Health Archives - K9 Fit Club

September 2, 2013

Summer is ending soon and it will be a very busy period in people’s lives. Parents will be busy preparing children’s snacks and kids will spend more time in school. Dogs are going to face their “back to school blues” alone. There will be less playtime, dog exercise and bonding time for pooches. It will be difficult for them, especially when they are so attached to their owners. Dogs are loyal pets that need much attention like children who seek affection from their parents. Abrupt changes in daily routines may result to great amount of stress for dogs.

dog-boy-readingSuch doggie dilemma may lead to different behavior problems. Dogs will not only be the ones that will be affected by these changes but also pet owners. Dog behavior problems such as soiling in the house, chewing, clawing furniture and excessive barking with other dogs are not only annoying to owners, but also dangerous to dogs that may suffer from serious health problems. Along with depression, a variety of health-related issues may be associated with those Back to School Blues. Dogs may lose appetite or overeat and depression may also weaken the dog’s immune system that may increase risks of heart disease, arthritis or even cancers.

Like people, dogs can cope to adjustments and life changes, but it must be taken slowly over a period of time. It is best to apply changes little by little in the dog’s daily activities. Slowly lessen the dog’s playtime or walking time without leaving it feeling left behind. When it comes to food, be careful in making changes with the dog’s diet. It is important to consult the Veterinarian before changing the dog’s feeding time. The end of summer signals the start of this pet dilemma, so to avoid such dog depression; here are some ways to help them cope easily with their “back to school blues”:

1. Provide a dog toy

Dog toys, such as Kong, will keep them occupied for hours and forget about being left alone. But leaving dog toys is not as simple as giving whatever may fit into the dog’s mouth. Be cautious in leaving dog toys to your pooch. Dog toys come in different chew types, formulations and sizes depending on the age, chewing style, breed and weight of the pet. For dogs in between sizes, larger size chew items are appropriate. If you have a strong chewer, it’s better to get a larger chew item to give challenge to your pal. Consider the largest and strongest chewer if you have more than one dog in your house.

2. Apply Aromatherapy

Like humans, dogs feel relaxed with the scent of flowers. Toxins are also big problems for pets. Aromatherapy is very helpful to keep them relaxed and suit their selves. This is a natural way to ease stress and solve behavioral problems. Certain essential oils can make them feel relaxed, focused and free of anxiety. Lavender essential oil is a powerful calming and soothing substance for rattled and stressed dogs.

3. Music

You know that your dog’s hearing is very sensitive, but did you know that you can create an environment of sound to improve the health and wellbeing of your canine companion? Companies, such as Through a Dog’s Ear, uses the latest science on how dogs hear and react to sound, providing a treasury of fresh insight on the inner auditory life of our best friends. Calming music uses sounds and music as a tool to help alleviate separation anxiety, excitement with visitors, thunderstorm panic, and other behavior challenges.

4. Let them feel school too

Let dogs feel they are also going to be busy like you in the end of summer. Enroll them in doggie daycare or other related activities. This will help your dog to meet new pooches and learn new skills. There are also boot camps that provide exercise for dogs and people. You can workout with your pal while aiming for your fitness goals. You can put this schedule during weekends or after kids have gone to school.

Dogs never forget their loyalty to you, so be loyal to them. There’s always a way to sort things out and balance your time between work and family. Dogs are members of our families, so take time for them too! Though summer is coming to its end, your time for your best friend shouldn’t end with the season. Make sure they are always active, happy and healthy.

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August 22, 2013

We all enjoy a great meal, savoring each bite and enjoying every morsel. What if we were to assume that our dog feels the same way? If we have a hard time controlling what we eat, what about them?

Fat is never healthy for us and never healthy for our dogs. Here are some great tips from Dr. Ernie Ward and the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention.

dog-obesity

What are some of the causes of pet obesity?

Treats are the biggest contributor to the current pet obesity epidemic. Today’s treats are pumped full of fat and sugar, making them highly desirable but extremely unhealthy. In fact, this added sugar and fat causes changes to a dog’s brain. It is not uncommon to see indoor dogs that consume over half of their required calories each day in the form of goodies. Combine high-calorie treats with an essentially inactive lifestyle and obesity develops.

