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{HEALTH+WELLNESS} HEALTH TIPS FOR THE WHOLE DOG

GET FIT

WITH FIDO

WRITTEN BY KATHLEEN HUNTER

Gym memberships. Massage memberships. Regular acupuncture appointments. Hiking. Biking. Running. Court sports. The list goes on for the many ways in which we humans invest time and money in our own health. But what do we spend on our dogs to provide them with the same benefits? After all, they are our best friend, our soulmates, our spirit animals, our guiding forces. We owe it to them to ensure they live long, healthy, and enjoyable lives, too. With three dogs of my own, all larger breeds and considered seniors at age eight, I set out to find out how I can do for them what I do for myself—live a long and healthy active life. Initially, we might not think our dogs need any kind of exercise regimen beyond the usual walk in the neighborhood supplemented with the occasional off-leash park. But if we stop to consider how dogs are nearly identical to humans in their physical makeup—muscles, tendons, bones—as well as their physiological counterparts —heart, lungs, and other internal organs. And of course, their mental and physical health mimics ours, too. But where to start? Our lives are busy enough and we’re doing great if we get ourselves to the gym. Our pooch will need to suffice with the walk. However, investing in some very heartwarming time and maybe a little money depending on the activities you choose, you and your dog can be healthy together.

CARDIOVASCULAR STRENGTH TRAINING. Just like humans, dogs can benefit from having strong muscles in their legs, all four of them, core strength and stability, agility, balance, and cardiovascular health. If all you have time for is the walk in your neighborhood, try boosting the pace, adding hills to strengthen hip muscles and cardio, and vary the terrain on which you walk. These minor nuances will add just enough to enhance your walks for both you and your pups, and it will also add some mental stimulation to navigate the new route. If your pup has the green light from his vet, add some light jogging or even running to your routine. This will provide an added boost to strengthen his heart and lungs, and legs, lose any excess weight, especially if he has 32 • CityDog Magazine

CityDog Magazine Winter 2018 Issue  

Smart, city-savvy and fun, CityDog Magazine brings the joys of life with our four-legged friends to dog lovers throughout the Pacific Northw...

CityDog Magazine Winter 2018 Issue  

Smart, city-savvy and fun, CityDog Magazine brings the joys of life with our four-legged friends to dog lovers throughout the Pacific Northw...

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