The Final FitDog Friday Post
As you probably know, today is the last FitDog Friday blog hop. We started this canine fitness oriented blog hop as a way to bring the blogging community together on the important topics related to canine fitness. Along the way, we hope that we have inspired readers to not only get their dogs in shape, but to get themselves in shape. The truth is, much of the fitness tenets that apply to humans also apply to dogs and keeping a dog fit will often times mean that the pet parent is becoming more fit as well.
Over the years, SlimDoggy.com and our fellow blog hoppers have certainly raised awareness about canine fitness and why it is so important for a dog’s health, longevity, and quality of life. For those who don’t know, canine fitness is a real thing. Dogs need regular exercise to thrive. And just like with humans, there are lots of techniques and protocols that can be used to ensure that a dog is exercised properly and safely. Canine fitness is so much more than just taking a dog for a walk. Like humans, dogs will benefit from many different types of exercise including HIT, strength training, core and balance work, as well as specific skills training. We have written on each of these subjects many times for our Friday fitness posts.
Finally, it seems that the world is taking notice as well.
I attended the Global Pet Expo (GPE), hosted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA) in mid-March. At GPE, the APPA releases its annual state of the pet industry and for the first time ever, exercise was mentioned as one of the pet services that are contributing to the staggering growth in pet services (and the pet industry in general). According to the APPA, pet industry spending in the U.S. in 2015 surpassed $60 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow another 4.1% in 2016 to almost $63 billion. The fastest growing category of spend is the pet services category, which grew 11.8% in 2015 to $5.41 billion. But the highlight (to me) of the APPA press release was found in the APPA description of the pet services category:
“Pet services, which includes grooming, boarding, walking, training, exercise and yard services for our pampered pets, saw the largest growth again this year and more than tripled the growth percentage of any other category.”
Yup, there it is. Canine exercise has finally been recognized as a large enough part of the pet services category to be specifically mentioned in the APPA release. This has been a long time coming and I am grateful that the industry has recognized the importance and magnitude of canine fitness. What a perfect item to report on in the final FitDog Friday blog hop post.
We have had exactly three years of hops, and have been joined by many different bloggers who have shared their experiences and knowledge on canine fitness. It has been fun for us and I hope that all of our readers have learned a lot over the past three years. And although our blog hop has come to an end, we will continue to write about fitness each week on SlimDoggy.com. We will likely stick with our current topical schedule whereby we cover canine fitness in our Friday posts, so please visit us each week (if not more often) to stay informed on how to keep your dog fit and healthy.