Exercising Your Dog: Eliminate Excuses and Get Fit!
Editor’s note: the inspiration behind this post came from a conversation with our friend and fellow blogger Kimberly Gauthier, of Keepthetailwagging.com. We were discussing our PetsMove.org initiative and Kimberly made the great point that many of us come up with excuses when it comes to our pet’s and our own fitness, especially as we head into fall and winter.
Proper exercise and feeding are the most important factors that will influence your pet’s health and longevity as well as the amount of money that you will spend on their health care.
- Studies show that lean dogs outlive their overweight litter mates by almost two years.
- We estimate that in the US alone, there is somewhere near $8 billion dollars per year spent on extra food, medicine, and medical care on overweight dogs.
Yet despite this, we have a pet obesity problem in the US and other countries. Which leads us to wonder why? We love our pets, and we certainly ‘love’ our money, so why wouldn’t we do everything we can to preserve and take care of both? One possible answer is that we too often find excuses to NOT to exercise with our dog. Or we find excuses why NOT to calculate and measure their proper feeding amounts. Much like we make excuses regarding our own fitness and diet programs, we likely do the same for our pets.
Excuses for not exercising your dog
There are so many excuses for missing a workout; whether it is your own workout or a workout for your dog. Yes, life sometimes gets in the way. But our health and our pet’s health are as important as virtually anything else that might make your ‘to do’ list. So let’s make a commitment today to eliminate excuses and find ‘work arounds’ to the events and factors that force us to compromise our pet’s (and our own) fitness levels. Of course, there are some excuses that are hard to get around; your dog has just had surgery and can’t weight bear or immerse in water, for example! Always check with your vet whenever you plan on markedly changing your pet’s exercise regimen.
Here is a short list of excuses for not exercising with your dog, along with suggested workarounds to help you overcome each one.
We walked yesterday
“My dog is lazy”
“I’m too tired”
“My dog is too fat”
It’s a day ending in “Y”
Other health condition
Wake 30 minutes earlier.
Join a group and walk together and wear/carry lights.
Bundle up (both of you). Use water repellent clothes (e.g Goretex).
Dog’s need daily exercise. Try running or balance exercises.
No they aren’t. Dogs prefer to be active. It is their natural state!
Get up and move! Exercise invigorates and reduces fatigue!
Start slowly, 10 min walks. Get moving.
Exercise can help ease arthritis symptoms. Get up and move.
Really?! Get off your butt, workout with your mutt!
Check with your vet. There is usually an alternative (e.g. core, swim, walk vs. run).
Do you have some other excuses to add to the list? Let us know your most common excuses for skipping your dog’s exercise and what you do to combat the excuse.
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!