Is your dog losing strength or endurance? Maybe your vet noticed that your pup is overweight, or maybe you’ve adopted a new friend who isn’t in such good shape. Regardless, your duty as a pet parent is to ensure your furry friend’s health and happiness. This can feel like a huge amount of responsibility, but we’re here to help! With perseverance and the right information, you can make some key changes and quickly improve your dog’s health. Here are some tips on dog fitness that will put your pup on the path to wellness and help get her back to her bouncy self.
Create a Plan with Your Vet
It may feel embarrassing to ask for help, particularly if your pup has gained a few pounds too many on your watch, but consulting your vet is the first step towards getting your canine in shape. Your vet will be able to evaluate your canine’s general condition and investigate any potential underlying health problems. It may be that your dog just needs a simple change in diet, but he could also have a thyroid problem or another issue affecting his stamina and wellbeing—so be sure to get him checked out before making any drastic changes to his lifestyle.
After that initial visit and any necessary testing, you can work with your vet to create a comprehensive plan for getting your dog back into good physical shape. This plan should cover diet and exercise needs while addressing any additional health issues. Your vet may recommend a strict diet and exercise regimen or looser guidelines that will put your pup back on track. Once you develop that plan of action, stick to it! And if you foresee yourself having trouble, consider asking a friend to help out by holding you accountable.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Follow your vet’s diet recommendation to ensure that your dog gets the nutrition she needs to get back into shape. This might involve switching to a diet dog food, decreasing the amount of food or number of feedings each day, or just being more conscious about treats. And don’t be fooled by those puppy eyes! If your dog is used to frequent treats, it may take some time for her to learn the new order of things and stop begging.
Schedule regular check-ins with your vet to monitor your dog’s progress and adapt her diet as needed. Not only will these appointments keep your dog on track, but they’re also good opportunities for your vet to keep an eye on her and ensure that she stays healthy throughout the whole process.
Work Out Together
Your dog is probably your best friend, so make getting in shape a journey you take together! Here’s how to work out with your dog: consult your vet and identify an activity that will help your pup gradually improve his stamina, lose weight, or address any other need, and then modify that activity to work for your exercise schedule. That could look something like walking together for a distance and then switching to you pushing your small dog in a dog stroller as you continue to jog. Once a larger dog gains more endurance, you can even bike or roller skate while he runs beside you!
Set Up Healthy Habits
Hitting a health goal is a huge success, whether it’s number of pounds lost or number of miles walked. But that doesn’t mean you can slide right back into old habits! Just like a human who stops working out, your dog can lose all of her progress if you start feeding her too much or cut out exercise time.
Commit to some daily habits that you can maintain once this period of strict diet and exercise is over, like going for a walk first thing in the morning or minimizing treats. You might also consider introducing a supplement into your pup’s diet to support her overall health and bodily function. Of course, check with your vet before making any changes to her diet!
When all is said and done, remember that “quick” is a relative term. Depending on your dog’s specific needs, it may take some months to get him into peak physical condition. Make sure to ease into healthy habits and work to eliminate bad habits gradually.
And don’t forget that your pup needs more than workouts and a good diet to get in great shape. Introduce a puzzle toy, make time for fun activities, and shower him with affection—getting stronger is a tough task, and your dog needs you to help him through it!
Keep Your Dog in Great Shape with Wapiti
We’re all about health and wellness here at Wapiti Labs, which is why we use natural ingredients to create our range of pet supplements. Our dog supplements are specially made to target a number of vital bodily functions like joint flexibility and liver health, supporting your canine’s overall health. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions—we can’t wait to become part of your pup’s healthy lifestyle!