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!

Archive for Dog Health

Aug
03

Running and Dog Behaviour

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boxer…or behavior, if you are one of our North American friends :-)

As some may know, we occasionally foster dogs until they get their forever home. Our last foster, a gorgeous Staffy x Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog, had separation anxiety, and became unsettled and distressed when we prepared to go out. It didn’t matter that he had our four dogs for company, he’d start to whimper, and pace the floor.

In mid June, we went to the Caloundra Foreshore Fun Run, as we do every year. It’s one of our favourite dog friendly runs. Francis ran with Domino, and they did the 10k run in about 51 minutes. Domino is an amazing runner, extremely athletic and strong, and he absolutely flew up the path. Francis reckons that if there were fewer people running the course, Dom would have run 45 minutes for the 10k.

Later that afternoon, we were going shopping and getting shoes on and picking up keys. We were amazed to see that Dom just sat on the couch watching us. He wasn’t tired at all, but his brain must have been swimming in endorphins which reduced his anxiety about being left alone. He didn’t whine, didn’t pace, but happily trotted into his crate and settled down with a yummy stuffed kong.

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Categories : Dog Health
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veterinary-hospitalThe reason for the picture to accompany this post is because if your dog has bloat, you need to hot tail it to the nearest vet straight away. It’s a life threatening emergency and there’s no time to waste.

Bloat, or gastric dilatation (we say dilation here in Aus <G>) occurs when your dog’s stomach is rapidly distended by an accumulation of gas, fluid or food, or some combination of them. This results in compression of the large blood vessels in the abdomen and interferes with the circulation of blood back to the heart, resulting in shock and often death. The huge distended stomach can twist, which makes things catastrophically worse.

Treatment involves decompressing the stomach, supporting the circulation with fluids and if your dog’s stomach has twisted, surgery to get it back into the right position and anchor it there.

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There is no doubt that a dog can make a great running companion and sometimes is the best personal trainer an athlete can have. As these canines are happy to exercise over longer distances and times, it is important they maintain a steady weight so as not to put any undue strain on their joints. This is particularly true for breeds prone to joint dysplasia, such as Border Collies and German Shepherds.

Exercise

Obviously, daily running or hiking will provide a dog with an opportunity for great exercise and this will have an enormous health benefit as long as the animal has been properly trained up in the first place. Having undergone a thorough examination by the vet, it is best to start the dog off with an activity such as walking at a modest pace over a short distance, gradually increasing the speed and distance over a period of time. This allows the dog to build up both confidence and stamina.

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Categories : Dog Health, Nutrition
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Sep
01

Hiking With Your Dog: Know The Basics

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There are few better ways to explore the great outdoors than with your dog at your side. Between the smells and sounds of the forest, the view from that mountain top, or the rejuvenating glow of that alpine lake, your dog will love your adventure as much as you will. However, without the right preparation, that day or week of fun can be more hassle than it’s worth. Here are a few tips for preparing ahead of time so you can get down to the business of having fun.

Trail Etiquette

You love your dog; your family loves your dog; your friends love your dog. But the general public may not. It can be hard for other hikers to know whether or not your dog will be a friend or foe, particularly if they’ve had a bad encounter previously. It’s good etiquette to keep your dog on the leash, or at the very least under voice control, in accordance with any park rules posted at the trail head. This helps not just reassure other hikers, but to help maintain the often fragile, high-trafficked ecosystem around the path, which dogs can inadvertently destroy when they sniff and frolic a little too aggressively. Always yield the right of way to other hikers, letting them pass first, and either carry out or bury any waste at least 200 feet away from the trail or a water source.

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Categories : Dog Health
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This is a guest post by Elizabeth Clegg of Dogma Dog Massage on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Most people seek out physical therapy treatments for their dogs when they are injured or in pain. Fewer people recognise the value of massage in maintaining and improving quality of life for healthy dogs, in particular canine athletes. The canine athlete may compete in a variety of activities including obedience, agility, racing, dancing, endurance runs and many other sports. Each activity requires different types of performance and puts pressure on a dog’s body in particular ways. A Canine Myofunctional Therapy (CMT) treatment is tailored to an individual dog’s temperament, body type, health history, performance and lifestyle needs.

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Apr
30

Running after Cruciate Repair Surgery

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This is a guest post by Jon who runs with his Labrador. Lars is back to gentle runs after injuring his cruciate ligament, an important ligament in the knee, or stifle, joint.

My name is Jon and I have a beautiful Black Lab named Lars who back in July of 2011, underwent a TPLO on his rear left leg. TPLO stands for tibia plateau leveling osteotomy, and is the newest surgery to be developed for dogs who present with a torn cruciate ligament. Lars tore his cruciate when sprinting around our dog park in January of 2011, but unfortunately for him, and myself it took more than five months before he was properly diagnosed.

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Categories : Dog Health
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