Growing Up with Fitness
Fitness and conditioning are great ways to help your puppy develop their balance, proprioception, and core strength. Adding strength building to their regular play and behavior training will help burn off more of that endless puppy energy, build the bond you have together, and improve your communication. It will also help ensure that your fast-growing pup has strong, well-supported joints that allow them to play hard and stay healthy.
We recommend beginning puppies out on the FitPaws equipment as early as possible – even six weeks if possible. The added benefit of this early start is it gives you a way to tire out your pup physically and mentally at a time when they still aren’t able to socialize due to incomplete vaccines.
The best FitPAWS products for a dog new to balance are the K9 FitBones (original or Giant), Balance Pad, Balance Discs and Ramps. The large Wobble Board is also a great tool to begin exploration of moving objects and establishing balance and core skills. Stepping on Donuts and a variety of Peanuts is a fun way to begin core strength and get a jump start on the muscles needed for balance and proprioception.
Aging Gracefully with Fitness
We want our dogs to have full, happy, healthy lives to the very end. The best way to do this is to ensure their body stays strong, mobile and pain-free. Walking is one of the best conditioning exercises you can do for senior dogs. But strength training - at a level they can do safely - helps maintain their muscle mass, their balance, their memory and their overall mental fitness, all of which ensure more comfortable and active senior years.
You can keep your senior dog in tip top shape by incorporating consistent workouts on the low-impact FitPaws equipment. Focus on exercises to increase musculature in the hind end with “dog squats” and repetitions of sit-to-stand on top of a FitPAWS® Peanut or by using the Peanut as an assisted-stand prop while you help with the squat motion.
Doggie push-ups are a great exercise to increase shoulder strength. Try using a FitPaws Balance Pad, Balance Disc or TRAX Donut - depending on their strength level - underneath your senior dog’s rear feet with their front feet positioned on the ground. This shifts the weight to their shoulders while challenging their center of gravity.
By incorporating strength training into your dog’s life you help to keep their joints healthy and nourished, their spine mobile, their body strong and their mind sharp.