Dog owners don’t often understand how many calories are in those tiny treats. For example, if you feed a 10-pound dog one Milk-Bone Gravy Bones for Small and Medium Size Dogs dog biscuit, it contains 45 calories. That doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that a dog that size probably only needs about 200 to 220 calories each day. That single biscuit equals 21% of the total calories that dog should eat in a day! If an average human were to eat an equivalent amount of calories, they would need to eat two Krispy Kreme Chocolate Iced Glazed Doughnuts. Imagine if you did that two or three times a day; you’d be obese in no time!

How does obesity affect a pet’s health? It’s life span? 

The major health risks associated with obesity in dogs and cats include arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory problems and many forms of cancer. In addition, weight-related disorders not only cause needless suffering, they also cost pet owners tens of millions of dollars each year.

What should a dog owner feed their dog to help it lose weight? 

Choosing a weight-loss diet isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. There are many considerations including the dog’s current health status, amount of weight that needs to be lost, taste and textural preferences and the owner’s interests and abilities. Consult your Veterinarian; they know your dog and the requirements for a healthy diet. 

 7. How can pet owners help keep their pets fit? 

The simplest way is to get moving, keep your dog fit is to walk daily for a total of 30 minutes. Walking not only benefits your dog but you’ll gain health improvements as well. Strive for a 15 to 18 minute per mile pace to get your dog into its fat-burning zone. 

8. Do you think pet owners know their dogs are overweight? 

People’s perception about excess weight must shift from simply viewing love handles as unattractive to recognizing that their flabby waist is a noose choking their health. A dog’s thick mid-section is a hormone bomb factory waiting to explode.

In this age of cost-cutting and health reform, we must take responsibility for our health and that of our pets. The simplest thing anyone can to do to avoid illness is eat a healthy diet and exercise daily. As a veterinarian interested in obesity, my job is to educate people about their pets. If they learn a little about their own health in the process, everyone wins.

K9 Fit Club is the Nation’s First Indoor Fitness Facility dedicated to the health, fitness and wellness of dogs and their people.

K9 Fit Club is building a Nationwide Community – Join Our Movement

 

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August 14, 2013

You know it’s good for you. You know that exercise can give you energy, help you maintain a healthy weight, keep your muscles and joints flexible, help you live longer, and above all, make you feel better.

IMG_5416If you and your dog are getting a little more “pooch”, you’re not getting enough exercise–but neither are they. Simply walking the dog more often than only once a day can add a significant calorie debt to your balance sheet. Better yet, fit dogs, like people, tend to have fewer reasons to go to the doctor, less chance of cancers, and less risk of joint ailments.

Not only can exercise extend your furry friends’ lives; it may also expend some of their nervous energy and make them a little less likely to chew on the living room drapes.

The thing is, nobody’s filled pets in on all of these benefits of exercise! Without someone to lead the way, they’re not going to run laps or do leg lifts in their spare time.

So as a wonderful pet parent, part of your job is ensuring all your family members get safe, enjoyable exercise on a regular basis–whether they’re children, dogs, cats or ferrets! All pets need some physical activity to live a happy, healthy life.

Different dogs need different amounts of exercise, so you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian before starting your pet’s workout program. With a proper assessment, you can embark on an exercise program that won’t seem like work at all–to your best friend, its play.

Getting in shape is a win-win for everyone, not just in terms of losing weight, but making a commitment to do exercise together

DOGS – THEY GET US MOVING!

IMG_5342You don’t want to hit the ground running with your pooch, though. Just as with any animal–or person–you’ll want a veterinary assessment before you start your dog’s fitness routine. With this assessment, you can discuss plans and ensure your dog has a clean bill of health.

Just remember, like people who aren’t used to exercise, dogs should start off slow. And as we say at K9 Fit Club, a little bit of something is better than a whole bunch of nothing!

 

Moderately paced walking and swimming are a good way to start—both people and pooch athletes build their cardiovascular and muscle strength without putting undue stress on their joints.

A 15-minute walk in the morning and evening, combined with an appropriate diet, can be meaningful. As you and your pet get stronger, you can graduate to longer walks on the weekend, hiking, biking, and even running.

Once he’s adapted to the exercise, you and your dog can run and walk to your heart’s content, if you take a few precautions.

