Things You Can Do To Keep Your Dog In Shape
Tips to keep Fido physically fit
Allowing your dog to chase your neighbor's cat isn't the best way to keep him or her in shape. If all the exercise that your dog gets during the day is making several trips from their bed to their food dish, then you might want to start thinking about new ways to entice Lassie to get out and roam the fields a little more often.
Helping keep Fido in shape could also do wonders for your own physical and mental condition. Get out and walk around the block a few times with your dog in tow. If you're feeling ambitious, go for a run instead.
More than one dog to walk or run with? No problem - there are leashes, leash attachments, and leashes that hook to or around your waist to make the process a lot easier than you can imagine. While you're out, head to the local "no leash required" park (if you're fortunate enough to have one nearby) and throw a few balls or Frisbees for your pal to fetch. There are a lot of interesting flying disk-type toys and "projectile ball" toys on the market now.
If your dog loves the water and you have access to a safe watering hole, let your dog take a swim. Encourage their activity with the use of one or more of the many floating waterproof dog toys that you can easily find for sale. If you're worried about Fido getting a cramp should he go swimming too soon after having eaten his kibble, you can even outfit him with a doggie life-vest. Better safe than sorry.
Worried about inclement weather keeping you from your regularly scheduled outdoor exercise? Have no fear. Your dog has his or her choice of sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets, and raincoats. He or she can even pick out a nice pair of boots to protect their tootsies.
If your dog is allowed outside to venture on his or her own, hopefully within the confines of a fenced-in yard, they can gain access to the area more often by having a doggie door at their disposal. Instead of reclining in front of the French doors while casually watching the attack of the bird feeders by Fluffy Tail the squirrel, they can actually get outside and play a little game of tag. If you don't have a fenced yard, a cable run or smaller fenced-in kennel area can still provide a substantial amount of exercise to your cooped-up canine companion.
Inside workout-sessions can be accomplished with tug-of-war type toys, whether between you and your dog or the multiple dogs that you might be fortunate enough to be owned by. Instead of tossing a ball around inside the house and running the risk of being in the doghouse yourself, look into buying a "treat-containing" ball or cube that encourages your dog to move it around in order for a treat to be dispensed or released.
Speaking of treats, keep them to a minimum to aid in keeping your dog healthy. If you simply can't resist their pleading eyes and loving licks, find the highest-quality low-calorie treat that you can.
One last pointer for the folks who own small dogs - don't feel that you need to pick them up every time they want to get up on the couch or bed and snuggle with you or the cat for a while. Instead, you can choose from a wide variety of pet ramps and stairs for your height-challenged canine friend to use. It will do them good and save your back from the stress and strain of having to hoist your hound.
Whatever exercise routine you design for your dog, keep it safe and start out simple if they're not in decent physical condition to begin with. Check with your veterinarian for their input and/or advice on keeping Fido in shape. Maybe they can recommend a good doggy day care facility that has a great exercise program to help get your buddy back in shape.
Keeping Your Pets
Happy and Healthy,