America is obese. We simply sit too much. Even those of us who work in standing environments will typically get home and plop ourselves on the couch until bedtime. The obesity epidemic in the United States is growing, but it’s not just a human problem.
In 2017, a study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) concluded that 56% of dogs in the US are overweight. The growing number of Americans who own dogs, but either over feed or under exercise their pets is causing major issues for our canine best friends. We need to get our dogs out of their beds and into our yards.
A dog with extra weight around the tummy isn’t the only reason to get your pup in shape this summer. Dogs who don’t get enough exercise can be hyperactive, act withdrawn, lack endurance, or bark and whine often. Regardless of where your dog fits into those categories, getting him/her outside this summer for exercise is a must.
We’re going to get you familiar with a few fun and interesting exercises you can do with your dog, talk about proper nutrition and diet, and include information about supplement support that could help your pup feel their very best this summer!
Pet Exercises for the Mind and Body
We all know that going for walks with our pup is a great way to get our dogs the exercise they need. However, not all dogs like to walk, so what do you do when your dog isn’t about that walking life?
If your dog is always pulling on their leash and trying to go faster, consider biking or running with your dog instead. It may become a favorite pastime, and you could consider eventually entering dog-friendly 5Ks or marathons. And for those dogs who don’t have the best manners while on leash, using special hanressess or head halteres partnered with some training from a local expert can help to make your pet more agreeable while out for walks.
For dogs that aren’t into the idea of walks or runs, you can try swimming. Just be sure to invest in a dog life jacket to help them float in case of emergency. Swimming is great for older dogs too since it gives them exercise with less risk of pain and is an ideal way of flexing and stretching your dog’s joints and muscles.
If your dog seems bored by the same activities every day, consider training them in dog sports like agility or tracking. Check out the American Kennel Club for information on how to get started.
Different breeds are going to need or want different exercises, so make sure to try some different activities with your dog before officially getting started on an exercise routine. Also, remember that the age of your pet will affect their ability to participate in some activities. Young puppies should not be participating in heavy sports of long runs because they’re still growing and their bones and growth plates haven’t settled yet. Whether your pet is young or old, it’s best to check with your vet before starting any new exercise routines.
Why You Should Try Brain-Engaging Toys for Your Dog
Dogs who are acting out or carrying some extra pounds don’t necessarily need to be run around the neighborhood every day, so don’t fret about not being able to take them on a mini-doggy-marathon every night. While your dog definitely needs plenty of exercise every day, some days you can switch your long runs up for some brain exercise. Because, sometimes all your dog needs is a little time exercising their brain.
Consider investing in a few toys that will make your dog learn as he tries to find his treats. Play some “hide the food” games at meal times or spend some time teaching your pup some new tricks. All of these things give your dog’s brain something to do other than rest.
If you want them to get some physical exercise, but aren’t sure you’re up for the task, consider playing fetch or building a jumping course in your backyard.
Dogs that enjoy the company of other animals can head to doggy daycare for a couple of days a week. You could also consider bringing your buddy to the dog park or organizing play dates with friends and neighbors. The dogs can play while the dog parents relax and enjoy the day.
Summer Nutrition Tips for Dogs
Puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs all need different nutrition than one another. After a puppy is eight weeks old, it should be done weaning off its mother’s milk and on regular puppy food, but it isn’t ready for adult mixes yet.
Puppy food should consist of around 25-30% protein to help the pups grow big and strong. Just be careful not to overfeed, since this can cause health problems, especially in large or giant breeds.
Adult dog food comes in so many varieties; it’s hard to keep track of them all. Depending on lifestyle, nutritional deficiencies, and breed, some dogs may need more or different food than others. Consult your vet for specifics on your dog’s needs.
Remember to shop for reputable brands that focus on whole, natural ingredients to ensure your pup lives a good long life. Mixing up dry and wet food can be a good idea as well to keep your dog’s nutrition optimal and calorie intake in check.
Supplements to Keep Your Dog Healthy This Summer
We all know humans who are taking supplements to get the nutrition they are missing in their diets, but did you know dogs need the same help? It’s true! Dogs can miss out on key nutrients, or need a bit of a boost at times just like their human counterparts.
If you’re starting your pup on a new exercise routine, or if you have an older dog that needs a little help with its bones and joints, you may want to consider supplementing your dog’s diet with some natural Elk Velvet Antler supplements from Wapiti Labs.
Elk Velvet Antler has been used for more than 2,000 years to support recovery after activity, encourage circulation, and promote healthy bones and joints. Famously, the Baltimore Raven’s Ray Lewis used deer velvet antler as he recovered from a torn triceps muscle, but the elk variety is even more powerful.
In addition to adding a supplement to help your fur baby with recovery, you may also want to consider other supplements like our Chest, Strength, and Mobility supplements to help your pet stay in peak condition this summer. Every one of our pet supplements have been geared to meet specific pet-related health concerns that may be keeping your dog from enjoying her summer.
Make sure you consult your veterinarian before adding supplements to your dog’s nutritional plan.
Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy this Summer
Getting your dog in shape this summer can be easy once you figure out your dog’s ideal routine when it comes to nutrition, supplements, and exercise. Once you find the right activities and nutritional plan, you’ll love seeing your dog healthier and happier than ever. And not having to worry about destroyed shoes or carpets when you come home is also a nice bonus. Plus, who knows, maybe getting Fido in shape this summer will help you to feel better too! If you’d like to learn more about any of our unique natural dog supplements we’d love to chat!