  • Keep a close eye on your dog: watch for any unusual signs of fatigue or trouble breathing.
  • If your pup wants to stop, let him.
  • Dogs that overdo it can suffer strained tendons or ligaments or other orthopedic problems.
  • Don’t expect your fuzzy buddy to be a weekend warrior, even if you only get exercise on the weekends yourself.
  • After a long week without exercise, your dog may be ready to get out and burn off energy. But because of their enthusiasm, many of the popular breeds, such as Labrador and golden retrievers, will overdo it.
  • Safety first—leashes are a plus or a must when you run.

Even the best-trained dogs can run into the path of a car or a territorial animal. And if you have to run when it’s dark out, put reflectors on your dog’s collar as well as on your clothes. Concrete and asphalt are tough on the paws, especially on hot days. Try to run on dirt paths or grass as much as possible. Gravel, cinders, and road salt can also irritate paws.

Take it easy in extreme weather. If it’s freezing cold or hot and steamy out, either keep your run short or play a little indoor fetch instead. The more active your dog is, the more water he’ll need. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water before and after your run. If you’re going for a long run, take some water along for him.

IMG_5367If your dog is getting bored with running or walking, take heart: there are other ways to get him the exercise he needs. A 15-minute game of fetch makes for a good workout. Supervised play with other dogs is a good option too. Tug-of-war is not a good game because it can damage his teeth and may increase aggressive behavior.

If you have the time and your dog has the inclination, you could even try running him through some agility obstacle courses, which incorporate a range of activities.

 

Or, by all means, if there is one in your area, you can visit K9 Fit Club!

 

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August 13, 2013

Not all pet owners can afford to send their dogs to boot camps or workout clubs for pets. But there’s no reason to just let dogs skip their daily exercise and pamper them with food and sleep, thinking that it can help them be healthy. It’s a big NO. Food and sleep are indeed necessary for every living thing, but remember too much is really bad. Don’t grow your pooch round like a big watermelon. It may look cute, but it can be very dangerous. If you can’t make it up to a workout club for your dog, it’s better to make your own dog exercise routine.

Beagle Chasing A Ball Dog ExerciseIf there’s no chance that you can come to workout clubs, your dog can actually do its daily exercises at home. Set dog fitness goals and help him reach them. Even without any training paraphernalia, your pooch stays fit and healthy as long as you help him get through natural exercises. Here are dog exercises you can do at home:

Walking

You may hear that walking 10,000 steps may help an individual lose weight and get rid of belly fat. Same with dogs, thought it wouldn’t be 10,000 steps, daily walking will keep them in good shape. Walking is the easiest way to exercise your dog. Keep him scheduled for 20-30 minutes, enough time to spend time together as well. You can stroll on streets, visit the park, or walk with other dogs in the neighborhood. In no time, your dog will be the one to take you for his scheduled walk.

Running

Running is the best natural exercise for your dog. Don’t let your dog run alone, run with your pooch. It will really be a healthy lifestyle for both of you. Take several rounds along the neighborhood or take your dog to the park. He can find a buddy to run and play around. But you should keep a list for your running activity. Bring the leash and plenty of water for your pal. Don’t let him dehydrate. Dog toys will also help. Let him run after soft balls or throw a saucer toy for him to catch. You won’t feel like you have spent all that hours playing with your pooch.

Swimming

If you maintain a swimming pool in your house, you can let your pooch swim and enjoy the therapy of water. It may be difficult at first because dogs may refuse to get into the water, but keep him secure and comfortable in your hands. Dogs need something to get their courage from, and that thing would be you. Always let your pal feel that he is safe and water is good for him. Just so you know, he’ll be a better swimmer than you.

Dogs get along easily with simple routines as long as you keep a regular schedule for them to instinctively remember. Your support and motivation are very important on this part. The dog will seek that satisfied happy emotion in your face as he finishes one exercise. First attempts may not be successful, but patience will help your pet get through the exercise. Same with people, dogs tend to cope with the environment and situation as much as possible. Do not force the dog because it’s not going to work, rather it will cause stress both to you and your buddy.

If time comes that you and your dog are ready to enter dog boot camps, it’ll be easier to cope with the number of trainings. Your pooch will not be something to worry about anymore because you’ve trained him ahead to follow certain routines. There are several dog boot camps where you can take your buddy. K9 Fit Club is not just good for your pooch but also perfect to take time for your fitness goals.

