Want to keep your dog happy and healthy this Winter? Check out this great guest blog from our friends at Both Ends Of The Lead.
So much of our attention and focus day to day is taken up by our family, work, and household responsibilities that how much time is left to spend with our precious four legged best friends who give us so much unconditionally? When was the last time you took your dog for a walk or spent quality bonding time with them? The recurring feelings of guilt that we should be doing more to take better care of them or devoting more time to them are ever present.
With the colder months upon us, it can be harder for us to stay motivated to be active and get enough regular exercise.
This can have a knock on affect for our pooches too. If we are not getting out and going for our regular walk or run, then maybe our pooches are not too.
Regular exercise plays a crucial role in our dog’s wellbeing, both physically and mentally. If our dogs do not get enough exercise, it can not only affect their waistlines but their behaviours too. Dogs that do not get enough stimulation are often prone to behaviours that can in time be problematic.
Dogs that are overweight are more likely to suffer with joint issues and sore muscles, and there is a greater risk of health issues like diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders and heartbreakingly a decrease in their quality and duration of their lives.
The good news is that if you are one of those dog owners who is time poor (and let’s face it – who isn’t nowadays?!) or finds it hard to exercise your dog in the cold weather, then we have a few exercise tips for you that you can do in the warmth of your own home to help keep your pooch strong and mobile over the winter months.
You can make it fun and think of it as a personal training program for your pooch. It’s a great way to keep them strong, stimulated and enjoy some bonding time with your best four legged friend.
1. Sit to Stand
Stand in front of your dog, using treats if necessary to encourage them and ask them to sit then stand and take a step backwards.
This will be similar to performing squats and a great way to strengthen their muscles in their hind quarters.
2. Weight shifting
With your dog standing, gently place both your hands either side of their hips and with relaxed hands, gently rock them side to side. It’s important to not rock them too far, but just enough for their opposite leg to accept a little more weight, without knocking them off balance.
This is a great exercise for improving their balance and body awareness, whilst strengthening the muscle in their hind quarters.
3. Walking at different speeds
Encouraging your dog to vary the speed they walk at is a great way to challenge their muscles, balance and movement patterns.
You can try this at home by placing a few soft cushions on the floor and encourage your dog to walk across them, at very slow speeds and then at their normal speed. For variety, you can occasionally get them to sit and stand as they walk across the cushions.
Do not be surprised if you see signs that your dog is getting tired after a few repetitions.
With all of these exercises, it is important to only do as many repetitions as your dog is comfortable to do, and stop immediately if they appear uncomfortable.
At the end of their workout, stretching and some gentle massage can be a great way to keep your dog healthy and moving well.
So there you have it! Some simple exercises you can perform at home to help keep your best four legged friend strong, stimulated and healthy this winter.
For more information about a personal training program for your pooch or our range of canine wellbeing treatment services, visit www.bothendsofthelead.com.au or www.facebook.com/BothEndsOfTheLead, or you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR Petplan Customers (valid until 30 June 2015)
Sydney based – a free Owner stretching video package for every Petplan customer who signs up for our Winter Wellness Program for your pooch. Includes 1:1 x 1 hour face to face session.
Click on the following link to sign up – http://bothendsofthelead.com.au/shop/pptpsyd/.
Outside of Sydney – a combined Canine and Owner stretching video package for every Petplan customer who signs up for our Winter Wellness Program for your pooch. Includes 1:1 x 30 minute Skype session.
Click on the following link to sign up – http://bothendsofthelead.com.au/shop/pptpexsyd/.
We will tailor a unique wellbeing program specifically for your pooch, consisting of a blend of exercises, stretches and massage techniques to help you do the best for your dog this winter.
This Blog was written by the our good friends at Both Ends Of The Lead, a unique business offering a range of health and wellbeing services for owners and dogs. Their purpose is to help dog and owner live, play and function at their optimal health level.