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We can all agree that prevention is better than cure and since we are a community committed to the health and performance of dogs worldwide we wanted to share our Top 5 Tips on Preventing Join Injury In Dogs.

According to ASPA Pet Insurance, The most common non contact injury is knee joint injury. A non contact injury refers to an injury that the dog sustained without any external force (as an example a dog being hit by a car is a contact injury)

Why Knee Joint Injury?

A dogs back end is responsible for 80% of their movement and the role of the canine knee is crucial for optimal canine movement. The main job of the knee is to absorb and distribute the forces from the ground through to the dogs head. While the knee is one of the strongest joints based on the large muscles in the surrounding area, it is also one of the most unstable joint as there are no interlocking bones in the joint. Instead it is held together only by several ligaments, including the cruciate ligaments, which allow it to move back and forth like a hinge, but restrict its side-to-side motion.

Credit @staffordshire.aaron

WHAT CAUSES KNEE JOINT INJURY?

One of the most common causes of knee joint injury is by jumping, skidding, twisting or turning awkwardly. Limping is often the first sign of a problem and the structures that are most commonly injured are the cruciate ligament and also the meniscus. The cruciate ligament attaches the upper and lower parts of the dogs leg together and the meniscus acts as a shock absorbing cushion in between them. Injury to the knee can be highly problematic for three reasons: It will completely disable your dog from exercise, it can cost thousands of dollars to treat and it requires a long recovery process.

Credit @malinoisfemke

How to Prevent Knee Injury

1. Health Test

A well structured knee will always be able to absorb more punishment than an unsound weak knee. It’s the breeders responsibility to ensure that their dogs are health tested and that their breeding is producing dogs that are improving in their physical ability. It is also your job to select (when possible) a dog that is as sound as possible.

Credit @spacewhippet

2. Do not Over exercise

While we are advocates of canine exercise, it’s important you do not over exercise your dog past their threshold. An example would be a dog owner who only walks their dog around the block but who one  day decides to take their dog for a 1 hour game of fetch. This is over exercising. The dog is not ready to withstand the stress of such an increase in intenisty or volume. You must remember that any exercise you do with your dog must be monitored and gradually increased. For help with your dog’s exercise regime take a look at our >>12 Week Canine Conditioning and Nutrition Program.

3. Avoid being Overweight.

Dogs who are over weight naturally cause unnecessary pressure and load on their joints. You can maintain a healthy pet or fit weight very easily by just basic hand walking and monitoring your dogs daily food intake. For more help on what is the ideal weight for your dog check our >>5 Point Body Composition Assessment.

 

Of course there are many more steps you can take to prevent joint injury in your dog however these are our top 3. While they are simple tips to use, they are also simple not use. If you make sure to implement these top 3 tips you will greatly minimise the risk of knee join trauma to your dog.

 

What questions do you have? Comment below and we will personally respond to you.

 

Keep them fit

FITDOGNATION.

 

P.S. Your dogs Health and performance is only as good as the knowledge you have and the tools you own. Check out our Top 3 Canine Tools for Boosting your dogs fitness using the Link Below.

>>>Top 3 Canine Tools 

 

 

 

Credit @supermilo The fit chocolate labrador

One of the keys to helping your dog live a life of health and high performance is making sure they have sufficient energy stores. A dog’s energy reserves should be built up to allow them to  perform to their max, but what is the best source of energy for a dog?

From DNA studies, we know dogs evolved directly from the timber wolf somewhere around 15,000 years ago [1]  Wolves are notorious for the unique order in which they consume their prey.  Straight after the kill, a wolf will tear open the animal’s abdominal cavity and consume the organs. The “prized meat,” which is consumed first, includes the liver, heart, kidneys, spleen, and other vital organs.

In fact the African Wild Dog is infamous for tearing open and eating the organs of its prey while it’s still alive! This instinctive desire to consume organs as a priority is shared between most predators in the animal kingdom and there is a reason for that. Fats are highly digestible forms of energy and are actually the primary energy source for all dogs.

 

What are fats and what do they do for dogs?

Fats have many important functions…Not only do they provide energy, but they are also necessary for the normal development and function of your dogs cells, nerves, muscles, and body tissues.  Fats help to regulate your dogs normal bodily functions, reduce inflammation, and help with nutrient absorption. Fats are an optimal source of energy for canines since: 

  1. Dogs get 2.5 times as much energy from fat as they do from carbs. 

  2. Dogs metabolize 90-95% of fat they eat 

 

How Much Fat Should You Feed Your Dog?

