Pet Health: Dog Food & Fitness with Fit Dog Grizzly
A healthy dog is a happy dog!
We love our pets, and we always want what is best for them. This includes a good diet and lots of exercise.
We are what we eat. The choices we make for our dogs are very important.We can choose dry, raw, wet, homemade food and treats or a combination. There are many food companies, brands, advertisements and misconceptions, which is why knowledge is key. It is important to understand what our dog needs to achieve a balanced diet, and the ingredients and the calories in each option.
– Check packaging, read the labels carefully, check where the food is made and sourced and make sure that you can contact the company in case of questions or issues. I only buy food and treats sourced and made in North America for Kilo, and mix premium commercial kibble and treats with homemade.
– Check out reviews and online information (I love the Slim Doggy app. and their articles on ingredients and nutrition)
– Ask a vet and/or a local trainer or expert.
We talked to Cheryl Orletsky, of Holiday Pet Care / Dog Guru (http://www.talenthounds.ca/health/dog-food-treats/) and she had the following 3 TIPS for people buying commercially made Dog Food:
1) The number 1 ingredient should be an identifiable meat e.g. Beef, chicken, salmon, duck, lamb, pork. It should not just say meat or meat products or poultry or fish or pork.
2) Avoid corn. It is used as a filler without a lot of nutritional value (and creates more poop)
3) No Additives and By-Products.
This week’s inspirational Fit Dog is Grizzly, the Natural Nutrition Ambassador for Animal Wellness Magazine.
Dog trainer and owner Taylor explains how she keeps Grizzly the German Shepherd in such good shape.
“He eats a nutritious, grain-free formula by Nutrience Pet Foods. He also takes salmon oil, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to have various health benefits. And that’s not all. There are many other factors to keeping a dog in full health. Their teeth, joints and skin all benefit from different products, vitamins and nutrients, and that’s why it’s important to research all the aspects of your dog’s needs.
Every dog needs a different amount of food daily. It depends on their activity level, age, metabolism and size. Most dog foods have a recommended daily amount on the bag, and it is always good to consult with a vet. Check out the Slim Doggy app to see if you are overfeeding or underfeeding your pet. Don’t forget to count treats as the calories can add up.
More pets die from obesity than from starvation and more than 50% of dogs are estimated to be overweight.
Although good nutrition is important, it’s only part of what’s necessary to achieve a healthy pet. Second up is exercise!
Regular exercise is a necessity. Just like feeding your dog, there are guidelines and rules for exercising them too.The ideal quantity and type of exercise may vary depending on the breed and age of your dog.
Whether it’s a game of fetch, a hike in the woods or a walk around the neighbourhood, fresh air and activity will generally help burn calories, strengthen immune systems, build muscle and improve mood. There are many ways to stay active and happy with your pet.
Puppies should be on a careful exercise schedule, as their joints aren’t fully developed until they’re over one-year-old. A puppy’s exercise should be kept short, non-repetitive and low-impact. Great puppy exercises, include: light fetch, short leash walks, age appropriate tricks/obedience training and dog puzzles.
Once your dog gets older, you can increase daily exercise. However, it’s recommended that you ask your vet to evaluate your dog, and check that it’s safe to do heavier physical activities. Maybe find a local training school, and enrol your dog in a sport class. Whether it’s agility, fly ball, disc, dock jumping or dog sledding, dog sports are an amazing way for you and your dog to stay fit together!
Once your dog becomes a senior, you’ll have to alter your routine once again. Older dogs are prone to arthritis and hip dysplasia, so lower impact exercises may be necessary. Some great exercises for older dogs include: swimming, stretching and body-strengthening tricks.
It might seem complicated and confusing, but good nutrition, physical activity and training are sure ways to create the happiest and healthiest life for our dogs.
Grizzly the German Shepherd’s mission is to educate and inform dog owners how to lead a healthy life.
Keep up with Grizzly the German Shepherd: Facebook