of stamina.

To ensure your pup plays it safe on hiking grounds (sometimes they can be a bit unpredictable!), consider purchasing special pup shoes. Protecting your pup’s paws is just as important as it is for you to protect your own feet!

Some other things you might consider packing for both you and your pup are:

  • Snacks
  • First-aid kit
  • Bug spray
  • Phone (with a fully charged battery!)

If you’re hiking in the summer months when the temps are scorching, please make sure to be safe! Hiking is way more strenuous than walking (obviously), so it’ll be especially important to remember the dog walking essentials.

3. Try yoga

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice of moving and breathing to improve balance and restore calm. While it isn’t an activity that you associate with dogs right off the bat (unlike walking and hiking), pup-accompanied yoga has become super common in recent times! Of course, dogs naturally know how to do the “downward-dog,” but there are other poses they can do with you as well. Grab your yoga mat and follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Lay flat on your back and get your dog to lay down on their stomach.
  2. Relax and breathe (3 deep breaths). This will get your dog to relax a bit too.
  3. Start with a warrior pose. Of course, your dog may not be able to do a pose like this, but they will stay near you and watch you with curiosity. They may try to move around your legs. That’s what makes it fun!

If you’re thinking “there’s no way in heck my dog could focus enough to do this“, just be patient. Your dog might think it’s a game at first. When you first get on the ground, they may come up and lick your face! The more you are consistent with it, however, your dog will start to associate yoga sessions with it being time to relax. They are more likely to then obey your need for them to focus.

The purpose of doing yoga with your pup is that it ultimately creates an accountability device. Once you start getting into a consistent schedule with it, your pup will start to get used to the routine. On days when you’re not feeling like doing yoga, your pup will act as your accountability partner. Of course, you’ll then want to oblige, as you won’t want to let down your furry yoga buddy!

4. Jogging

If you’ve got a high-energy pup at home, jogging might be the ideal exercise to do! Jogging is the biggest calorie-burner when it comes to cardiovascular exercise. As mentioned in the previous section on yoga, accountability devices are super helpful for starting and maintaining good habits. Getting into a regular jogging routine could mean your pup starts paw-ing at you whenever they’re ready to go out for a run. Needless to say, if you’re not a runner, having a high-energy dog who likes to run can turn you into a runner pretty easily!

If jogging is boring, tiresome, and just not your thing, having your dog doing the activity could help make it fun!

Some dog breeds that enjoy jogging (instead of leisurely walks) include:

  • Weimaraner
  • Dalmatian
  • Vizsla
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Doberman Pinscher

5. Playing frisbee

Frisbee can be right up there with jogging (as far as a good calorie-burning opportunity is concerned!). If you’ve got a dog who loves to play outdoors, frisbee might be an activity you strongly consider. You might think it’s not the best form of exercise, but throwing a frisbee with your dog (depending on how long and hard you play) can equate to burning almost 500 calories!

When you play frisbee with your dog, you throw the disc, and your dog catches it. You’ll need to teach train them on how to return it to you, or you may need to run over to your dog and have them drop it. If your dog is struggling with listening to such commands, you might even go as far as to consider hiring a professional dog trainer.

Playing frisbee can be a very physical game that includes the following movements:

  • Running
  • Throwing
  • Quick twists and turns
  • Lunging
  • Jumping
  • Leaping

Throwing a frisbee is a fun game for you and your dog. Mixing frisbee games with walking or hiking can be fun to give you and your dog a variety of exercises.

dog get fit Columbus Ohio

Cheers to better health with the help of your dog!

There are a plethora of other activities you can pursue with your pup if the ones listed above aren’t intriguing to you. As long as pick something that involves some physical exertion, you’re golden!

Many people struggle to stick to their goals because they “just don’t have time.” Truthfully, you make the time for the things that matter to you. If getting in shape in 2023 is a serious goal you have, you can easily take advantage of the fact that your dog also has regular exercise needs. By choosing and sticking to the various activities above (and doing them with your dog!), you’ll be well on your way to achieving your personally health goals quickly.

