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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!

 

Running with Dogs – what a great way to multitask!

Running with Dogs

Finally, we’re back to spring and ready to go running again. Interested in running with your dog? Here’s some of the highlights of a great Jack Rabbit class we went to on how to run with your dog:

Running With Dogs:

It was an evening with dog “runner” Jerry Sticker on how to run with your furry friend and get him to love the miles as much as you do!  We got some amazing tips on how to run with your dogs:

  • Don’t run with your dog if it goes over 85-90 degrees
  • Bring water on your run for your dog
  • Don’t use a retractable leash
  • Use a short leash (6 ft). It will help you to better control your dog. He’s less likely to zig zag on a shorter leash.
  • If your dog likes to stop/sniff/pee a lot when he’s outside, make sure to use the leash to guide his attention back to the run
  • If your dog gets distracted by birds, squirrels, etc. when he’s outside, make sure to use the leash to guide his attention back to the run
  • If your dog gets easily distracted, bring a favorite ball or toy with you on the run. Use it to regain his attention. At the end of the run let your dog play with the favorite ball or toy
  • If your dog is a beginner runner, make sure to start slowly and work up to longer distances overtime

nite-brite-reflective-dog-leash-blackJerry also recommended a leash that was round. It looked similar to the leash left, except this Nite Bright leash has the added benefit that it is also reflective which is great for safety.

One of our favorite, award winning, active dog products brands, EzyDog, also has a hands-free running leash for your dog.

road-runner-ezydogThe Road Runner is the ultimate hands free dog walking/running experience. The sliding side-release buckle allows you to alter the length of the leash or unclip to wear it around your waist, shoulder or hand.

The incorporated Zero Shock Technology is the advanced shock absorbing component in the center of the leash that cushions and eases the pressure for both the owner and the dog. It also incorporates reflective trim for night-time safety and the hands-free adjustments make it perfect for running with your dog.

Hurtta Ultimate Warmer Dog Jacket

Hurtta Ultimate Warmer

Hurtta Ultimate Warmer

Boy it’s freezing outside and we’re sure your dog thinks so too. Luckily, Hurtta has designed and recently released to the U.S. the Ultimate Warmer Dog Jacket. It’s turned into a best seller with many of their customers from Alaska to Maine declaring it as “the best all-weather protecting dog-coat on the market”.

The Ultimate Warmer Dog Jacket provides your dog extreme protection and thermal insulation for extended outdoor activities in cold conditions. The material has been laminated with a waterproof and breathable Houndtex® membrane to keep your dog dry and warm. The high collar, protective front and long rear hem protect your dog’s most important muscle groups, neck and chest. Made from smooth and soundless material, the jacket allows complete freedom of movement.

Hurtta_Outdoors_UltimateWarmerTo ensure a great fit, this highly technical outfit has an adjustable collar, neckline and waist and a protective rear hem. The back of the product has a leash opening for collar or harness attachment. Efficient 3M reflectors have been positioned on various parts of the jacket for increased visibility.

It is particularly well suited to training and active working dogs, when long-term exposure to the cold in winter cannot be avoided.

Want to learn more about Hurtta? Check out our interview with Hurtta to get an exclusive scoop on the brand.

Water Rehabilitation for Dogs

water 4 dogsHydrotherapy has been long used for humans suffering from arthritis pain and other disabilities. It’s only become more available for dogs in recent years. Water rehabilitation for dogs allows them to exercise in a fluid environment which gives them greater support to minimize stress on their joints, while at the same time creating enough resistance so that they can exercise their muscles. It’s considered a major breakthrough for dogs with spinal injuries, severe arthritis, hip or elbow dysplasia or other mobility problems.

water rehabilitation for dogsWhat makes hydrotherapy different is the buoyancy water provides. The feeling of weightlessness allows disabled dogs to use all their muscles without putting stress on damaged or weak muscles. But the water also creates resistance, which limits the rate at which the dog’s limbs can move through the water. It’s also a great cardiovascular workout for a dog’s heart and lungs, since the weight of the water means that breathing requires more effort. The water in hydrotherapy pools is typically warm (80 to 100 degrees F), which promotes blood flow to the injured area while simultaneously increasing muscle and joint flexibility.

Friends of DogsizWater 4 Dogsed and Downtown Dog NYC members, Geraldine, Conor and their dog Abe, had a great experience with hydrotherapy at Water4Dogs Rehabilitation Center in NYC. At the time, Abe (only a year and 9 months old) sadly had a partial tear in his back left leg (unfortunately a common injury for Abe’s breed). After hearing from an orthopedic surgeon that he needed very invasive surgery, they sought out some other opinions. They thought surgery was a bit drastic, especially since he was so young. Another vet recommended water therapy and rehab at Water4Dogs.

They came in for an initial evaluation/consultation with Dr. Block at Water4Dogs and decided to try out their rehabilitation in lieu of surgery. After ten sessions of cold laser treatment, physical therapy, water treadmill and pool therapy (ten sessions in all, twice a week). Abe made an amazing recovery.

So if your dog has an injury or mobility issues, you might want to consider water rehabilitation / hydrotherapy, before going to more invasive surgical solutions. It’s worked for humans for years – it makes sense that it could be a great option and potential solution for our canine best friends.

Check out these two videos of Abe at Water4Dogs: