Working Out with Your Pet

By: Dean Olcott

Photo: Dan Krosse


Editor’s note: By day, Dean Olcott is a surgery assistant in the Sam Greer Spay Neuter Clinic at Charleston Animal Society. But one of his other passions is keeping healthy by working out. This former fitness trainer put together a few exercises that will help you and your pet look great in 2018!


Barkin’ Burpees

Burpees are a favorite from boot camp to CrossFit. Start in a standing position. Drop and do a push-up. Then jump to your feet, keeping your hands held high. Repeat—but in this version, when you drop for your push-up, have your dog go into “down” position with you. He’ll have fun. You’ll be exhausted. And he will love watching every second.


Cat Squats

This exercise is great for your core, as well as your arms and shoulders. Make sure you cat is game before starting! Begin by holding your cat with your arms extended out in front of you. Lower into a squat position, keeping your arms straight out in front. Come back up. Repeat. If your cat gets restless, give her a break, then do another set of 5!


The Big Three: Swimming, Hiking and Running


  1. Swimming is arguably the best way to keep fit for you and man’s best friend because it has virtually zero impact on you or your dog’s joints.


  1. Hiking is another great way to stay fit for both you and your best buddy. Be sure to scope out the trail before heading out. I recommend a harness over a leash for an even distribution of weight.


  1. Most people share the same feelings about running: it’s miserable! But one way to keep things interesting is to race. I often take my Carolina Dog to an open soccer field and run 50-yard wind sprints with him (spoiler alert: I don’t win very often).


With all these exercises, be sure to set goals. Maybe increase by one or two repetitions each time you go out. But most importantly, stick with it and remember it will all pay off—for you and your furry friend.