April is Canine Fitness Month!
Our dogs, like many of their human counterparts, are suffering from obesity and sedentarism. These are two of the most common preventable conditions in both canine and human populations. We're all familiar with how too much sitting and too many calories (think treats and poor nutrition choices) often contribute to weight gain. Obesity causes things like sore joints, difficulty breathing, higher cancer risks, canine diabetes, and other diseases, obesity also shortens our companion's lives.
Unfortunately, sedentarism has become the typical lifestyle for many dogs and their people too. What is the opposite of a sedentary lifestyle? Movement! Playing, being outside, engaging and moving. Canine Fitness Month encourages us to develop a healthier lifestyle while bonding with our dogs.
Before beginning an exercise program, check with your veterinarian (and your doctor for you) to be sure you and your dog are healthy enough for exercise. This is an essential step and shouldn't be skipped. While you're at the DVM, ask what kind of diet is best for your dog.
Once you have your veterinarian's okay, it's time to get walking! Walking is an easy first step for most people, and their dogs and the fresh air will do both of you good.
Image: Kathleen Riley Photography