My pals, did you know us dogs need regular exercise just like you humans? Don’t worry, I didn’t either and I am a dog! I recently attended a Google hangout with Purina Veterinarian Dr. Kurt Venator and he gave me five exercise tips on how to keep us dogs healthy and happy that I just have to share with you, my pals!
- Exercise is VERY Important for us pets! Venator told me that According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), an estimated 58 percent of cats and 54 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. YIKES! I admit, as I have got a little older I have packed on a few ounces. I am now over 20 pounds and my awesome vet says I need to stay around the 19 to 20 pound range. Luckily I wouldn’t be considered overweight just yet, but I’m not all muscle anymore either. This means if I don’t pay attention I could quickly become overweight. You know me, I will never turn down bacon even if I don’t need it … hehehe!Us dogs need routine exercise to reduce the risk of health issues, and it will help us live longer and healthier lives overall. Of course, you should always consult with your veterinarian before creating our customized fitness routine. Also, remember that just like you, we need to get used to exercising, so don’t decide to walk us ten miles after we have spent a month sleeping on the couch! You may end up carrying us for five of them!
- Pick activities for our fitness routine that we enjoy. You humans NEED to set aside time EVERY day to hang out with us and exercise us. I have some suggestions – how about taking us on a walk, playing catch, or even letting us tag along on a run with you. Plus, if you are out exercising with us, then guess what, you humans are getting exercise too which will make your doctors happy, your fitness level will improve, and you will just feel better!
- Don’t forget our mental health. We need to exercise our brain too! I love puzzles and I bet most dogs do too, especially if there is food involved. It allows us to stimulate our brain through critical thinking and problem solving. I will warn you though, I’m an expert at puzzles and will figure them out quickly … hehehe. Now by dog brother Elvis on the other hand is a lost cause with puzzles. He thinks barking at them will solve them!
- Nutritional needs and diet also play an important role in our health. We need energy to be able to exercise and a balanced diet is so important for our overall health. Make sure to consult your vet about what nutrition your dog needs. For example, Purina recognizes the importance of a well-balanced diet for pets and has a dedicated team of more than 500 scientists, including veterinarians and nutritionists paving the way for innovative nutritional discoveries that better the lives of us pets.
- Keep us safe and please don’t overdo it. It is still summer so it is hot (at least in Kentucky) and a lot of times it just isn’t safe for me to be outside for long during the hottest part of the day. Remember, we can’t take off our fur coat and we aren’t wearing shoes on that hot concrete. So maybe we hang out inside instead and play chase in the living room. Also, we need access to plenty of water to make sure we don’t get dehydrated. Please keep that water bowl full!
I learned so much in the Google hangout and I think Mom did too! We already had an exercise day together in Chicago yesterday to get me out and about. Watch for my next post where I will take these great tips and apply it to a Preston Speaks fitness routine – Chicago style!!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Purina but all thoughts and opinions are my own