Of course, it’s understandable that you can’t always be there to exercise with your pup, however. On days when life is busy, yet you still desire for your pup to maintain their new-found exercise routine, our dog walkers in Columbus, Ohio are happy to help!

Benny DiFranco

Benny DiFranco

Hi! Thanks for reading this blog. I am the owner and founder of Columbus, Ohio's very own Hands N Paws. I started this business in 2018 with the purpose of giving more pet parents peace of mind. Looking forward to seeing you on the blog next time!

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In case any of the Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Hands N Paws will prioritize treating the pets and try to contact the Client or emergency contacts. However, the on-site Team Member can take appropriate actions, including getting veterinary care, if needed. The Client gives permission for Hands N Paws to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic or request on-site treatment, and make treatment decisions except for euthanasia if they cannot be reached, or if it’s a life-threatening emergency. The Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred, and releases Hands N Paws from liability for any damage or harm to pets or property beyond the Team Member’s control. The Client is also liable for any injuries or damages caused by their pet’s undisclosed aggression to the Hands N Paws team.



To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at https://www.ohiobar.org/public-resources. You should also check with your veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots your pet requires. For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar with their name and a contact number while our team is working with them.



To ensure access to Clients’ homes during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Clients purchase a lockbox and place spare house key(s) inside it for Team Members to use. Clients can purchase the lockbox on the Hands N Paws website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the client’s account on Precise Petcare. Alternatively, Clients may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Clients are strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox to ensure that Team Members can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where power goes out, batteries die, or keys are lost.


It is strongly discouraged that Team Members and Clients exchange phone numbers with each other in working together. Phone numbers are personal and Team Members have specific work hours.
Clients should direct all communications with Team Members in our app, Precise Petcare. Both parties can communicate via submitted journal reports, which Team Members send after completion of all services with pets. More information on this can be found by visiting our client support page at www.myhandsnpaws.com/client-support.
For any pressing/non-emergency communications, Clients are advised to call our office number at (614) 636-6644. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sunday, and Federal Holidays.
PLEASE NOTE: Office hours differ from fieldwork hours. Office hours are the times in which we provide client support via answering phones, emails, etc. Fieldwork hours are the times in which we offer services/are working in the field with pets. Our fieldwork hours are 7am-10pm (and overnights), 365 days a year.



Clients are NOT allowed to request that Team Members “ignore the cat” when providing care for other animals in households that have multiple pets. Regardless of the cat’s disposition, personality, or levels of need, Hands N Paws Team Members must provide some kind of attention and care to the cat during scheduled services. Similarly, Client must create a pet profile for the cat(s) and provide care notes accordingly.


Our Team Members can only perform services correctly if they are equipped with the correct (and most up to date) pet care information. You will only be allowed to request services on the basis that pet and personal profiles are updated every 6 months (at minimum). Any Client who attempts to request services at the 6 month mark will receive an error message letting them know that they cannot submit a request if they haven’t made updates to their profiles. If there is nothing to update at the 6 month mark, simply reword a current piece of information and click Save at the bottom of the page.


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Client agrees to requesting services in the two-hour time frames offered.



For detailed descriptions on our services, please visit our website at www.myhandsnpaws.com.

Dog Walking
*Rates below apply for up to 2 dogs; add $7 per additional dog
QUICK WALK – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD WALK – 30 mins – $25
LONG WALK – 45 mins – $35

Pet Sitting
*Rates below apply for up to 2 pets; add $7 per additional pet
QUICK VISIT – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD VISIT – 30 mins – $25
LONG VISIT – 45 mins – $35

Cat Sitting
*Rates below apply for up to 2 cats; add $7 per additional cat
QUICK VISIT – 20 mins – $22
STANDARD VISIT – 30 mins – $25
LONG VISIT – 45 mins – $35
Overnight Stay (8-10 hrs) – $80

*Rate applies for up to 2 pets; add $10 per additional pet.




