HEALTH AND WELLNESS
It's never too late to paws and breathe.
WALKING your dog regularly is good for you and your dog. Turn your walk into a workout! Concentrate on your posture, intensity and purposeful movements to increase calorie burn.
Ideally, here's how you should walk your dog:
* Keep head up, look forward – not at the ground.
* Relax your head, neck and shoulders.
* Swing arms freely with a slight bend at the elbow.
* Engage your stomach muscles to support your back.
* Take a smooth stride: initiate from heel to toe.
* Walk fast enough to elevate breathing and heart rate.
As your dog's workout partner, your job is to also help your dog get the most out of his/her walk. Here are some basic guidelines to follow:
* Use a leash or vest. Keep your dog's head up.
* The back of your dog should be straight with fluid hind and front limbs movements.
* Discourage your dog from sniffing around or at least keep it at a minimum – this is a walking workout.
* Make your dog walk next to you and not in front of you.
* Walk fast enough to burn more calories.
As you start your walking routine, remember to:
*Wear bright or reflective clothes, especially at night.
* Plan your walk. Consider the weather and distance.
* Bring water for you and your dog, especially if the walk will be long.
* Bring pick-up bags to clean up after your dog.
* You can walk anywhere that is safe. Softer surfaces like grass and sand are better for the joints
* Walk together slowly for at least 5 minutes.
* Cool down for another 5 minutes by walking slowly.
The average dog and person spend more than 8 hours a day sitting or sleeping. To stay fit, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day for you and your dog. If you can't set aside that much time, split it up.
* Lameness in dogs explained