You can follow us at Twitter @K9FitClub1 and join us this #fitdogfriday for more dog fitness tips!

 

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August 8, 2013

You may wonder if your dog understands every word you try to say. Indeed, trained dogs instinctively understands commands like “sit”, “jump”, “roll” or “run”, but what about other important thoughts you want them to know? You may also be puzzled at times, when your dog tries to act like he wants to tell something. The thing is dogs can’t talk. They can’t even show appreciation or comfort you in bad times.

how to tell your dog you love themIt’s not only through wagging tails and big warm eyes that you can feel dogs can deeply understand your feelings towards them. It’s very much true to dogs that actions speak louder than words. The eyes and tail may signal their excitement but it’s merely their emotions sent to you that give you the feeling that your dog understands what you’re saying. If you want to be sure that your pooch knows how much you care, here are ways to show that you love them:

1. Take a walk together

Lovers like to walk together at the park. Dogs feel the same happiness to be walking with you too. Take that walk and spend time with your pooch. It may not take you much time to walk around. Your dog may like to run or play with other dogs also. Take that time to sit and show the dog that you’re being supportive to his interests.

2. Share your thoughts

Treat dogs like friends and not merely pets. They also love to hear stories and life experiences. It’s important to keep the conversation going to avoid them from getting bored. Share your thoughts. They may not respond to what you’re saying, but they are listening. A good conversation goes with a good speaker and a good listener.

3. Take time to sleep together

It will make the dog feel secure and comfortable to sleep beside you. It may not be as often as it can be, but make sure you spend time to sleep with your dog. Some dogs may feel they are outcasts or isolated if they are being restricted to go inside certain rooms. Don’t be so hard on reprimanding your pooch. Stay calm and avoid making them feel that they are not welcome inside your house.

4. Read to your dog

If you are a bookworm, you can read to your dog and share that wonderful story you’re reading. They may also love bedtime stories like kids. The fact that you spend time to read a story for them is a good way to tell them that you love them. Your dog just love to hear your voice and spend time with you.

5. Exercise together

Your dog will gladly appreciate to know you care about their health. It’s not easy to say, “I worry about your weight doggie,” because the dog will not understand such thought. Exercising with your dog or taking them to workout camps makes it easy to relay the message that you care about their health. Encourage your dog to meet fitness goals and show support in his workout. In return, your dog can be a good workout body for you. Be a model to your pooch. Maintain a healthy body to entice that doggie eagerness to be healthy too.

Don’t keep those feelings from your dogs. They have the right to feel loved too. Show them you care the way they have shown they love you. Communicate the way they relay messages through strong and sincere emotions. You and your dog must create a mutual connection with how both sides will understand. It may sound complicated, but with both of you caring for each other, it will be simple as talking to the same kind.

 

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July 22, 2013

dog-inside-hot-car

Don’t try to put your dog on a very dangerous situation that you will regret at the end. If you are one of the cruel owners who leave their dogs inside a car in the middle of summer heat, then you must realize that leaving them in there is like putting them inside a hot oven. Your dog is not strong enough to endure severe summer heat accumulated inside a car with windows barely cracked. Temperature in a car can exceed 120 degrees in just few minutes. Your dog will suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation.

Authorities have already advised pet owners not to leave their pets inside their car no matter how quick or long they will be gone. As much as possible, they are advised to leave pets at home instead. If you really must take your dog with you, make sure that you take extra precautions. There is no exact time and amount of heat that dogs can tolerate. Dogs are very vulnerable to heat. They have limited abilities to control their body temperature in a close area with high humidity. Leaving pets inside cars is not only dangerous but also illegal. You can be prosecuted for leaving pets under conditions that could endanger their health and well-being. Such crime imposes proper sanctions and penalties.

As an owner, you must also know what to do when your dog is exposed to high temperature.

  • Look for signs of heat stress

First, observe if your pet is showing symptoms of heat stress. Heavy panting, unsteadiness, glazed eyes, staggering gait, rapid pulse vomiting, and red or purple tongue are the symptoms of heat stress. Find your pet a comfortable and cool place to be relieved. If cooling is not enough to make the dog’s condition stable, immediately rush the animal to a veterinarian.

