This week’s FitLabPGH Podcast release is a video podcast providing tips for making your dog(s) part of your active lifestyle. If you are looking for individual advice on dog health and nutrition, we STRONGLY encourage you to consult your veterinarian.
Listen to the audio, or enjoy the Labradors in the video podcast.
Our goal is to include our dogs in our active lifestyle…throughout their lifespan. That means that our movement practice is NOT all about us…we need to make choices to keep the dogs healthy and safe.
Tip 1: Create an active lifestyle for your dogs. Take them for walks or runs. Give them time and space for doggy play. And help them maintain a healthy weight. Active dogs at a healthy weight are less likely to get injured than dogs carrying extra weight. Yes, this means monitoring food and treats to prevent overeating (or undereating). Dogs do not know how much food they need. Ask your vet for advice. Side note: the Labs love the pumpkin treats from Portland Pet Food Company. We split 1 treat into 6 pieces, and each dog thinks she’s getting 3 treats!
Tip 2: Don’t overwork the dogs. This is year-round advice, but it is especially important on hot summer days. We get out early, seek shade and soft surfaces, let the dogs set the pace, and make frequent water stops. Maggie is a water snob and only Berkey Filters filtered water in her Nalgene bottle makes a walk complete.
Tip 3: Let the dogs set the pace. Once you get a dog, your movement practice is no longer ALL about you. We’ve all seen a reluctant dog being dragged along by a focused runner…PLEASE don’t be that dog owner.
Tip 4: Start slowly when introducing your dog to a new movement practice. Whether you have a puppy or a dog who isn’t used to regular movement, start slowly, and gradually build up to a longer movement routine. Side note: don’t “GO Hard” or “Crush It” every day. Listen to your dog, and watch for signs of heat stress or overwork. Include active recovery days in your dog’s routine…remember, the goal is to create a movement routine that your dog can enjoy throughout its lifespan.
Take home message: get outside, and enjoy moving with your dog. While you may sacrifice a bit of fitness to make your dog part of your movement lifestyle, the mental health and quality of life rewards provided by your dog make the “sacrifice” worthwhile.
Check out the FitLabPGH Movement Tips and Lifestyle Hacks videos every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for tips and hacks to help you, and your dog(s) move more…move better…and stay safe…throughout 2021.
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Check out our sister podcast Moving2Live concise but interesting podcasts for the movement and exercise professional and amateur aficionado.