April 13, 2020
Are you cooped up at home with your dog due to social distancing and a stay-at-home order? If yes, April is the perfect time to challenge yourself and your dog with a fun activity – canine fitness training. Not only is April National Canine Fitness Month, but the weather is mild and most bugs are still sleeping. Head out to your backyard, the woods, or a local park to try fun bonding activities with your furry pal.
This month in the NH Dog Walking Club, April Begosh of Healthy Pets NH is our expert. She is sharing tips, ideas and ways to get your dog excited about, and involved in canine fitness.
Canine fitness focuses on the 5 key elements of optimal canine health:
As a canine fitness trainer, April designs exercises to provide canines with a full-body experience that touches on all elements listed above. The video below shows examples of exercises and how the five key elements come into play.
Special thanks to Brandy Coderre and her three dogs, George, Lyric and Trevor for showing us what canine fitness looks like in everyday activities.
Canine fitness training is appropriate for all segments of the canine population. It is designed to fit the needs and limitations of puppies, companion pets, sporting/working dogs, and special populations such as obesity and mobility challenged dogs and seniors. At Healthy Pets NH, April designs programs that address the special considerations of your dog along with your fitness goals.
Fitness Training for Puppies
Did you adopt a pandemic puppy? If yes, this is a great time for both of you to get exercise and establish that important human-dog bond. Puppies are eager and motivated to learn and need proper exposure to their environment through different activities and exercises. Canine fitness training is perfect to help stimulate their bodies and minds. A training program for puppies should include exposure to many different pieces of equipment or objects of different shapes, sizes, textures, etc. It should also focus on self-control and reinforcement of basic obedience skills.
In this video, April demonstrates how 7-month old Riley is enjoying canine fitness training for the first time. This helps Riley to build confidence, stability, balance, obedience, and other important skills.
Fun with the Family Dog
Perhaps you recently adopted a dog because you are at home more during the quarantine and need a fun exercise outlet. The goal of fitness training with the family dog is to KEEP IT FUN for both of you. Generally speaking, when pet owners practice canine fitness with their dog, it proves to be a fun bonding exercise in addition to strength training and conditioning. April advises when “introducing canine fitness to your dog, start slow and with what they know, include a variety of activities and keep it fun.”