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Dog Fitness: Ways to Get Trim in the New Year

Dog pack running in the grass

More than half of U.S. household pets are considered overweight. While one or two pounds may not seem like much weight to us, with smaller and more delicate spines, those pounds can make a huge difference in the health of your animal.  

To help motivate you to keep this year's resolutions, try having your pet as your accountability buddy. Exercise partners provide a powerful combination of support, accountability, and motivation.  

Setting manageable goals is a great way to achieve them without feeling overwhelmed. Reward yourself when you hit mini-milestones, and reward your pet for their progress as well!

Get Movin'!

Pomeranian walking with owner

Walks are beneficial for your dog's health, and they are great for yours as well! It's easy to fall into a routine on our daily walks, so try switching up the route, adding in an extra hill, or adding an extra walk to let your dog see some new sights. 

Want to make your walk a bit more fit? Walk one direction at a faster pace, and encourage your dog to walk on and not stop to sniff along the way. Walking at a brisk pace is often the best pace to burn fat. On the way back, take your time and let them stretch and sniff to their heart's content! 

Playing with your dog is a great way to get them moving. For dogs that love to fetch, Chuck Its or frisbees are a great way to get your dog running without hurting your arm. During the rainy months, a muddy field can feel like the last place you want to be. Try playing tug-o-war or try a wand toy instead. Also, check out our article on how to bring your dog with you on a hike, if that's something you like to do. 

Slow And Steady Wins The Healthy Pet Race

Yellow Lab puppy walking towards the camera

You know your pet best. Start slowly and set incremental goals. 

Puppies need shorter bursts of exercise, and their little bodies get tired much more quickly. They also sleep much more than an adult dog--they've got whole bodies to grow! 

Older dogs often have more joint and bone stress and hard exercise can be damaging to their health. If you have a pet-friendly pool or can take trips to a calm ocean, working with dogs in water can be hugely therapeutic to their joints. 

They are able to exercise without the stress on their bodies. Some vets in Portland even have hydro-therapy available for dogs recovering from surgery or who are arthritic. 

Portland is a pet city. There are local companies like Sit Stay Fit that are dedicated to pet health and training. There are services that will take your dog running, and dog walkers are abundant for those who do not have the schedule to allow an extra walk or two! Need a recommendation? Check out our Community Board in our store!

Focusing on your pet's health creates a stronger bond with them. It allows them to live longer, happier lives and spend even more time with you.

 

For more tips and tricks, talk to any of our POB staff members!

Tags: Dog, Guides, Health