Let’s get moving!
Spring has sprung! In April we observe Canine Fitness Month, which is beneficial for humans and dogs alike. Whether you and your dog are enjoying the fresh air outdoors on a walk or you’re inside teaching your pup new tricks, encouraging movement in your lifestyle is key. Many dogs are very excited to exercise with their owners or fellow canine companions, even sometimes the family cat. Using happy tones of voice and actions may help get your pup up and moving!

Whatever your dog enjoys – zoomies around the house, playing fetch, tug-of-war, running, swimming, or going for a hike- developing daily exercise routines is good practice. The right routine and activities for your dog can depend on their size, health, age, and breed. In general, dogs need a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise a day.

Healthy diets and being physically active can help our canine companions maintain, or improve, their weight and body condition. Fitness not only decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, but offers a whole host of additional health benefits, including your dog’s overall wellbeing. Here are some examples:

Joint health, aids in arthritis prevention
Digestion and urinary health
Improves behavioral problems – deters destructive tendencies due to boredom, stress, separation anxiety, loneliness, attention-seeking behaviors like whining and excessive barking.
Improves mental and emotional wellbeing– promotes quality time, bonding, activity stimulation, release of excess energy, better sleep routine

You may have seen this type of number scoring in your pet’s medical records. Veterinarians document this information at every appointment. Not only does it reflect their current body condition score, but it provides a good baseline for any changes seen on future visits.

Is your dog not a fan of exercise? Try thinking outside of the box!
*Play hide and seek in your house
*Create scavenger hunts with your dog’s favorite toys and healthy treats
*Setup an obstacle course
*Incorporate your dog’s obedience drills (sit, stand, down, etc.) into your yoga routine
*Have a dance party together
*Check out a different park to explore
*Run up and down the stairs

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