As the colder months draw near many of us prefer to hibernate in the warmth of our homes.
Dr. Guy Fyvie, veterinary advisor from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, says that it is really important to keep your dog active during this time, especially if they suffer from painful joints or have a tendency to carry a little extra weight.
Not only from a physical perspective is exercise beneficial to your dog, but also from an emotional perspective. Spending quality time with your pet is good for them and you. Dr. Fyvie says that exercise and games help to keep your dog stimulated and if he is a little mischievous this is a great way to keep him busy and out of trouble. “If you need any further motivation, research has shown that if you exercise with your dog, you are more likely to stick to the routine.”
When kicking off a fitness routine with your dog, it is advisable to check with your vet as to the type of exercise and intensity that will best suit him. Dr. Fyvie recommends starting off slowly and building up from there. “To start off, all you need is a good lead and collar, and don’t forget to consider the terrain and weather before setting out.”
Some fun ways to get active with your dog include:
- Start out with a 20 – 30-minute walk, this will not only benefit your dog, but it will help you get to your 10 000 steps a day.
- Take your dog with you on a run. How much your dog will enjoy this, will be dependent on breed, fitness level and personality. Don’t force it.
- A hike with your dog can be a wonderful experience, remember to take water for both you and your pup, as well as some treats to reward him and keep energy up if it is more intense.
- Playing catch in the park or garden is another great way of keeping your dog entertained and moving.
- Some other non-traditional exercise routines, include having your dog join you for your yoga session, yes doga is a real thing, or turn the music up and dance around the house, your dog will think it is a fun game.
As much as we aim to keep up with our exercise routine in winter, sometimes it can be difficult with so many commitments and the sun going down earlier and coming up later. To assist your dog in staying healthy during this time Dr. Fyvie recommends feeding Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility. The food will help stimulate your dog’s natural ability to burn fat and is specially formulated to support your pet’s weight management and joint health. Plus, it is proven to help dogs naturally lose weight and improve mobility in as little as 21 days.