Maintaining your dog’s fitness is an important responsibility of being a pet owner. Like humans, dogs that overeat and have very little exercise can become obese, making them vulnerable to health problems. Fortunately, keeping your dog fit is easy because all dogs welcome a good run when given the opportunity! All you have to do as the owner is provide that opportunity! Here are some tips on how to improve your dog’s fitness.
Obviously, daily walks are important – dogs have a natural instinct for walking and will have no problem walking for 30 minutes each day. Larger, high-energy breeds might require at least one hour of solid walks or even alternating between walks and runs. Make sure to check your dog’s breed to find out the typical amount of exercise required to keep the pooch fit. Note that although letting the dog play in an enclosed area counts as exercise, leashed walks helps reinforce the bond between you and the pooch.
Play Fetch and Mental Games
Fitness isn’t all physical – dog’s can be very intelligent but like humans, their mental health must be practiced consistently. Fetch may seem like a primarily physical game, but it actually helps your dog’s mental health as it teaches coordination, attention, and even obedience. The “fetch and reward” system also works wonderfully as groundwork for future teachings. Practice typical obedience exercises such as “sit”, “lie down”, “heel”, “stay”, and so much more.
Food is a Priority
Keep in mind that fitness isn’t just about daily exercises. Your dog should also get a steady supply of protein-rich food and as much water as he can drink. Ideally, the water bowl should be kept filled and fresh all the time with the dog able to access it the whole day. As for food, opt for dog food with high protein content, preferably coming from either beef or chicken. Feeding the pooch meat once a week is encouraged because this offers a natural protein source. Treats should be kept at a minimum and NEVER provide your dog with table food!
Fleas and Ticks
A dog with excessive fleas and ticks is at risk because these pests feed on the dog’s blood. They can also cause skin allergies which is obviously uncomfortable for the dog. Routine checks must be made, making sure that the pooch has zero or moderate amounts of pests in the body. You’ll find that there are currently lots of commercial products designed for this. Routine grooming involving dental, haircut, nail clippings, ear cleaning, etc are also crucial.
Lastly, don’t forget to check with your vet on schedule! Vaccinations are typically far apart after the dog’s first year so this shouldn’t be a problem. Deworming is something you can do yourself every 3 months. Should you notice any irregularities, make an unscheduled visit to the vet! For the most part, techniques on how to improve your dog’s fitness are low-maintenance and worth it. The result is your canine companion lives a longer and fuller life!
For more on keeping a healthy pooch, consult the help of Bark Stix, pet shop and manufacturer of healthy and holistic dog treats.