Things People Don’t Know About Canine Fitness Part 5

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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 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.

Next week we will be celebrating THREE years of holding our FitDog Friday Blog Hop and we think it’s about time to retire the Hop. We’ve covered all sorts of fitness topics from senior workouts, to core work, to the Labby Limbo. We’ve had hundreds of fellow bloggers join us each week and share their fitness tips and experiences. It’s been a great learning experience for all of us. We will continue to post about fitness, food & health here on SlimDoggy each week, so be sure and continue to visit.

Please join us next week for our final Hop and share with us what you’ve learned from our FitDog Friday Blog Hop.

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FitDog Friday Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life.   Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below - lots of fun fitness tips and advice!  


  1. It is so sad to see people who “walk their dog” which means going around the same block for 10 mins every day. It’s better than nothing, but it is not a real workout by any means, not even mentally as the dog is bored to death of the same route, sights, and smells.
    Emma recently posted…Fun Classic Lawn Games For DogsMy Profile

  2. Great post!
    Earl Lover recently posted…Down At Dog LevelMy Profile

  3. We work Rocco’s core with “sit pretty” and some other things too. Great post!
    Diane recently posted…Agility Surprise and Our First AKC Premier Standard RunMy Profile

  4. This post reminds me how lucky I am having Sam, a fur-coated pogo stick. Good for him, better for me, physically and mentally for us both. 🙂

  5. We are now walking 2 miles each day plus playing chase at the house. It’s a big improvement for us.
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  6. We have added rousing games of fetch to our daily routine. My arms are getting stronger.
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  7. Mr. N gets about an hour a day and a hike weekly but we could do more. I’m looking forward to longer walks in the spring!

  8. Daisy and I always went for a daily run or walk and I know she was in wonderful physical condition and with Cocoa, oh goodness, she requires so.much,exercise!! We cover 7 or 8 miles a day and have tug and playtime at home. But I love to move and be outside so she is perfect for me!!
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  9. It really is true that so many dog owners have no idea that their dogs might enjoy something more stimulating than just the same old daily walk around the block or, even worse, their yard. It makes me so sad seeing dogs confined to their boring backyards all day long.
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  10. Sad to see Fitdog Friday coming to a end but three years have been a great time!! Thanks!
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