Spring has made it to the Midwest! We are happy to report we can get back outside with the dogs on a routine basis. ☺
As you get out with your dogs we remind you to think about their safety and well-being. If you haven’t been out much over the winter months, you know how quickly you can get out of shape. So can our canine friends. If you are going to be playing fetch, Frisbee or other aerobic activity, it is valuable to warm Fido up before allowing them to go full force with the running and jumping.
Warm Up Exercises
One of the quick warm up activities I’ve taught my personal dogs is to have them go “around” my legs. By having them run a few laps around me, I can get them moving and stretched out a bit before they are jumping and pouncing. The skill is easily taught by using a lure to move the dog in a circle around your body. As the dog catches on to what you’re doing, the act of moving your hand around to your side becomes a simple hand signal and the lure can gradually be faded out. Add a cue word, like “Around” and remember to teach your dog to go in both directions to balance out muscle tone. Not only will you have a new trick to show off, you’ll have a valuable way to help your dog warm up before any demanding physical activities.
The other thing to be aware of, as you head into the great outdoors is what parasite control you want to use on your dogs. Ticks are a significant problem for many of us while other areas have major issues with fleas. Plus, there are a lot of regions, including here in Iowa, where we have to think about heart worm transmission from mosquitoes.
There are many choices on the market for protection. Make sure you discuss the options with your veterinarian and weigh the decision of what chemicals and insecticides you do and don’t feel comfortable putting on or into your dog.
One of the things you can control is your dog’s food and nutritional intake. Doing all you can to support the immune system through excellent nutrition helps your dog to thrive and plays a pivotal role in helping the body have some natural protection against parasites.
Here at That’s My Dog! we are advocates of raw feeding as the ideal way to feed our dogs. We encourage dog owners to look into the value and benefits of raw. While it may seem like a daunting process at first, there are several excellent raw foods available on the market that can make the process very simple. Our top choice is the Volhard line of products because it allows you to add the freshest and most appropriate protein for your dog while the work of providing the proper carbohydrate, vitamin and mineral ratios are taken care of for you in the dehydrated mix.
If raw feeding is not for you, make sure you are getting the best possible kibble your budget allows. You can check how your dog’s food compares at this independently owned site then supplement the kibble with Endurance.
This will add back any of the fragile vitamins and minerals that the high heat cooking process destroys when creating dry kibble.
Feed your dog well, get some exercise and enjoy the spring!!