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In our last blog post we showed you how to check your dogs ideal body weight. In this blog post we will help you check if your dog is getting enough exercise? This is critical as 59% of dogs are obese , here are some breed specific exercise guidelines to make sure your giving enough exercise!

Our guidelines are breed specific and this is essential because even if you have a spaniel that is not a worker and does not flush and retrieve, their physiology and energy systems will still be set to flush and retrieve game. If you do not provide the right amount of exercise for your dog it could result in a host of issues, including weight gain, behavioural problems and anxiety disorders.

For example, spaniels typically require 2+ hours of moderate intensity activity. Moderate intensity activity is defined by the dog working at 60% of their maximal capacity. Moderately intense activities include running/fast jog. In the case of fighting/combat breeds, they require on average 2 hours of high intensity activity. High intensity activities require 80%+ of a dogs maximal capacity. Examples of these kinds of activities are intermittent sprints, wall climb and weight pulling.

How much exercise does your dog need? Comment below! 

PS. Ready to take your dogs fitness to the next level? Check out our SHOP for our most popular fitness tools!

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

There’s tons of discussion online about what is fat, starved or fit. Unfortunately in 2017 the American Pet Products Association found that 59% of dogs are actually obese!

You probably KNOW how to keep your dog fit & healthy but most of the general public does not. In fact you may have been told your fit dog is ‘starved or abused’ so we wanted to give you the 5 point body composition chart to use as proof that your dog is healthy!

Obviously this is a general guideline and this differs slightly with certain breeds. For example, the running  and sight hounds generally  come up as underweight due to their natural disposition to have a low body fat and muscle mass percentage. However, there is never an excuse for any dog breed to be emaciated or overweight so please study the  5 point body composition chart carefully and hold yourself accountable to your dogs health!

PS. Ready to take your dogs fitness to the next level? Check out our SHOP for our most popular fitness tools!

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

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The benefits of using a dog treadmill are endless; working dog enthusiasts use them when preparing for athletic / sporting events, confirmation fanciers incorporate them for show ring practice, veterinarians use them for gait analysis & rehabilitating from an injury, dog trainers use them for behaviour management and many dog owners use them as an all year-round conditioning tool when the weather is bad or the dog parks are too busy.

Although there are many different models of dog treadmills on the market today, they can all generally be classed into two different categories, either motorised (electric) or non-motorised (manual). 

 

                   Electric  Motorised Treadmill

Motorised Dog Treadmills

Motorised treadmills are basically what you would find at a gym or sports & fitness store. They are electronic motor driven treadmills and the speed and duration of the workout is controlled by the handler. Many motorised dog treadmills also come with a powered incline and a speed-o-meter with timer/distance tracking. They vary in price from $1000 – $5000 depending on the model and brand.

Pros: Reliable power.

Cons: The most expensive, do not support a natural gait, heavy, can be dangerous as the dog is not in control, the speed is capped and they can be noisy.

 

              Non-Motorised Treadmill ‘Slatmill’

 

Non-Motorised Dog Treadmills
The non-motorised dog treadmills can be classed into two different designs; a slatmill or a carpetmill. The slatmillis made up of a number of slats which are joined together in a loop and positioned over a set of rollers. There is normally an attachment point for a harness, and barriers on either side so that the dog remains in position and avoids injury. The dog is in complete control at all times and the slats only turn when the dog moves. Many slatmills on the market also come with a speed-o-meter and timer/distance tracking system. Their typical cost is between $800-$4000.

Pros: Promote natural gait, are not as expensive as electric treadmills, the dog is fully in control and they are very free turning.

Cons: Fairly heavy, can still be quite expensive and noisy.

 

        Non-Motorised Treadmill ‘Carpetmill’

 

Like the slatmill, the carpet mill is also 100% powered by the dog and is similar in appearance to a slat mill except its generally all wooden in construction. There are no metal parts and the bed of the mill (the track the dog runs on) is simply a board between two wheels with a carpet going around it for the dog to run on. This mill is not as “free-turning” as a slatmill and therefore the dog has to work a lot harder to move the ‘carpet’. Most carpetmills have an incline option and come with a speed-o-meter time/tracking system. They figure in the range between $400-$600.