  • Move the animal to a cooler area

Lower the animal’s body temperature by applying cold water all over the face and body. Wet towels placed at the back of the animal’s neck, armpits, and groin area is very helpful. You can also wet the paws and ear flaps with cold water. For fast evaporative cooling, you may direct a fan on the wet areas.

Let the dog refresh by drinking cool water. Offer your dog a drink if he/she is alert and wants to drink. But do not force the animal to drink.

  • Take your dog immediately to a veterinarian

There are pet health concerns that only veterinarians can manage. If you know nothing about giving cure for such case, it is better to rush the animal to a pet clinic.

If you see a pet left in a car, exhibiting signs of heat stress, call the local animal care and police department. Take down the vehicles information including model, color, and tag number. If the dog’s life is at danger, find a witness who can back you up and remove the animal immediately out from the car. Do not leave the scene until authorities arrive.

Moreover, heat stress and heat stroke are not the only dangers when leaving your pets inside unattended cars. There have been reports of stolen dogs and cats each year. You can’t afford to realize that your pet is just gone or probably on process of being killed. Pets should really be at home, but if you really must take your pet with you, make sure they have necessary pet carrier and harness. You may also put two ID tags – one for home address and one for destination address. It’s not cool to leave your dog in a car under the summer heat. Be responsible in keeping your dog safe from heat stress.

 

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July 9, 2013

dog-vomiting-health-problems

It could really be depressing to see your dog vomiting yellow fluid or white foamy liquid. You may feel puzzled to think about what food you fed your dog that caused such characteristic coloring. Different theories and queries will blow up your mind. You’ll end up thinking if there’s something the dog ate at your backyard that caused the problem or there could be something seriously wrong. Always remember, vomiting is not a disease but a symptom or sign that the dog’s body needs to eliminate certain waste. One way to treat such health problem is to identify what causes vomiting in dogs.

According to Dr. Kristy Conn, vomiting in dogs is a forceful discharge of stomach contents out from the mouth. It may be caused by virus, toxins, improper digestion, overeating, allergic reaction, diet change, food intolerance, ingestion of garbage, acid accumulation, or some serious organ malfunction. Vomiting in dogs is not as serious as other health problems as long as it is not accompanied by blood. Vomiting may be chronic or acute. Chronic vomiting lasts for a couple of days, while Acute vomiting can be managed by withholding water and food intake for 12-24 hours and considering a diet for two to three days.

It is important to seek guidance about good diets for your pet. Vomiting is often experienced by overweight dogs and those that are not fed properly. Both overeating and an empty stomach persist vomiting, which is why overweight and empty stomach dogs are prone to such health problem. Overweight dogs tend to eat more than they should. Sometimes, you tolerate your pet’s appetite that you tend to overfeed your dog. Overeating may cause improper digestion and pancreatitis which constitute vomiting. Dogs with no proper diet or eating habit also experience chronic vomiting. When the stomach is empty, acid often accumulate. Too much acid reacts on ingested food or water that causes the dog to vomit stomach contents.

For severe vomiting, it is best to bring your dog to a veterinarian for consultation and immediate treatment. Such case may result to dehydration, stomach inflammation or organ failure. You won’t like the feeling of seeing your dog suffering and not knowing what to do to make it feel better. Vomiting may be natural to a dog’s life, but it is always important to identify the cause to assure it’s not going to be a serious health issue.

You can treat dog vomiting in simple ways. Seeking guidance for proper diet and regular exercise can help your dog get rid of vomiting dilemmas. For overweight dogs, a strict diet and proper eating can be very effective. You can check fitness gyms for dogs like Canine Fitness Center, Rocky’s Retreat or K9 Fit Club for a healthy workout and training for your pet.

K9 Fit Club is a fitness gym that provide fitness classes and workout sessions for dogs. It has a new facility with two indoor workout rooms where both dog and owner can workout and have fun together. The club aims to develop healthy lifestyle for dogs and their owners. You will be able to maintain a workout schedule, which is not only beneficial for your dog but also for yourself. You and your dog will surely be good workout buddies! K9 Fit Club classes also focus on dog behaviors and obedience which may help your pet to develop discipline in eating. The club has trained employees who will help you and your dog say goodbye to stress and depression. They provide unique workout and training facilities for you and your dog. There are dog exercise pens and a mop ready for doggie accidents.

 

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