Things People Don’t Know About Canine Fitness Part 5
Today is the fifth and final installment (we think) of a five-part series on things people don’t know about canine fitness. You can read the first four installments: part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.
Dogs need a strong core to be athletic and reduce injury risk
I have covered this topic many times in the past but it deserves the emphasis. In so many ways, a dog’s body is similar to a human’s body. Human athletes require a strong core to perform at their best. Even non-athletes need a strong core to protect the internal organs and spine from injury.
The same is true for dogs. You see, the core is the conduit for energy transfer from the earth to the body. A strong core will help a dog maximize the power it can use as it moves around in space. While walking or running, weaving or jumping, a dog with a strong core will be more biomechanically efficient than a dog with a weaker core. This means that they will be able to move further, faster, or simply be more agile with a strong core.
A strong core will also help protect a dog’s internal organs and spine, as it does for humans. A strong core and help to ensure a strong digestive tract. It can also help to minimize spinal dysfunction, and in the cases where a dog has a spine problem, can allow the dog to live a high quality and active life. In essence, the core is at the core of a healthy dog.
For those readers who don’t know how to exercise a dog’s core, search SlimDoggy.com for the term “core” and you will find a lot of exercises that will build a dog’s core strength
Dogs need a lot of exercise
Dogs generally have a lot of energy and in fact, are quite well suited to be endurance athletes. Therefore, dogs require a lot of exercise to be in sync with their “DNA”. Yet, most well-intentioned people underestimate the amount of daily exercise a dog really needs.
Ask any of your friends with pets if their dog is active. I would bet that 90 % of them will answer yes. You see, many people who take their dog out for a 15 minute walk each day think that their dog is active. In reality, a normally healthy dog needs 1-3 hours of exercise each day just to be normal, let alone active, according to the Waltham Center. Even better is if some of that exercise is of the high intensity variety. The good news is that you can easily obtain 1 or more hours of daily exercise with your dog by breaking it into multiple sessions. For example, a 30 minute walk in the morning can be supplemented with a 15 minute jog at lunch and a 30 minute game of fetch before dinner. Of course there are exceptions to the 1-3 hour rule. Injuries, illness, or even advancing age would dictate less quantity of and intensity of exercise. The important message here is that a dog’s default state should be one of very high activity. This will help ensure that they are slim, fit, and healthy.
Please join us next week for our final Hop and share with us what you’ve learned from our FitDog Friday Blog Hop.