5 Tips to Help Keep Your Dog Fit and Healthy
Last week we discussed the high cost of having an overweight dog. This week we provide 5 tips to help keep your dog fit and healthy. You will notice that most of these have to do with food and feeding. That’s because the amount and quality of food you serve your dog is the single biggest factor on their weight! As we often say in the human fitness world, “you can’t out exercise a poor diet!”
- Provide proper exercise for your dog. Dogs need exercise! They thrive on it. Most dogs need 30 minutes or more each day of vigorous exercise depending on their age and medical history. They will feel and look better. So will you if you join them! Putting your dog out in the back yard does not count either. And don’t let excuses get in the way. Winter weather? No problem. Use a dog treadmill, try alternative exercises like core and balance training using balance cushions and wobble boards, or simply bundle up and get outside.
- Determine your dog’s daily calorie requirement to achieve or maintain their ideal weight. Most people have no idea how many calories they should be feeding their dog, given their dog’s age, weight, and activity level. The SlimDoggy iPhone app was created to supply this information. Or use the soon to be available SlimDoggy website Tracker Tool. Remember that the more active your dog is, the more you can feed them. If you exercise your dog more on the weekends, they can be fed differently than on the weekdays.
- Measure, measure and measure. It is crucial to accurately measure how much you feed to make sure you stay within your dogs daily target range. Use a measuring cup. If you are a ‘high-tech’ person, or are not at home for long periods of time, there are actually some pretty amazing technologies and devices being created to help with the measurement problem. PetNet.io is one company that is building an intelligent pet feeder that will help people address the overfeeding issue. Definitely check them out!
- Account for treats. We all love giving or dog treats and table scraps and there is nothing wrong with it. You simply have to account for those calories and adjust your regular feedings accordingly.
- Bonus tip: use small treats or break your treats into small pieces. Your dog’s will get the satisfaction of a treat reward with only a fraction of the calories.
- Bonus tip 2: use raw veggies as treats if your dog likes them.
Of course, check with your vet whenever you are considering a marked change in your dog’s exercise routine or diet.
Follow these 5 tips and your dog will be a “lean, mean, fighting machine” in no time! (With apologies to the late, great John Candy).
Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!