FitDog Friday Fall Fitness Challenge Wrap Up
The FitDog Friday Fall Fitness Challenge, sponsored by ABOUND Pet Food, has come to a close. But we don’t want that to be an excuse for anyone to start slacking when it comes to their or their dog’s exercise and diet. There were many great ideas shared by our blog partners and readers on how to keep a dog (and the human) fit and healthy in the fall. I recommend trying some of the tips and suggestions that most appeal to you and even trying some that don’t. You might end of discovering a whole new and enjoyable way to stay fit with your dog.
In my opinion, the most important overarching takeaway from our challenge is that overall fitness and health, (human or dog fitness), is best attained through a combination of a varied and balanced exercise program and a sensible approach to diet.
Creating a Balanced Exercise Program for a Dog
As we all learned in the challenge, there are many different ways a dog can exercise. Sure, walking is simple and a great way to build foundational fitness. But a dog’s body, like a human’s body, really does require a progressive exercise program with a variety of different exercises and modalities, to be most effective (and the most interesting). Some of the things to keep in mind when designing an exercise program for a dog include:
Mix the intensity levels of the exercises in order to ensure that the dog’s nervous system is challenged. A great example of this is to add some running to a walking program or sprints to a running program.
Mix in strength training to keep a dog’s muscles strong. As we pointed out, dogs can do strength training moves. Try incorporating a few sets of strength moves, like the up downs or hill work, as part of your dog’s weekly routine.
Mix in core work. The core is the center of the body and provides protection of internal organs, supports and protects the spine, and provides the stability and power transfer that make athletic movement possible and efficient. Use balance cushions or other stability exercises to keep your dog’s core strong.
Creating a Sensible Diet Strategy for a Dog
Proper diet is just as important as proper exercise when it comes to being fit and healthy. Dogs require a diet that contains meat and fish protein sources as well as a mix of vegetables and fruits for their antioxidants and vitamin content. Our sponsor, ABOUND Pet Foods has created dog food products that contain some of my favorite ingredients, including Salmon, Blueberries and Cranberries, and Sweet Potatoes.
Once you have made your choice in dog foods, remember to calculate proper portions. As a rule of thumb, a normally active dog will require somewhere between 20-30 calories per pound of body weight, per day. A 50 lb. dog, therefore, will burn close to 1,100 calories and should be fed the appropriate amount of food (and treats).
With consistent exercise and good quality foods and treats, a dog can live a long and active life which in turn, means we would get to spend more quality time with our dogs. It’s kind of a no-brain decision, don’t you agree?
Fall FitDog Challenge
This wraps up our #FallFitDog Challenge. We introduced lots of interesting challenges as well as special offerings from our sponsor, Abound. Here’s a recap of what we covered:
Be sure an revisit our posts for inspiration and remember the giveaway is open until Sunday, so be sure and join from the entry in Week 1. Next week we will announce the winners of the giveaway and special participation awards for anyone who joined us and posted photos of their #FallFitDog challenges.