FitDog Friday 5-17-13 Q & A with Steve

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drkatysmallWe have been busy in the media lately.  Besides filming another segment on The Pet Show with Dr. Katy, we have recorded several radio spots with Robert Semrow of PetWorldInsider which will be airing on  the EMB network, which Pet-World-Insider-Banner-BWBBweb400currently has shows on more than 100 AM/FM stations across North America.

We thought that we would use some of the Q and A that we have had during these interviews as today’s Fit Dog Friday’s post.  Let us know if you like this format and we will use it more often in the future.


fitDogFriday_150x126Happy FitDog Friday!

Q: Tell us about your own experience with exercise and fitness- for both you and your dogs?

A: I have been exercising consistently, and by consistently I mean daily, for over 30 years.  I run, lift, crossfit, do yoga and pilates as part of a balanced approach to staying fit.  This has rubbed off on my dogs, who are exercised daily as well.  The benefits to all of us are astounding.  We stay relatively lean, we feel great after our workout due to the “runner’s high” effect, and we use our exercise time together to bond.  It keeps us young and healthy!

 Q: It sounds like a no-brainer to keep your dog fit and well exercised?

A: You bet.  As I just mentioned, dog’s like humans, can achieve a sort of runners high with high intensity exercise.  This makes them feel good and can have a positive impact on their overall behavior.  Some dog trainers believe that proper exercise is a key component to behavioral rehabilitation and training.

Q: What types of exercises do you recommend for dogs?

A: There are so many choices although many people are not aware of their options.  Let me list a few:images

  1. Walking/Hiking: this is the most popular choice by far.  That said, if your dog is healthy, I recommend augmenting walks with more intense types of exercises.
  2. Running: this is probably my favorite.  Running is intense enough to burn a lot of calories and dogs can get that runners high from it.  Plus, it is just plain fun to run with your dog.
  3. Resistance training: no, I don’t mean weight lifting.  I mean adding resistance to your dog’s body using a weighted vest or pack.  Adding weight increases any activity’s intensity- walking, running, drills, etc. We have used the K9FitVest by DogTread. This is particularly handy when you are pressed for time as you can get more results in less time.  Same holds true for humans so don’t be afraid to use a weighted vest yourself.
  4. Swimming: this is a lower impact way for your dog to exercise.  Just watch out for the dog’s nails if you are swimming with them.
  5. Pilates/Yoga: another low impact approach. Using Pilates and Yoga movements on your dog enables them to build core strength and balance, which can help them burn calories and prevent injury. I recommend that you get some instruction on proper movement patterns if you would like to incorporate these disciplines into your dog’s fitness routines.
  6. Agility and other skill based training: these can be really intense so we recommend proper warm up/cool downs.
  7. Fetch/Dog Park: these are great and a lot of fun, but you need to make sure that your dog is moving and not just lying around!
  8. Physical Therapy: I mention this because we have used PT to keep our dog’s exercised during injuries and when they advanced in age.  Specifically, we used the underwater treadmill a lot with great results.
Jack with his vest, running stairs with me.

Jack with his vest, running stairs with me.

 Q: How does exercise intensity translate to calorie burning?

 A: Great question.  The more intense the exercise, the more calories you will burn per unit of time.  A 30 minute run can burn twice as many calories as a 30 minute walk for example.  And things like sprinting and agility can burn 3 times as much, or more.  Our SlimDoggy App lets you calculate exact calorie burns based on your dog’s age, weight, and activity.  We recommend that you know this information so that you can make sure that you are feeding your dog the correct amount of food each day.

How about you – what types of exercise is YOUR favorite? Is it the same as your dogs?


fitDogFriday_avatarPlease 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!

We have some extra special giveaways this week for Bloggers who link up to our Blog Hop, but we are also offering prizes for our readers too, just enter a comment on any of our FitDog Friday Blog Hop Hosts sites. Read about our special giveaway raffle here. NEW prizes this week!


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  1. Some great choices here for Dog Owners to get active with their pups. It doesn’t have to be just a circuit around the block – there’s so many other options out there. Well done for highlighting them…..& great to be part of your BlogHop once again
    Paws and Pedals (Kate & Scooter) recently posted…The Usual Suspects – Take your Dog for a walk!My Profile

  2. […] This post is part of FitDog Friday! […]

  3. What a great information session guys! 😀 Domeek and I want to try out Doga but they are very far and few in between (even in the Bay Area)! We love keeping a variety in the mix though, so neither one of us get bored! Thanks for hosting!

  4. As my dog’s workout partner for the past 12 years I can certainly relate…no better partner to share activities with!! The key to having my Lab with me for 14 years was undoubtedly mixing up the fitness and quality nutrition! For a dog that has a predicted lifespan of 10-12 years she is a testament to what Integrative Health can do for a dog!!
    DogTread K9FITvest recently posted…Go Fetch: Interval Techniques to Improve Your Dogs Favorite GameMy Profile

    • You are so right, Krista. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Great information! Athena and I will definitely take advantage of some of these tips as we prepare to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2014.
    Wanderlust Pups recently posted…Fit Dog Friday # 1 – I’ll Carry YouMy Profile

    • Thanks. You better get in good shape if you want to hike that trail ‘easily’.

  6. My dog loves agility!It keeps her fit and she meets lots of doggy pals.

    • Agility is such great exercise, how often do you do it?

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