It’s important to remember that all dogs are individuals and vary based on their breed, age, gender, health and activity levels. However, Dr Ben Holding a greyhound nutrition adviser recommends a daily macronutrient intake of 25% Protein / 40% Fats / 35% carbohydrate  for elite performance dogs such as greyhounds. 

 

 

SO, What are good sources of Fat?

Good sources of fat for dogs are all animal based fatty meats. The highest animal fat can be found in Beef, Lamb, Pork and Fish. Some of the best cuts of Fat are Organ Meat – examples include liver, tripe, spleen, sweetbreads, brain, intestines, Testicles, and kidneys. 

 

How much fat are you currently feeding? Let us know by dropping a comment below!

 

 

Keep Them FIT!

FITDOG NATION

 

P.S.
Claim a 10% Discount on our Large Dog Weight Pulling Harness. It’s perfect for building Lean, functional muscle on Herders, Mastiffs and American Bullies.

But hurry this offer ends September 30th and there’s only 9 in stock!

>>>>Click here to order yours

 

 

 

Credit @the_dog_house_mcr

It’s one of the oldest and most common forms of exercising your pooch but does taking your dog for a walk really help with getting them fit and lean? In today’s blog post we are going to show you three ways you can build lean canine muscle with dog walking!

When it comes to exercises that build muscle it’s very important to focus on activities that are ‘high intensity’. High intensity activities stimulate your  dogs type 2 muscle fibres. These are the muscle fibres responsible for that hard, ripped look on a dog. 

Some breeds have Type 2 muscle fibres naturally such as pitbulls and american bullies. Other breeds like herders and hounds, not so much. Instead they are naturally composed of more Type 1 muscle fibres which are less defined and not as obvious. The good news is that you can increase a dog’s Type II muscle fibres and improve their muscle definition.

How to Build Lean Muscle with Walking

The truth is, it’s virtually impossible to build optimum lean muscle with just basic hand walking. The reason being it does not challenge the growth and repair phase of a dog’s muscles. Sure, it may get your dog tired if you walk them fast non stop for 1 hour or so but when it comes to conditioning, walking your dog is only good for two things: Emptying their bowels and letting them enjoy a sniff around OR recovering from a workout.

So how does walking build muscle? The answer is you simply make the walk harder by adding resistance to the walk. There are TWO key ways you can add resistance to a dog walk and that is by having your dog pull weight with the use of a pulling harness OR by having them carry weight with the use of a weighted collar or hiking harness. All are effective ways, it just depends on your needs!

PULLING WEIGHT

Pulling weight with a weight harness is the most preferred method of adding resistance to a dog walk. This is because it’s more natural for your dog and uses their biomechanics in a more efficient way plus it is one of the safest way! By having your dog in a weight pull harness and the weight connected behind your dog, they have to push against the load using their back legs which is the part of a dogs body which generates 80% of their total body power. Weight pulling also provides the best opportunity for building muscle because you have full control of how much weight you add. If you’re going to pull weight with your dog please make sure you use a safe and purpose made harness that distributes the weight evenly across your dogs body. If you have a large dog we recommend our Big Dog Pulling Harness. For all other breeds we recommend our Heavy Duty Pulling Harness.

CARRYING WEIGHT 

Carrying weight is also another way to add resistance to a dog walk. One of the safest ways for your dog to carry weight is by using a specially designed hiking harness. Not only are they an effective method to increase your dogs muscle mass but they are also a useful a pretty cool and practical way to carry important items during a hike such as car keys, snacks and water! 🙂

Weighted Dog Collar

Weighted dog collars are also a useful way to make a walk or hike more difficult. They are also versatile in that they can be used in almost any workout you can think of from flirtpole, treadmill sessions and spring pole workouts!

Which method works best for you? Let us know!

Keep Them FIT!

FITDOG NATION

P.S.

Only 7 Days left of our August Bonus which gives you over $250 worth of FREE Products when you order your slatmill before August 31st. >>>>Grab yours now

 

@terkapbtuy flexing those muscles

One of the most common questions we received on a daily basis is ‘How can I make my dog more muscular?” So in today’s blog post we are going to share with you our Top 3 Tips for Building a Leaner, Muscular Dog

But before we go into it, why build a leaner dog? There are multiple reasons:

1 – longer life:

Currently the leading cause of dog illness and death in the UK & USA is obesity with over half of the respective dog population diagnosed clinically obese!

