Tag: fitness

Your Pet’s Fitness Is a Matter of Habit

Your pet’s fitness is a matter of habit, and the habit must be yours.  Your pet relies on you to make sure she gets regular exercise and eats properly.  Like any habit, exercising your pet consistently will require commitment from you.  Don’t worry.  We have some tips for making the habit stick.

Measure

You may have heard it said that goals should be measurable.  People are more likely to meet goals when they can quantify their progress.  That’s partly because we tend to over or underestimate our efforts, depending on how much we like the activity or choice.  To make monitoring work for your pet’s fitness, you need to quantify how much time you spend exercising your pet, or track your pet’s activity through some other means.

There are several excellent fitness apps and monitors on the market for dogs.  Depending on your budget, there is a monitor that will work for you.  We like Babel Bark, an inexpensive monitor and free app.  You may also log time manually, or record your mileage with your dog.  However you measure your dog’s activity, set a goal to increase it gradually.

Calendar

It’s a well-known fact that we tend to do what we make time for in a schedule.  If helping keep your pet fit is important, it’s key to schedule some time each day to make this happen.  Whether you are a morning person or a night owl, put exercise time with your pet into your daily agenda.

Get Accountable

Many people are better at sticking to habits when they are held accountable.  Making a goal public or simply having a friend act as an accountability partner can increase your chances for successfully keeping a new habit.  Similarly, being part of a group that meets in person or communicates online can help give you the accountability you need.  You may find it easier to consistently exercise your pet if you make a date with a friend and do it together.

Through the Fit2BPawsome Challenge, you will find tools to help you monitor your dog’s fitness.  You can go public and get accountable by joining the Challenge and participating in the Facebook group discussion.   Schedule daily activities with your pet and make your pet’s fitness a habit now.

Babel Bark is a sponsor of the Fit2BPawsome Challenge.

 

It’s Canine Fitness Month. Get Your Dog Moving.

April is National Canine Fitness Month.  This event is sponsored annually by FitPaws to raise awareness of the growing problem of canine obesity.  Don’t leave your dog’s fitness to chance. Take charge, get moving, and keep him fit for life!

national canine fitness month badge from fitpaws
National Canine Fitness Month

Pet Obesity is Epidemic in the US

Pet obesity is on the rise in the US.  According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 54% of US dogs were overweight or obese in 2016 according to their veterinarian.     An estimated 49.1 million dogs and 50.5 million cats are overweight or obese in the United States.

Obesity decreases longevity and quality of life

Obesity is a significant health issue for both dogs and cats.  Several diseases have been linked, either directly or indirectly, to obesity.  Obese animals are at risk of osteoarthritis, heart disease, pancreatitis, and some types of cancers (American Animal Hospital Association).  Diabetes mellitus may be linked to obesity in dogs, although the evidence for this is not as strong.

Both quality and length of life are decreased in obese pets (AAHA).  In the Golden Retriever Lifespan study, scientists found that when Goldens were even moderately overweight their life expectancy was reduced by almost two years.

The good news is that obesity is preventable. The bad news is that pet obesity is still difficult for pet parents to recognize.  When pet parents were asked about their own dogs weight, 81% of pet parents and 87% of veterinarians said their dogs were a normal and healthy weight.  If 54% of dogs in the US are overweight,  it’s clear that many owners and even veterinarians are thinking wishfully about their pet’s weight.

Take control of your dog’s fitness.

The pillars of fitness are exercise and diet.

Exercise

How can you take charge of your dog’s fitness?  You can start by beginning a healthy exercise program.  In general, dogs should be active 30 minutes to 2 hours per day, depending on their breed.  Some active working breeds like border collies need at least 45 minutes of vigorous activity each day.

Work your dog gradually into fitness.  If your dog has been relatively sedentary, start with short 5-10 minute walks and move up.  Your goal should be 45 minutes of activity for your dog each day.

Always consult your veterinarian before beginning any exercise or diet program for your pet.  Remember that certain breeds, especially short-nosed dogs like bulldogs, are not well-suited to vigorous activity, and special monitoring is needed.

Diet

The other side of the fitness equation is diet.  Start by understanding what is an ideal body condition and weight for your dog’s breed.  Set a goal with your veterinarian for a healthy weight and feeding plan.  It’s important to consult your veterinarian before you start any diet or fitness program with your pet.

KC Pet Collective wants your pet to be in her best condition.  Stay tuned for an exciting new challenge featuring prizes, incentives, motivation, support, and more.

Join Our Free Fit2BPawsome Challenge

Join our free 6-week fitness challenge and get your dog moving! We'll provide the tips and support. All participants are eligible for fantastic prizes and discounts from our sponsors. This is going to be Pawsome!

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Bar K Running Club

Every Thursday evening, we host the Bar K Running Club! This is a group run for people and dogs of all ability levels. Running with your pup is a great way for both of you to get some exercise and increase the bond between you and your dog.

We will have a couple different route options laid out for you. We’ll have water at the finish for your pup . . . and of course a beverage waiting for you as well! If any of your pups aren’t runners, you’re welcome to leave them in our fully staffed dog park and they can play with us while you get in your workout!

Pet Wellness: There’s an App for That

wp-image-201334251Like the rest of us, our pets have increasingly complex lives.  Visits to the groomer, veterinarian, dog-park, play-dates, trainer, and, increasingly, agility or other athletic clubs, keep pets and their parents on the move.  We worry whether our pets are getting enough daily exercise, and we do our best to make sure they get their annual exams, vaccinations, and medications on time.   The solution to complexity is simplification, and there’s a new app to help you organize your pet’s health and wellness in one place.   BabelBark is a new app available on both Android and iPhone that can connect with your veterinarian and other service providers, keep track of medications and appointments, and track fitness.

The app is intuitive and easy to use.  I was able to create profiles for our two dogs and add our veterinarian, trainer, and pet stores in about 10 minutes.  The basic app is free.  There is an optional fitness monitor that will track your pet’s activity. Admittedly, this app is dog-centered.   Dogs are generally more time-intensive than cats, but it would be great to be able to add profiles for cats as well.