Why Run With Your Dog?

Personal training for dogs. You’re kidding, right? Actually, no, we’re not. Research suggests up to 40% of our dogs are overweight, and they suffer from the same health complications that overweight people do. Veterinarians (including myself) are becoming more and more concerned about the increase in joint pain, heart disease and other obesity related illnesses in dogs. Hence, Pooch to 5k. Dogs can’t lift weights, or use the gym. If you’re going to increase their fat burning, you need to increase the intensity of their exercise. This means that a daily stroll just won’t cut it any more, it’s too laid back. The Pooch to 5k program will help you get your dog from doing nothing much to comfortably running 5km, over a period of 12 weeks.

Because you’ll be running with your dog, you’ll also get a great workout three times a week, as you train yourself to run 5km. Why not subscribe to our dog health and fitness newsletter and grab your dog, and you’re ready to go!


It’s All Your Fault!


That’s certainly a provocative title, but it’s meant to make you sit up and take notice.

I have just read a summary of a research paper that was published in Preventative Veterinary Medicine magazine in May this year. The researchers surveyed over 200 dog owners, and over 150 veterinary practices in Victoria, Australia. The outcome was that only 3% of dog obesity cases could be attributed to dog specific factors such as genetics and medical conditions. Do you know what this means?

This means that 97% of cases of obesity in dogs occur because of their owner. Too much food, the wrong type of food and not enough physical exercise.

What does this mean for you and your dog?

This means that you have the power to control your dog’s body weight. You have the power to cut back on the number of treats you give him, you have the power to change his diet to a dog food with lower fat content, and you have the power to get him out for a walk or a run more often.

If your dog is overweight, you’re not alone. Another study was conducted by researchers in companion animal studies at the University of Glasgow, and it was published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice. Now these are all well respected veterinary journals, and they don’t publish anything unless it is accurate. This study found that 60% of Glaswegian dogs were overweight. The figure in the United States is around 35%, and in Australia is 41%. So, you have lots of company.

That doesn’t mean you don’t need to do anything about it. Yet another study (yeah, I’m good at quoting them!) showed that dogs that were lean lived on average two years longer than their overweight counterparts, and they were older before they showed signs of age related disease such as arthritis.

So, if you get the weight off your dog, you are improving their quality of life, as well as helping them live longer. It won’t be easy. Anything worthwhile never is.

So, can you rise to the challenge? Join us in our revamped forum where you’ll find veterinary support as you and your dog work towards a healthier, leaner future.

Categories : Dog Health

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