New Year Resolutions For You and Your Dog?

January 8, 2010

New Year Resolutions For You and Your Dog?

It is around this time of year each of us begins to think about what our New Year Resolutions will be.  Many of us “resolve” to work on our health and fitness.  Our plan may be to begin a healthy diet, or a daily exercise program to tone up and lose those unwanted extras we carry with us.  Unfortunately, after January many of us lose interest or forget our resolutions.  If you had a best friend working with you on your goals, would you be more likely to stick with them?  Of course you would.  Have you considered the health and fitness of your pet dog?  Who is a better friend than your loyal, loving and dedicated pet dog?  Maybe this year you should consider bringing your furry companion(s) into the picture.  He or she most likely needs the exercise and would love to be by your side as you strive to get and stay in shape. 

Just like humans, dogs need both physical and mental exercise to keep their mind and body in top condition.  Exercise helps with overall health and obesity as well as behavioral issues.  Some people believe that just because they let their furry friends out in the yard for a few hours of play the need for exercise is filled, when in actuality they are more likely to rest in the shade until their “people” come out and play with them.   When daily activity and exercise is absent it can lead to obesity, poor muscle tone and many other ailments like heart, breathing and kidney problems, just like humans.

Also, just like humans, use caution when starting an exercise program with your pet.  You should schedule a visit with your veterinarian to determine the current condition of your companion before you set up your program and goals.   If you jump right into vigorous activity it is likely both you and your pet dog will begin to use muscles you both forgot you had.  You and your veterinarian can set up a program that won’t stress your pet’s heart or lungs or cause muscle strain or pain.  It’s good to start slow and not over do it.  Also, it is important to remember your dog’s body doesn’t have a cooling system like you do, so be sure you not let your dog become overheated.  As is the case with most programs, moderation is the key to beginning a successful program. 

I once read that a “walk” to a dog is similar to a trip to an amusement park for humans.  During the walk each new sound and smell will perk up your dog’s senses and help keep his mind alert.  If the situation permits, allow your dog to sniff around in the weeds or jump up on a log.  Let him get his nose full of new scents to consider and investigate.  Let him carry his favorite bone or toy with him.  Hide from him and let him search for you.  If you run across other friendly dogs, let them visit with one another.  Dogs use body language when they meet and greet, all of which is stimulating to both the mind and body.  Besides, everyone could use a new friend.

What if your schedule is too hectic to stick to a daily program!  Many of us have hectic schedules that don’t allow us to be available for a daily program with our pet.  There are reputable companies that provide professional pet services and pet sitting.  Some of them provide daily dog walks and fitness programs designed to help keep your pet dog healthy and fit both physically and mentally.  Check in your area for a reputable pet services or pet sitting company to help you keep your furry loved one in tip top shape when it is not possible for you to be there.  I might be biased, but I would recommend Fetch! Pet Care.  Now get out there and set a new year’s resolution, and don’t forget to include your furry friend. 

This article was written by Kimberly Louloudis, owner of Fetch Pet Care of East Orange County and Northeast Orlando.   Kimberly can be reached at 407-545-8196.  Fetch! Pet Care is the largest national pet care company in the United States; serving 38 states in more than 2,000 cities and towns.


2 Responses to “New Year Resolutions For You and Your Dog?”

  1. Britt Says:

    I always feel sad when I here that a dog’s “walk” is just being let out in the backyard. Get out your leashes folks!!! If you wear a pedometer, your dog walks would help you too!

  2. Beth Turturro Says:

    I have a large dog (about 75#). She needs at least 2 walks a day if not 3. Most people think a dog needs one walk a day and that is enough. I walk her myself mid morning and then my dog walker comes over in the early evening to get her out for her second walk. No excuses. I know I’m too busy in the evenings with the kids being home from school, so I hired the pet sitter to ensure my dog is well exercised and stays healthy. Kudos for an article to get people thinking about their dogs needs!

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