Why Run With Your Dog?

Personal training for dogs. You’re kidding, right? Actually, no, we’re not. Research suggests up to 40% of our dogs are overweight, and they suffer from the same health complications that overweight people do. Veterinarians (including myself) are becoming more and more concerned about the increase in joint pain, heart disease and other obesity related illnesses in dogs. Hence, Pooch to 5k. Dogs can’t lift weights, or use the gym. If you’re going to increase their fat burning, you need to increase the intensity of their exercise. This means that a daily stroll just won’t cut it any more, it’s too laid back. The Pooch to 5k program will help you get your dog from doing nothing much to comfortably running 5km, over a period of 12 weeks.

Because you’ll be running with your dog, you’ll also get a great workout three times a week, as you train yourself to run 5km. Why not subscribe to our dog health and fitness newsletter and grab your dog, and you’re ready to go!

Nov
06

Bursting the Big Backyard Myth

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backyardDo dogs really need a big back yard? Is more space beneficial to them? Having been involved a bit in dog rescue, I’ve seen a number of conditions an owner has to meet before being considered as an adoptive parent. One of these, particularly for working type dogs, is that they must have a big backyard.

In my opinion, the size of your back yard is not at all important. We have shared our lives with two active Australian Cattle Dogs in the past, living on a small suburban block, and they were very happy dogs indeed.

We all know that our canine friends need plenty of exercise to stay physically fit and mentally healthy. However, many people are under the impression that having a big backyard for their dog to run in automatically equates to their pup getting enough exercise each day. I don’t believe dogs are inclined to run around their backyard on their own enough to give them the amount of exercise they need. Just ask Guinness and Cinnabar, they stroll into our half acre back yard and immediately find a sunny spot to doze in.

Dogs Need a Reason to Exercise

Much like us, dogs need motivation and a reason to exercise. Your dog might instinctively run around the perimeter of his fenced-in yard because he needs to make sure his territory’s borders are still intact and no intruders have made their way inside. But, once that job is done, he really has no reason to continue running around. Once the yard has been deemed safe, he’s likely to lie down and rest for the vast majority of the time he is left alone.

Unlike us, your canine best buddy won’t look at his waistline and think he needs to run off those few extra centimetres on his waist. Similarly, he doesn’t think seriously about his future health and longevity, and decide he needs a lifestyle change. Your dog thrives on social interaction with his pack-mates, both canine and human, and this is what gets him moving.

Interaction is Key

While having a canine playmate does encourage more activity, most dogs still need help from their owners to ensure that they get enough exercise each day. This means that no matter what size your back yard, you still need to go for walks and runs. Having a big back yard definitely does not equal enough exercise, although there are benefits to a bit more space.  You have more space to play fetch, or to set up an agility or obstacle course.

Instead of thinking that a dog needs a big back yard, or he’s getting enough exercise on his own out there, look at how much time an owner can spend exercising him. I know my boys would much prefer a good run each day than a broad expanse of green grass for them to sleep on.

 

Categories : General

2 Comments

1

I just stumbled on this blog while google-ing running sites.

Thank you for this post! I get so frustrated when adoption centers require fenced in yards in order to adopt a dog. I live in Chicago, one block from Lake Michigan and 17 miles of parks and bike paths. We are 700 feet from the city’s nicest dog park, but people constantly “feel sorry” for my American Foxhound mix because he doesn’t have a back yard to run around in. I’m constantly reminding people that the entire park system is my dog’s back yard, and he runs 10-15 miles with me per week, not including the chasing and racing he does with other dogs at the dog park. He also doesn’t have an ounce of excess fat on him, and has NEVER torn/chewed up anything he isn’t supposed to (i.e. a couch cushion, shoe or blanket).

I’ll definitely continue reading! So nice to read from runners that run with their canine companions!

2

Thanks for commenting Heidi. I totally agree. Your dog is so much better off than those that have a big backyard and spend most of their time in it alone. 17 miles of parks and bike paths sounds just awesome! If you’re that way inclined, join us over on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Poochto5k

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