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The Dog Treadmill – when it’s too cold/wet to go outside

In case it’s very cold and wet outside or you are not feeling well, a dog treadmill might be the right gift for both you and your dog. Of course, taking your dog out for a walk (or run) is the most ideal thing to do at least once a day, there might be circumstances when you can’t fit it in your schedule.

A dog treadmill can give a dog a great workout and ensure your dog maintains a consistent exercise regimen. Dog treadmills have been shown to provide increased muscle definition, toning, improve vitality, increase life span and help curb destructive behavior or excess energy often associated with the lack of regular exercise.

Here are a few Dog Treadmill models to check out:

The DogTread
The Small DogTread features a pet-friendly design, whisper-quiet motor and training guidelines that make it easy to train small dogs quickly. It is portable and easy to store or transport anywhere you go with your pet. Perfect for small dogs and small spaces. Includes the DogTread K9 Fitness Program with instructional DVD containing a 30 Day Step-by-Step Training Program and a 2 year warranty.
dogpacer-dog treadmill dogPACER Dog Treadmill
Made for dogs weighing from 1 to 179lbs, the dogPACER treadmill provides a more than 71″ x 16.5″ running surface, a whisper-quiet motor, patented folding technology and customized running programs. The running speed is 0.5 to 7.5 MPH and has an adjustable incline (5 – 9 Degrees). 1 year warranty on all parts and 3 years on the frame.
Go Pet Petrun Dog Treadmill GoPet Petrun For Dogs Up to 44 lbs
The PetRun PR700 Dog Treadmill for dogs up to 44 lbs and is easy for your dog to climb aboard, walk and run without fear or shyness. This dog treadmill is foldable making it easy to store and features a silent driving system for quiet operation, wireless remote controls and a safety lock system. The PetRun Dog Treadmill has push button controls which provide gradual increase and decrease in speed.
GoPet PetRun PR720F Dog Treadmill GoPet PetRun Dog Treadmill for Small to Medium Dogs
The GoPet PR720F Dog Treadmill is designed for dogs up to 132 lbs. If there is a snow or thunderstorm outside, this is a great way to give your dog some exercise. It has an  air cylinder auto-fold that makes it easy to store when not in use.

GoPet also has dog treadmills for medium, large and extra large dogs (up to 175).

So if the weather is just too bad outside, go ahead and get your dog (and perhaps yourself) on a treadmill. A great way to stay in shape and still be able to eat all those holiday meals and treats!

5 Indoor Games with Your Dog

When the weather is bad outside, it’s important to have some fun and exercise with your pooch inside. Here are 5 Indoor Games with Your Dog:

1. Jump + More

indoor games for dogsFind something in your home that your dog can jump over or through. We use a hoola hoop, but you could always use the stick part of a broom propped up on books or small chairs or roll up a towel. Take your dog’s favorite treats and use them to jump through the hoola hoop, over the broom stick or over the rolled up towel. Make sure you give your dog enough space to both run before and after the item they are jumping over. Start with a low height and slowly you can increase this.

If you’re dog really loves the jumping game, you can take it to another level by creating a mini-obstacle course. First you might start by using the hoola hoop and broom stick and rolled up towel. You can add a chair for your dog to run over or under and also add items your dog can weave around.

Indoor Games with Your Dog

2. Fetch

The classic dog game, Fetch, can easily be played indoors, especially in a hallway. Our dog will only play Fetch with treats, so I’ll give him a few more treats that day and just remember to reduce his normal meal to make up for it. To increase the workout, you can play fetch up or down the stairs (make sure your dog is fit and your vet agrees that running stairs is ok for your dog).

3. Puppy Push-Ups

Puppy Push-Ups aren’t just for puppies, but that’s often when dogs learn these commands. This involves 4 commands one after another – sit, then down, then sit and stand. It’s a good way to reinforce the basics of sit, down and stand. It also gives them some push up exercise.

kobi and fiesta 3

“I love a play date!”