Pros: The most cost efficient of the three dog treadmills, the least noisiest and lightest in weight.

Cons: Not as free turning so the dog has to work harder.

No one treadmill type is ‘better’ than the other, it depends on your set up, finances, your dog and your goals. We really like non-motorised treadmills like the slatmills and carpetmills because we like the fact that the they mimic a dogs natural gait better and the dog is in complete control being able to stop when ever he wants to or accelerate / decelerate on his own at different intervals without needing to control it on a speed monitor. We feel this makes the workout more effective when doing interval sprint training and also makes it a lot safer reducing the risk of injury.

 

Keep them FIT!

FITDOG NATION

 

PS.

Check out our online shop for some of the best models of slatmills and carpetmills on the market right now!

 

Today, the treadmill is the most popular piece of fitness equipment and can be found in homes and gyms around the world. Recently, a variety of dog treadmills have hit the market and have gathered much attention. But where did this effective fitness machine come from?

The Ancient Roman Treadmill Crane

The first treadmills can be traced back to the 1st century AD. The Ancient Romans used a ‘tread mill’ or “tread wheel” to lift heavier weights by incorporating the treadmill to replace the winch in their cranes.  Men would walk within the wheel itself and  because the treadmill had a larger diameter, they were able to lift double the weight with only half the crew.  These tread wheels were later adapted to create rotary grain mills and were also used to pump water and power dough-kneading machines and bellows.

 

Treadmills for farming and domestic chores

During the 1700s-1900s farmers were in need of a consistent source of power.  Instead of relying on natural sources like wind and water which was unreliable they found that a treadmill could capture the  “brake” power of a horse.  According to historian  Brian Wells , “the unit of measurement of force of strength necessary to operate these new stationary machines became known as “horse power” based on the average pulling power of an average draft horse.” Smaller treadmills were also created to accommodate animals like dogs, sheep, and goats in order to tackle domestic chores such as churning butter, grinding stones, fanning mills, cooking meat and separating cream. 

 

Dog Treadmills for exercise

The first dog treadmill marketed as a dog exercise device was patented by John R. Richards, of Oak Park IL in 1939. The design similar to Nicholas Potter included a harness and was not motorised.  The first human treadmill was not invented until 1952, when Dr. Robert A. Bruce got the idea to put the treadmill belt to use for humans to walk on. He used it as a stress test to monitor and diagnose various heart conditions.  It was not until the 1960s that the treadmill was commercialised as an exercise device for humans.  Since then there have been constant innovations in treadmill design and function for both humans and dogs.  For dogs, the treadmill is no longer a way to automate farm and domestic chores, it is now a very effective exercise tool that promotes health,  fitness and working dog performance. Its also excellent for solving issues like hectic schedules, poor weather, busy streets and crowded dog parks.

Although there are many different types of dog treadmills on the market today they basically are split into two main categories. Do you know what they are? Reply below if you think you do 😉

Keep them FIT!

FITDOG NATION.

PS. Click here to check out our latest state of the art dog treadmills 

This weeks FITDOG of the week reminds us that its not just the bull breeds and terriers who can look and perform good. We are pleased to announce that Jesse Cortez’ German Shepherd ‘Quddus’ is this weeks FITDOG of the week.   Heres an interview we did with Jesse.

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’ve  been into working dogs 3 years”

What’s an average day of exercise for Quddus?

”Swimming / flirtpole / springpole”.

What do you feed Quddus?

”Quddus eats Victor pet food

What events does Quddus take part in and does he have any titles?

‘Quddus has the following titles BH, AD and we’re going for IPO1 in September’

 

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

High quality nutrition is paramount to a healthy fit dog, especially one that works. The carbohydrate debate is a controversial one in the performance dog arena. Therefore we decided to do some research and present some facts.

FACT 1:

According to the National Research Council and compared to the other two major nutrients — protein and fat — no carbs are considered essential for a healthy canine diet. Dogs don’t need corn, wheat, barley rice or potatoes, either. Yet surprisingly, carbs represent the dominant nutrient found in most dry dog foods.

FACT 2:

Most dog feeds are too high in carbs: Carbohydrates are used in abundance in most dog feeds for many reasons, but primarily they are included because they are a relatively inexpensive source of energy and can help to keep the price of dog food more affordable. Carbs are not inherently bad, but they should make up 1/3 or less of the daily calories for most normally healthy pets.

FACT 3:

Low carb feed is recommended for the average dog. Carbohydrates aren’t bad for dogs;  in reasonable amounts, they can actually provide a practical source of energy. However, the issue lies in their quantity. Using a dogs ancestral diet as a model, the total amount of carbs consumed by a dog’s evolutionary predecessor is significantly less than what’s become the norm for today’s kibbles. One sensible source estimates natural carbohydrate consumption for a dog’s ancestors at around 14 percent of their total diet. Yet on average, today’s dry dog foods contain somewhere between 46 and 74 percent carbohydrate!

FACT 4:

A low to moderate carb feed is recommended for elite performance dogs such as greyhounds. Dr Ben Holding a greyhound nutrition adviser recommends a 25% Protein / 40% Fats / 35% carbohydrate based diet for elite performance dogs such as greyhounds.

What’s your take on Carbohydrates?

REFERENCES:
1) Lindblad-Toh K, Wade CM, Mikkelsen TS, et al, “Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog”, December 2005, Nature 438 (7069): 803–19

2) Brown S., Taylor B., “See Spot Live Longer”, 2007 Creekobear Press, Eugene, OR USA, pp 51-61
National Research Council, National Academy of Science, “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats”, 2006 Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC, p 317

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

We are pleased to announce that this weeks FITDOG is Matt Rogers Ace. Heres an interview we did with Matt.

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’ve  been into dogs my entire life but professionally 15 years”

What’s an average day of exercise for Ace?

”I run him, we do weight pull, hand walk and he also does spring pole”.

What do you feed Ace?

”Ace eats earth-borne kibble’

What events does Ace take part in and does he have any titles?

‘He is titled in the A.P.P.D.A which is a personal protection dog event’

 

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

The single most important trait for a FITDOG to have is DRIVE and anyone whos seen Lorockmors PACO in the flesh can attest that he has plenty of it. Heres an interview we did with Lorockmor working dogs.

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’ve had  dogs all my life”

What’s an average day of exercise for Paco?

”30 minutes off leash free running first thing in the morning, then 30  minutes  on the treadmill, around 40 minutes of bite-work training and then 20 minutes running of an evening”.

What do you feed Paco?

”I feed him a raw diet which is a mixture of chicken, tripe, lamb and salmon with some cold pressed barca biscuits mixed in’

What events does Paco take part in and does he have any titles?

‘Paco enters most bitework competitions in the UK and as recently as 3 weeks ago won the AVD Night Trials Gold Class which is regarded as the biggest hardest competition in the UK’

 

Paco {left} and Kimi Paco {right} after Paco won the gold class and Kimi won the silver class at the AVD night trials.

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

Fit dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Our definition of fitness is the ability of a dog to perform a specific job or function. One dog that embodies this to the max is Kyra De Vil, the Yorkshire Terrier from Croatia! This weeks FITDOG of the week is awarded to her and the great work she does with her owner. We are excited to share an interview we done with them this week.

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’have had dogs my whole life and I have never had  less than two dogs (I now have 4)”

What’s an average day of exercise for Kyra?

”Kyra is a very active dog. She is a big dog in a small body. Every day she requires some action so I try to provide her a different kind of exercise like running with a bike, swimming, weight pulling, tow, nose work, long walk etc”.

What do you feed Kyra?

”Kyra usually eats raw meat  and kibble twice a day, but if you ask her she could eat all day every day haha’

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.