April is Canine Fitness Month

By Bryce Dixon

You’ve probably heard the expression that a “tired dog is a good dog.” But exercising your best friend not only helps keep your sofa intact, it’s doggone good for the both of you in terms of health, fitness, happiness and mental sharpness. Of course, any time spent with your dog will strengthen the bond between you.

Obesity can shorten a dog’s life by putting them at a higher risk for diabetes, cancer and other diseases. So watch their calorie intake (including treats), feed them a high-quality dog food and aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day.

Here are some ideas to get those paws moving and tails wagging:
• Good old-fashioned walks in the fresh air.
• Swimming in the pool, a lake or the ocean if available. This can be a cool way for
dogs to exercise in the Florida heat.
• Play hide and seek with your dog, hiding treats and toys – or you!
• Toss Frisbees and balls or other objects – race to retrieve.
• Check around to see if there is a dog club offering agility training. Many dog
parks feature agility obstacles too.
• Search out local dog parks that offer cool shade, water, and lots of room to run.
• Flyball, lure coursing, dock diving, herding trials and freestyle (dancing) are
terrific options that can keep your companion in tip-top shape.

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