4. Doggy Play Dates

Our dog just loves a doggy play date – even if it’s only just 5-10 minutes to run around with his dog friends and have some fun.

5. Find It

This will give your dog’s nose a workout. Put your dog in another room, out of sight, while you hide a few treats. Start out by choosing hiding spots that allow your dog to find the hidden treats easily. Try placing treats behind the legs of furniture, partially in view.

After you’ve hidden the treats, go get your dog and say “Find it!” right before letting him into the room. Encourage him to look around for the treats. You might have to point them out the first few times you play. As your dog becomes better and better at finding the treats, you can hide them in more difficult places, like behind pillows or underneath objects.

As dogs often don’t have a long attention span, rather than one long play session, it might be better to do more frequent short sessions.

Most importantly, indoor games with your dog should be fun for both you and your dog!

If you need more indoor activities with your dog, check out our post on how to teach your dog tricks.

GoDogGo – Automatic Ball Fetch Machine

godoggo

Let’s Play Fetch!

A while back we wrote about the iFetch automatic ball launcher and fetch machine. Since then, we’ve discovered the GoDogGo. This is also an automatic ball launcher and fetch machine, but the advantage is that the GoDogGo allows you to use balls of all sizes – small, medium and large. It will also launch farther than the iFetch, which goes up to 30 feet.

GoDogGo is recommended for outdoor use due to the speed, height and distance of the ball launch. Of course, it really depends on how large your house is – are you in a studio or a 15,000 sq ft home? Apparently a pressurized or hi-bounce ball will have a minimum launch height of approximately 12 feet, but the machine can be adjusted to launch between 12 and 42+ feet depending on the ball type and size.

godoggoThe GoDogGo company suggests that if you plan to use it indoors, it’s preferable to use a heavy and/or hollow ball that is not pressurized as this will help to reduce the launch. Ball examples to reduce height/distance: Buddy Glow Ball–14′ distance & 6′ height; ProPenn Tip 2 trainer ball-18′ distance & 8′ height; Chuck it standard size Tennis Ball–11′ distance & 4′ height; Planet Dog RecycleBall–9′ distance & 6′ height.

godoggoThe GoDogGo Fetch Machine allows for 3 types of use; continuous automatic launching of balls every 7 or 15 seconds when the bucket is fully loaded, use with a single ball for independent play when the dog returns ball to the bucket; or the dog owner controls the experience by using a remote control. In manual mode using the remote control, a ball will launch at a minimum of 7 seconds or a longer which is determined by pushing the remote launch button.

The GoDogGo can be powered by either AC Adapter/110V or Battery Power/D Batteries. If using battery power, it will run for approximately 25 hours on 6 D batteries.

godoggoClearly, this is an awesome toy if your dog is crazy about fetch (especially when your arm is tired). Of course, you’ll have to train your dog with it as with any new toy and there are safety considerations, for example, your dog (and anyone else) should always stand a minimum of 2 feet from the front of the unit when the ball machine is turned on. You need to make sure your dog also retrieves to the right place, i.e. the bucket and not the launch pocket. However, with the right training, we think this would be a great gift for your dog and it could provide endless hours of play!

How to Check If Your Dog is Overweight

is your dog overweightOctober 9th was National Pet Obesity Awareness day (who knew?). We came across some amazing information from the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center and had to share it with you!

“Veterinarians estimate that more than 50% of their pet patients are overweight or obese. Many pet parents can tell if their pet is obese, but what they might not realize is that our pets can suffer from weight-related problems long before they become obese. Especially in our canine companions. Studies have shown that as little as 15% over their healthy ideal weight can shorten their lives by up to 2 years! Being just a little overweight can accelerate the development of painful joints, lameness and the progression of arthritis, and the need for pain medications to live a comfortable life.”

If you can’t tell if your pet is overweight, here is an easy guide call the Pet Body Condition Score (BCS):

Pet Body Condition Score

 

If you have specific questions about your dog’s weight, please discuss this with your veterinarian. In the meanwhile, go out and take a nice walk with your best friend!