March 2019 Newsletter
MARCH INTO FITNESS!
March says good bye to winter and welcomes the coming of spring. After months of winter inactivity, our dogs are ready to leap into action! However, just like us, our dogs may have gained a little weight and lost some fitness. To avoid injury, make sure to ease them into their outdoor fun. The following tips will ensure an injury-free transition to the outdoors:
1. Start by taking your dog on leashed power walks. This is a great way for You and Your pet to get into shape without stressing muscles and joints.
2. A hike is a terrific way to change up the scene. You and your dog can benefit from the beauty of nature. Lots of sights, sounds and smells to occupy your dog's mind while engaging in physical exercise.
3. Smelling is your dog's strongest sense and a powerful motivator. Take some healthy, low calorie treats and hide them outside. This becomes a fun game for your pet that not only provides physical exercise but also challenges their mind. Hide treats under toys, around outdoor furniture, or throughout your yard and have your dog hunt for them.
4. Swimming is a great, low-impact activity for your dog. It tones your dog’s body without straining joints and is a great cardiovascular workout. If you plan on taking your dog swimming, make sure to look for a clean body of water in a public area that allows dogs.
5. Rest & recovery are essential to improving fitness while avoiding injury. Our dogs don't know when to say "enough". It is up to us to ensure they have adequate time to rest and recover between activities. A good rule of thumb is to give your dog a full day off after a day of exercise. This allows time for muscle recovery to avoid injury.
6. Not sure if your dog is overweight? Check out the chart below. Excess weight puts unnecessary strain on your dog's joints. You can talk to your veterinarian about implementing healthy diet changes according to your dog’s unique nutritional needs.
Be sure to monitor your dog during any physical activity for signs of fatigue or distress. Additionally, if your dog is ‘slowing down’ over time, it’s likely not just because of age. Often there’s a reason, like arthritis, that is causing them to lose the pep in their step. Your dog may require a very specific conditioning program and perhaps can benefit from pain management.
When you engage your dog in an exercise program remember:
Begin with short distances and short sessions;
Gradually increase the pace and the distance, but always end when the dog is still eager to do more;
Don’t exercise in very hot weather or on hot surfaces;
Remember to bring clean water or know where you will have access to it;
Vary the amount and type of exercise so you do not burn out your dog with repetition; and
Pay attention to your dog’s post-exercise behavior, watching for limping, symptoms of heat exposure, and other signs they have had more than enough.
Remember to always check with your veterinarian before engaging your pet in physical activity. Keep these tips in mind, and have a happy and healthy spring with your dog!
Danielle is a 14-year old Greyhound retired from the racetrack and rescued by her mom and dad. When Danielle first came to us, she couldn't walk at all. She had trouble lifting her head when lying on her side and had a lot of difficulty getting up due to arthritis. Danielle was brought to us in November of 2018. We have been working with her to strengthen her core, hind legs and front legs. Her therapy sessions includes aqua therapy, therapeutic exercises, and her all time favorite... massages! (who doesn't love a good massage :-)) Danielle's mom and dad say that they have seen an enormous improvement since bringing her to Aqua Paws. They say therapy has definitely helped her in so many ways. She is now walking on her own and is not struggling as much to get up. They were so proud of her when she got up all on her own to go out with her sisters the other day! She is much happier and has regained her independence and quality of life.
Danielle navigating the ramp and obstacle course
PETRA'S NEWEST WEBINAR: ENGAGEMENT IS THE MISSING PIECE!
APRIL 1, 2019 / 7:00 PM E.S.T. / $24.95
Engagement brings joy and laughter to our training.
In this webinar, we will address engagement as a dog’s choice.
Engagement training helps us understand our dog(s) and personalize their training program.
Engagement is built through a series of fun tricks. Your dog will deal with the environment and distractions with confidence.
Engagement empowers your dog and creates a relationship that carries into the ring.
This webinar covers:
Reading and speaking “dog”;
Clear and consistent communication skills;
Creating a mindset that builds trust and deepens your relationship;
Identifying and adapting to your dog’s learning style;
Engagement games that are based on tricks;
Dealing with distractions in a positive way;
Feeding your dog’s ego to improve confidence.
This webinar is presented by Petra Ford, a two-time National Obedience Champion and winner of the World Cup. More importantly, Petra is known for her dog’s style and animation in the ring. The connection she has with her dogs when training and trialing are her hallmark.