What DO well puppy checks and exercise have in common you may well ask. In a word everything!!! I took my dog to the vet for his annual exam and booster shots. For the last couple of years he's been the same weight when we went in for his check up. This year was a bit different. He had gained 7 pounds over the last year which doesn't sound like very much but when you're short like he is it's a BIG deal and if the trend continued he's be what the vet referred to as a walking table.
She started talking to me about his 'treat' consumption - I can reduce the number of treats I give him but supervising the husband and sons is another matter entirely! Of course my initial reaction was what?!?!? He's such a good boy deserves treats. And that's when the personal trainer in me kicked in....
You see dogs and humans aren't that different when it comes to their health and fitness needs. We both need regular exercise and to eat healthy food. I am a firm believer in treats for humans as well as dogs so reducing the number of treats just didn't make sense to me. What makes the most sense is to me is to increase his level of activity which will help offset the calories from the treats with the added benefit of strengthening his heart and lungs.
You see dogs just like humans have increased health risks when they carry around too much extra weight. The other side effect of carrying around that extra weight is that he'll reach his 'expiration date' sooner. For those who know me and Clyde it is going to be devastating for me when he makes his final transition. The only way to extend his time is to keep him as healthy and fit as possible which will also increase his quality of life.
In fact the more I thought about it the more excited I got because making sure he got more exercise pretty much insured I'd get more exercise too! Win -Win all the way. One of the fantastic things about dogs is that they are ALWAYS ready to G-O for a W-A-L-K or a J-O-G. You never have to convince them to go which makes it a lot easier to get out there and get moving.
We might not always be willing to do something for ourselves but I often find that we are willing to go the extra mile for those we love. So even if you don't have a dog to help motivate you maybe you can get motivated to get some added activity in your day by thinking about those who love you and depend on you. If you end up getting sick because you haven't been taking care of yourself who's going to take care of them?
The most selfless thing that we can all do is make sure that we get plenty of activity, eat healthy, get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids so that we have the strength and energy to take care of those we love the most. And if the dog gets more exercise as a result he's not going to complain! Next year when Clyde T Dog and I go in for his Well Puppy check I'm confident that he'll be back down to a healthier weight.
Here's to Your Health, Wellness and Fitness,
Jennifer Malocha CEOof Fun at Wuhoo Fitness