Our expanding waistlines have reached epidemic proportions: 2 of 3 Americans are now overweight. Unfortunately, we have now added our dogs into the epidemic with over 56% of our dogs overweight.
Whether its 2 pounds or 50 pounds, slimming down for both dogs and owners is the most important decision of their life. Waistbands have been expanding for the past 20 years, and, according to recent study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 69% of Americans are overweight or obese.
According to the 2017 Association of Pet Obesity Prevention study, pet owners were unaware their dogs were overweight., Another distressing fact, when asked what was the “biggest challenge to exercising your dog,” “Too busy” was the most common response along with inadequate access to exercise areas.
In simplest terms, we’ve made fat pets the new normal.” If we continue growing at our current pace, an estimated two-thirds of Americans will be overweight or obese by 2030 and over 78% of our dogs will be obese. This startling fact places us places both of us at an increased risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and decreased expectancy.
The good news, fitness and good health for you and your dog can be found in a few simple steps and a few simple movements.
- Barking Lunges: Start with your dog on your left side. Perform your basic walking lunge leading with your right leg stepping forward. As you hold the lunge guide your dog to walk under your front leg leading them to your right side. Press up with your back leg and step through repeating the lunge on your left. Guide your dog under your left leg and to your left side. **If you have a very large dog who won’t fit under your bent leg guide them through your legs before you sink into the lunge.
- Pup Push Ups: on a FitPAWS Bone, dependent on size of dog, have your dog beneath you or directly in front of you. Place the leash in both hands with your hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders on the Bone. Press up on your toes into a high plank position inhaling as your lower into your push up and exhale as you push back up to start. When you lower down ask your dog for a down, as you push back up ask your dog for a sit. Doing push-ups together will be more challenging for both you, your dog will need to be able to follow what you ask with only a verbal signal and you may have to hold your push up positions longer while waiting for your dog to move from a sit to down. Repeat x 10.
- Spot’s Squat & Shake: Start with your dog sitting in front of you. Perform a squat Holding at the bottom of your position ask your dog for their paw. Hold their paw gently for a few seconds then release it as you press back up to standing. Squat again and see if you can get your dog to give you their other paw. Repeat x 10.
A healthy lifestyle isn’t a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle and lifelong. The goal is to change your lifestyle so that an active, healthy lifestyle becomes normal.
Remember to always consult with your veterinarian for healthy nutrition, well check and monitoring, as all are important in maintaining a healthy life.