They’re on our phones, on our wrists and sometimes they’re even on our credit card statements. But are fitness apps really worth it? Probably not, if you’ve already got a dog. Our canine companions can do everything these apps do, and they don’t require a charging cable or a subscription.
If you’re considering paying cash for a fitness app or gadget, you might want to sink that money into dog treats instead.
Here are eight ways dogs are the best fitness apps around.
1. You cannot forget them
We humans spend all this money on fancy wristbands that prompt us to move our bodies, but do we actually remember to put them on when we wake up in the morning? No, they sit there all day tracking the nightstand’s fitness. Our dogs, on the other hand, are unforgettable. Between the nudging, the barking and the early a.m. odors, they’re reminding us to move before we’ve even moved our heads from the pillow.
2. They have everlasting batteries
Unlike a high-tech fitness band or smartphone full of apps, our performance-enhancing pups’ batteries don’t need to be plugged into a USB port each night. Puppy love is a renewable resource.
3. They make you forget to count
Look down at your wrist and your app will remind you you’ve walked 2,000 steps around your neighborhood. Look down at your dog and you’ll be reminded that walks should be measured in smells smelled, butts sniffed and memories made — not in steps taken.
4. They can’t be dismissed
When an app on my phone alerts me that “today is a great day for a workout” I dismiss the notification. When my dog tells me “now is a good time for a walk,” I don’t dare dismiss his notification. Doing so could result in a pile of poop that isn’t nearly as cute as the emoji on my phone.
5. They’re always available for a workout
Workout classes are expensive and time-consuming, but working out alone can be boring and lonely. Expensive fitness apps are happy to take your money to stream a real live coach into your living room, but your dog is free, already in the living room and doesn’t require Wi-Fi! The dog is a deal and three-dimensional!
6. They don’t let you bail
You can quit a fitness app at any point in your workout, but you can’t shut off your dog’s desire for a workout without, well, working out with him. Try to quit on a dog who was expecting an evening run or a morning jog and you might find him working on his fitness by making your couch unfit for company.
7. They’re waterproof
Unlike most of the wristband fitness trackers, our dogs aren’t just water-resistant — they’re waterproof. Morning jog in the rain? No problem. A few laps in the pool? As long as the filter can handle his fur.
8. They make us want to be better people, not just people with better bodies
The connection we have with our dogs is more important than staying connected to fitness tracking software, because they make us want to get moving for their sake, even when we’re feeling dog tired.
Remember, a squat to pick up a poop is still a squat. Engage your core while you engage that poop bag.
Thumbnail: ©Tatomm | Getty Images
About the author
Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer and two-time dog mom to GhostBuster and Marshmallow. Despite their movie-inspired names, Heather’s dogs aren’t in any web series — but they are on the web as the @ghostpets on Instagram. You can find Heather on Twitter.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!