April is K9 Fitness month. What does that mean to you and your dog? It means it’s time to get up, get moving and shed any pounds you may have gained during the doldrums of the winter months. We know there are many of our canine friends who live in parts of the country where the sun shines and brings warmth with it almost year-round, but for many of us winter and cold and snow are a fact of life.
As pet parents we always want our pups to be happy and healthy and that involves keeping her fit mentally and physically.
5 Ways To Celebrate Your Dog’s Fitness
One of the many benefits of your dog’s fitness is that you get to spend time together and you will benefit from the walking, running, and playing, too!
Fitness involves both mental and physical components and here are some of our favorites.
1. Exercise! This is a way to keep your dog at a healthy weight. You need to gauge the activity level your pup can handle and work within his means. If you have a senior dog, you probably won’t be going out for a long run, but your senior will love a stroll around the neighborhood. Younger and active breeds enjoy a run, a climb, a rousing game of fetch.
2. Diet. Feed your dog foods that your veterinarian recommends or read the ingredients on the labels before you fill your dog’s bowl. Speaking of that, make sure you’re feeding the correct amount of food. An active dog may require more food, a senior dog with a lower activity level may require less in order to keep him at a healthy weight. Your vet is your best resource.
3. Mental fitness. A dog who is challenged with fun mental exercises is a happier dog! Give her interactive toys, food puzzles or play “hide and seek” with her food. These are all great ways to give your dog a chance to be mentally stimulated and hiding food engages her hunting instincts. Doggijuana toys were created with doggie mental fitness in mind. The shapes, colors and dog nip inside them keep your dog fit and happy!
4. Puppy play dates. Coronavirus closed many of the dog parks and pet-friendly and pet-welcoming establishments and that meant we (and our dogs) were home alone with no chance to socialize other than with trusted family members. A dog needs socialization – with other humans and with other dogs. Socialization keeps him physically fit and also teaches him how to deal with any fear or aggression (this doesn’t mean you let your dog run loose and fight with other dogs nor does it mean you let him cower behind your legs in fear. If your dog has no regular socialization both of these issues may arise. Ease him back into meeting other dogs and other humans so he will be a model canine citizen.
5. Bonding with the family. Dogs are pack animals and if they are an “only dog” then you are their pack. Even if you have to leave your dog when you go to work, you can keep him mentally and physically fit by getting a pet sitter or dog walker or family member to drop by, play with her or take her for a short walk. If that isn’t possible, give her toys to keep her entertained while you’re away. When you come home, snuggle your pup, talk with her, play with her and show her you love her as much as she loves you!
What do you do to keep your dog physically and mentally fit? Let us know, and show us photos, on our Doggijuana Facebook page!
We are so thrilled with our new Doggijuana toys and with sharing the benefits of catnip with the canine community! Check out our toys and the benefits of catnip for dogs!
Article by pet parent Robbi Hess who shares her life with high-energy poodles and truly understands how catnip for dogs helps her pups chill!