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2826 Shader Rd., Orlando, FL 32808

(407) 295-3888 • info@barkingdogfitness.com

HOURSDIRECTIONS

Why Massage Your Dog?

Have you ever had a massage? If so, I bet you felt great afterward! What about your dog? Will he feel the same way? Absolutely! If you’re not already massaging your dog, you should consider it, especially after exercise. Here are some reasons why.

  • Massage reduces stress. Contrary to what many people believe, dogs do experience stress. Regularly massaging your dog will help him relax and calm down.
  • It improves and increases circulation. Increased circulation helps with muscle recovery after exercise, can help with arthritis and helps the body to heal.
    It helps to relieve pain. A massage after exercise helps to soothe tired or tense muscles and relieve pain naturally.
  • It improves performance. Regular massage aides athletic ability which will help improve the performance of your show, service, or competition dog.
  • It helps you find problems before they become major. By regularly massaging your dog, you become intimately familiar with your dog’s body. As a result, you’ll notice changes early, and will be able to address them before they become major.
  • Massage improves the bond you have with your dog. The more you massage your dog, the more your relationship will grow and improve. Your dog will look forward to this special time with you, and you will love it as well.

If you don’t know where to begin, look for a class, a book, or dvds on canine massage. We hold classes periodically, so feel free to contact us for the next class. You and your dog will be grateful!

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

Why worry about one extra pound on your dog? On a big dog, one pound may not matter, but for a small dog that could mean 10 percent of his body weight.

Lean dogs live longer, healthier lives than those who are overweight. A 14-year study showed that lean dogs can live two years longer and showed fewer visible signs of aging than those that were overweight.  It also revealed that lean dogs were a full three years older before they needed treatment for arthritis.

If you want your dog to lose weight and are looking at weight loss diets, be aware that most prescription and commercial weight loss diets are excessively high in carbohydrates and low in both fat and protein. Instead, diets to help your dog lose weight should be high in protein and low in carbs. Dogs thrive on high-protein diets and find them more satisfying. They have no nutritional need for diets that are primarily carbohydrate based.

When weight loss is a priority, you must weigh your dog frequently, especially when first starting a weight-loss program. Aim for weight loss of 3 to 5 percent of body weight per month, or one percent per week. A 50-pound dog should lose about half a pound per week, or 2 pounds per month. Once your dog begins losing weight steadily, you can go longer between weigh-ins, but recheck at least monthly to make sure you’re still on the right track.

Regular exercise is an essential component of a successful weight-loss program. Proper exercise not only burns calories, but also helps to convert fat into muscle, improving body condition. As your dog loses weight and gains muscle, he will become more active, which will further speed up the process.  Start your exercise program slowly as an overweight dog’s endurance is most likely low. As his endurance increases, so can the exercise regimen.

Diet and exercise are like a committed couple.  Working together produces great results in weight loss and in turn a healthier dog.

Why Exercise is Important for Your Dog

People tell us all the time that life is too busy to properly exercise their dogs. Unfortunately, as a result, dogs gain weight, lose endurance and muscle mass, and often wind up spending their senior years in discomfort and pain. But just like with humans, you can change that with proper exercise.

What is proper exercise? That depends on the dog. Young, energetic dogs may require a several mile run, a swim, or 30 minutes of playing fetch, while senior or overweight dogs will benefit from a slow paced swim or Skully swimming in the indoor pool at Rocky's Retreata steady walk.

What are the benefits of exercise for your dog? Here are a few:

  • Mental stimulation and improved brain function. Exercise increases the heart rate which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It stimulates growth of new connections between cells. And just like with humans, dogs experience the same “high” that humans get after a great workout, resulting in a drop in stress hormones, thereby improving mood and behavior.
  • Helps to slow the aging process. Exercise works at the cellular level to help cells repair and regenerate themselves.
  • Works to strengthen muscles, bones and tendons. Depending on the dog, the right kind of exercise can help dogs increase or maintain muscle mass, making it easier to get up and get around as they age.
  • Enhances flexibility. Exercise keeps joints moving in their entire range of motion.
  • Helps to maintain proper weight. With 54% of all dogs overweight and their life spans being shortened by an average of two years, this is extremely important. Exercise increases the metabolism and continues to burn calories even after exercise is completed.
  • Improves immune function. Diminished immune function can cause a host of problems ranging from skin issues, infections, allergies, and even cancer.

By their very nature, dogs are more athletic than we are. But with today’s busy lifestyles, dog owners are often challenged to find the time to give their dogs what they need in the way of exercise. If you try, you can find a variety of ways to exercise your dog, from activities that don’t demand much energy on your part to activities that exercise both you and your dog. You just need to find what works best for you.


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