CANINE FITNESS MONTH
During April, Canine Fitness Month focuses on keeping our most loyal companions healthy and physically active.
Like many human counterparts, too many dogs suffer from obesity and “sedentarism,” the two most common preventable conditions in the canine and human populations. Too much sitting and too many calories in treats or poor nutrition choices often contribute to weight gain. Besides causing our furry friends to have sore joints, difficulty breathing, a higher risk of cancer, canine diabetes, and other diseases, obesity also shortens their lives.
Unfortunately, sedentarism has become a normal lifestyle for many dogs and their people. The opposite of a sedentary lifestyle is movement—playing, being outside, engaging, and moving. Canine Fitness Month encourages us to take a step toward developing a healthier lifestyle and bond with our four-legged family members.
ALWAYS: Check with your veterinarian to be sure your pet is healthy enough for exercise and find out what kind of diet routine Fido should be eating.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CanineFitnessMonth
- Get walking! One foot in front of the other, and the fresh air will do you both good.
- Try active play. Throw a ball, stick or frisbee in a safe environment, or better yet – run or jog with your pet to retrieve it.
- Play hide and seek with your pet’s daily allowance of treats. Place them behind doors, under bowls and chairs.
- For dogs unaccustomed to the game of fetch, use a treat-dispensing ball. Again, keep the amounts small and intermittent.
- Play food fitness games. Place an unstable object in front of the food bowl for your dog to introduce balance activities and limb strengthening as a fun and rewarding game.
- Raise the floor. Integrating a platform your pet can climb on or crawl under during the day will add movement if space is tight and the weather isn’t cooperating.
- Many dogs shadow their canine companions everywhere they go. Take advantage of this when starting a new workout routine. When you shuffle across the room, grab a toy and lure them into doing the same.
- Incorporate some of your pooch’s well-known obedience drills – like sit, stand, down – into your yoga routine. Try asking your loyal pal to lie down when you go into cobra. When you move into downward dog, have him sit.
- Create obstacle courses indoors and out all year long. Move rugs and chairs around to create obstacles and a workout worthy of both human and canine. The key is to make movement fun for both of you!
- Don’t have time? Find a Canine Fitness Trainer or a Dog Walker who can help get the recommended 20-30 minutes your dog needs each day.
- Get moving with your best friend. Share your tips and success by using #CanineFitnessMonth on social media.
CANINE FITNESS MONTH HISTORY
FitPAWS® founded Canine Fitness Month to bring awareness to the growing and preventable issue of canine obesity and sedentarism. They have been the leader in canine fitness for more than 10 years and human wellness with their FitBALL® brand for 26 years. FitPAWS® is passionate about shining a light on the limited amount of movement dogs are getting and encouraging people to get out and move their mutts. They recently developed a certificate program for the first Certified Canine Fitness Trainer Program with the University of Tennessee. The program provides Trainers, Vets, Behaviorists, and Physical Therapists with equipment and methods to create good, effective canine fitness programs.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared Canine Fitness Month to be every April beginning in 2017.