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National Canine Fitness Month promotes pawsitively healthy choices
FitPaws named April as National Canine Fitness Month to bring awareness to canine obesity and remind everyone to keep their dog active and fit.
Although we love our dogs dearly, too many of them suffer from obesity and sedentarism, spending much of their time each day eating and sleeping. Fortunately, these are two of the most preventable conditions dogs suffer from and by reversing them, you can have a major impact on the quality and longevity of your dog’s life.
The big problem with dog obesity
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 55.8% of dogs (that’s 55 million dogs!) are classified as overweight or obese. And with all this extra weight comes a slew of health problems that can shorten a dog’s life. Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer from arthritis, kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure and cancer.
“As a concerned pet owner, you need to understand that your pet’s body condition is one of the most influential factors in their longevity, quality of life, and disease prevention.”
— Dr. Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT, America’s Pet Advocate
Keep your dog fit and active
The opposite of a sedentary lifestyle is movement and National Canine Fitness Month is the perfect time to find new, fun and effective ways to get your dog moving. We encourage you to find ways to get your dog playing, chasing, walking, fetching - even a good roll in the grass or a walk upstairs is healthy movement!
Just getting started? Give some of these ideas a try!
This is the easiest exercise for most dogs. One foot in front of the other - and the fresh air will do you both good.
Try Active Play
Throw a ball, stick or frisbee in a safe environment, or better yet – run or jog with your pet to retrieve it.
Play Hide and Seek
Place your dog’s daily allowance of treats throughout the room, behind doors, under chairs, etc. Make treating an active reward.l
Play Fitness Games
Place an unstable object in front of your dog’s food bowl for your dog to step on as they reach for the food to introduce balance and limb strengthening as a fun and rewarding game.
Raise the Floor
Integrating a platform that can be climbed on, or crawled under, during the day is an excellent way to incorporate movement if space is small and the weather isn’t cooperating.
Encourage them to participate when you put in the cardio or yoga video. When you shuffle across the room, grab a toy and lure them to do the same.
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