A $20 surcharge is added to each service that is scheduled on the following Federal Holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.



Upon submitting service request(s), Client will be informed as to whether Hands N Paws can take on the requested work via a confirmation or declination email/notification. Client understands that there is NO guarantee that any/all service requests can be approved; it simply just depends on Team Member availability. Clients are encouraged to submit all service requests as far in advance as possible!



Client understands and accepts the Company same day service request policy as outlined below:
– A $10 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 24 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.
– A $20 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 12 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.
– A $30 convenience fee is added to each service if requested (and approved) with 6 hours or less notice before service(s) is scheduled to occur.



Client understands and accepts the Company out-of-service-area request policy as outlined below:
– A $10 (minimum) convenience fee is added to each service if requested outside of our current service area.
Please note, this amount is subject to increase depending on how far a client lives outside of our current service area.




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To schedule a first-time meet n greet (for new clients), please go to www.myhandsnpaws.com and click Get Started.

To schedule additional meet n greets (for current clients), please log in to your client account, go to My Schedule > Request Service and select Meet N Greet in the service dropdown.



All services are to be paid for via credit/debit card. We accept all major cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover). Card information can be added securely to each client account.

For services scheduled as ongoing, you will be auto-charged every Friday evening for the previous 7 days worth of work on schedule, including completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

For services NOT scheduled as ongoing, the day your services are accepted and confirmed is the day you will be charged 50% of your invoice total (as downpayment). Your invoice will be sent to you immediately. You have from then until the date of the last confirmed service to pay your invoice manually. If you choose to not pay manually, your remaining total will be auto-paid (via card on file) on the evening of the last service day.

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Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or sees the need to, purchase items for the pet while under Company care, including but not limited to: pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet and/or emergency expenses for general care of pet(s). Hands N Paws will retain and share receipts as proof of purchase.




When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should you be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to your account and applied to your very next invoice with us.



Hands N Paws agrees to provide the services stated in this contract in a reliable, caring, and trustworthy manner. In consideration of these services and as an express condition thereof, Client expressly waives and relinquishes any and all claims against Hands N Paws arising out of or relating to the provision of services hereunder, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that the environment in which they are requesting Hands N Paws to complete services is reasonably sanitary and safe. We assess home conditions during initial meet n greets. If we determine home conditions to be unsanitary and/or unsafe, we will make it clear to the Client that we cannot pursue a working relationship.

Should a Team Member sustain any injury, disease, or other harm in the course of providing services hereunder, the Client will indemnify Hands N Paws and hold it harmless with respect to all loss, expense, and damage caused thereby, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home and agrees to not contract with any other company and/or care provider during the duration of services booked with Hands N Paws. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by anyone entering the Client’s home with their permission or access given to others during the terms of services rendered.




This contract will take effect upon digital signature by Client (clicking “Agree & Submit” below) and will remain in effect until terminated by either party. Client may make online reservations for additional services at any time during the terms of this contract, as subject to Hands N Paws availability. All scheduled services will be governed by all the terms of this contract. We appreciate as much advance notice as possible for the work, but will make every effort possible to accommodate all requests.

Either party may terminate this contract at any time by written notice to the other. Hands N Paws is entitled to payment for all services rendered until notice of termination is received and for any transition services reasonably required to provide for the health and welfare of Client’s pet(s). Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of a Team Member or pet. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pet(s), Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. Every attempt will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

Client acknowledges that by signing below, he/she is providing written approval for the provision of services by Hands N Paws during any service period scheduled by Client and confirmed by Hands N Paws. Upon such scheduling and approval, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations




I, Client, have reviewed this Client Agreement in its entirety. I will promptly complete all parts of my client account in Precise Petcare, and the information I provide will be detailed and accurate. My electronic signature here will indicate that I am agreeing to all the terms and conditions of this contract, exactly as they are outlined above.