Managing your dog’s energy

Have a dog that runs around the house in circles at 10:00 pm on a Tuesday? Have a dog that gets into mischief just to have something to do? Ever consider their energy needs aren’t being met?

Now, I’m by no means an animal behaviorist, I just know I have a dog that has a high amount of energy and I’ve learned what an amazing difference it makes in her behavior to tire her the hell out on a regular basis.

I call this “managing my dog’s energy.”

Maddie is a dog that needs regular and consistent exercise or play every day. When she hasn’t had enough activity in the day she practically bounces off the walls. But exercising a dog every day can sometimes be inconvenient – in rainy or really cold weather, sometimes neither you OR the dog really wants to go for that long walk outside. However, you can trick your dog into getting exercise in the form of playing.

 Managing your dogs energy

Maddie midway through a game of extreme tug.
Still more energy left to burn!

With Maddie, she is very motivated by toys. She LOVES playing ball, playing fetch, playing chase, playing tug, chasing bubbles, and generally running around. On a day when it’s too nasty outside to run around outside (quite often in Seattle) I can employ one of the above play techniques inside the house….then don’t stop until her tongue is hanging out the side of her mouth. That is my measure of success, as unscientific as it may be, when she is breathing really hard and her tongue is hanging out of the side of her mouth. Usually she starts to slow down a bit after that and doesn’t quite seem to mind when you put away the toy or ball.

I joke that I need to wear Maddie out to the point of “side tongue” at least three times a day. But it really isn’t a joke. When I make a point to do exactly that she is a different dog. She is happy from all the playing, and she is more mellow and well behaved in the evening. Win! Win!

fitDogFriday 180x150 Managing your dogs energy
This message is part of a Fit Dog Friday blog hop sponsored by SlimDoggy, makers of the SlimDoggy app (available in the Itunes App Store) for tracking your dog’s activities and food intake (calories in and calories out).

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January 1st doggie diet? Try PetMobi

dog diet turkey January 1st doggie diet? Try PetMobi

photo credit: redwood 1 via photopin cc

As a nation, for some reason we gravitate towards starting a new diet on January 1st. It may have something to do with the roughly 6 weeks of the prior year being spent cramming every goodie we could lay our hands on into our mouths, but that is just a guess.

But what about your dog?

Does your dog have a one-track mind, with that track being food? Perhaps they need to lose a few pounds? Get a bit more exercise? Now there’s a fun and social iPhone app, PetMobi, that lets you track health and fitness stats for your dog. Sort of like a Weight Watchers tracker for dogs, minus the meetings and public weigh-ins.

The PetMobi application for iPhone lets you track your dog’s food intake (from a database of thousands of pet foods), exercise, weight and establish goals. It also lets you connect with friends to make it a little bit competitive, if you like that sort of thing or it helps motivate you. And I say “you” because let’s face it, the well-being of your dog pretty much relies on you. Dogs don’t pick out their own food (usually), and dogs don’t decide when they go for walks (usually). Your dog getting healthier depends on you making the right choices for him or her on a consistent basis.

Here are a few screen shots of the PetMobi app for iPhone in action. Go check out the PetMobi app in the Apple App store for more info. Did I mention the app is free?

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2013 for you and your pup!

PetMobi Screenshots January 1st doggie diet? Try PetMobi

 

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Guest Post: The benefits of dog exercise

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photo credit: mikebaird via photo pin cc

Most owners are aware that there are plenty of different things they’ll need to do for their dogs.  Taking him out for walks and other exercise time on a daily basis may be more important than you think.  Read on to learn about the many benefits of dog exercise.

Health

Exercise plays a huge role in your dog’s overall health.  Canines that sit around not getting enough exercise will have a higher risk of experiencing heart disease.  Activity is also required in order for the digestive system to do its job properly, which is why exercise is a good deterrent to conditions such as constipation.

Weight

It should really go without saying, but maintaining a proper weight is also one of the benefits of dog exercise.  If your dog consumes more calories than he burns, then he will start putting on weight.  Obesity in pets is becoming a huge problem despite the fact that it increases the risk of many other health problems in dogs such as diabetes and arthritis.

Behavior

All owners want their dogs to be well-behaved.  Training them proper is certainly important.  However, dog exercise can also affect his behavior too.  When dogs get bored, they start having behavior problems ranging from chewing to digging. Letting your dog exercise will help get rid of some of that energy.

Rest

In addition to exercise, dogs need proper rest.  Imagine how you feel when you don’t get a good night’s sleep.  If you provide your dog with enough exercise, then he will be tired by the time it’s over.  Tired dogs tend to sleep very well, so you won’t have a problem with him staying up barking or howling all night.

Personality

Humans aren’t the only ones that have different personalities.  Our pets do as well.  If you have a dog that’s rather shy, then taking him outside for exercise will help him greatly.  Building up confidence is one of the benefits of dog exercise.

Owners

With the busy lives that we lead nowadays, we may not spend enough time exercising ourselves.  Taking your dog out for a walk is a great time for you to get your exercise in too.  You don’t necessarily have to go jogging or running, as simply walking is great for your cardiovascular and overall health.  Not only will it help keep your blood pressure under control, but you shouldn’t start to put on any pounds if you do it regularly like you’re supposed to.


Post and following commentary provided by Darrin Swain.

You should already know that combining exercise and a great diet is one of the main keys to good health.  Don’t feed your dog store-bought foods.  Follow these simple homemade dog food recipes so you know exactly what your canine is eating.  Also, learn a thing or two about various dog diseases that can affect your little furry friend.

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