2 – happier LIFE:

Yes you read correctly, a leaner dog can do more than an over weight pooch who lays at home all day. Dogs are supposed to be active. A fit and active dog is a happy dog!

3 – Less injuries:

One of the most common muscular injuries in dogs are knee ligament tears and being over weight is one of the leading risk factors! The less excess fat your dog has on their body the easier it is for them to move around without tearing something!

@muzmuz Hanzo Always ready to train

 

Tip 1 OPTIMAL Nutrition FOR CANINE MUSCLE :

In order to build, maintain and replenish muscle its important to feed high biologically available nutrient dense food to your dog. You want to feed your dog stuff thats actually going to be digested and offer your dog high quality energy. High quality energy is provided by the three main macronutrients that are essential for your dog which are Fat, Protein and Carbohydrates. We recommend feeding a ratio of 40% FAT (Yes fat is actually your dogs main energy source) followed by 25% Protein and 35% Carbohydrates.

 

 

TIP 2 STIMULATE TYPE II MUSCLE 

The truth is that some breeds are just predisposed to lean muscles even when on a poor diet. This is down to genetics. For example the majority of bull breeds like pit bulls naturally have a high amount of Type II muscle fibres because of the strength and power based activities from their past (Fighting and baiting). Where as dogs like herders and hounds are mainly made up of Type I muscle fibres which supports low intensity long duration activities.

In order to stimulate your dogs type II muscle fibres you must focus on high intensity activities. Here is a list of High Intensity Activities you can do with your dog:

 

TIP 3 HAVE FUN

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that anything you enjoy you will persevere at. That goes for you and your dog. Have fun exercising your dog, don’t make it a chore, that way you will do it more and your dog will also want to join in too!

@toxicpoison.apbt enjoying the workout

 

If you have any questions or want  more personalised  support for your dog just let us know at support@fitdognation.com

Keep Them FIT!

FITDOG NATION

P.S.

Only 11 Days left of our August Bonus which gives you over $250 worth of FREE Products when you order your slatmill before August 31st. >>>>Grab yours now

 

Over the last few years dog treadmills have become increasingly popular as dog owners around the world have realised the health benefits of using them. But what is the ideal treadmill workout session? In this article we are going to share one of our most effective dog treadmill workouts so you and your dog can maximize the use of your dog treadmill!

Firstly it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual and everyone has different goal for their dogs. Also the following treadmill workout is one using the Slatmill. The reason for this is we only recommend mechanical aka manual dog treadmills. To find out why read this article >>>The different dog treadmill types

That being said we are going to share with you a workout which is designed to increase your dogs lean muscle mass, it’s called ‘Super 25’ because it’s only 25 minutes of a workout and will have your dog super tired so they (and you) can chill out for the rest of the day 🙂

The reason why it’s so effective is that its a balanced workout which involves both elements of power, strength and endurance! Check it out below 🙂

 

Super 25 Dog Treadmill Workout

 

Start by having your dog empty out: This can be done with a walk round the block or in the back yard. You basically want to make sure their bladder is empty and they are ready to work. 

A) 5 Minute Warm Up:

The 5 minute warm up is a gradual movement from walking into running. Use a timer to make sure your dog does the following:

2 Minutes Walk

2 Minutes Jog 

1 minute Run

 

B) 6 Minute Power Sprints:

Straight after the warm up its power sprint time. The power sprints are performed in intervals. Each interval is made up of a sprint and a resting period. The sprint is obvious, your dog sprints as hard and as fast as possible. The rest period is your dog walking. Your dog will perform 6 sets of these. So they will be doing 30 seconds of Sprinting followed by 1 minute of walking x 6. 

It will look like this:

Sprint 30 seconds followed by 1 minute walking

Sprint 30 seconds followed by 1 minute walking

Sprint 30 seconds followed by 1 minute walking

Sprint 30 seconds followed by 1 minute walking

It’s important that you get your dog sprinting as fast and as hard as possible during the sprint set. Encourage your dog as much as you can, if needed use a prey article, toy or treat to bait them!

C) 9 minutes Interval running

After the Power sprints your dog will immediately switch into an interval run. Much like the power sprints these will also be sets but in this case instead of sprinting your dog will be running for 1 minute and instead of walking your dog will be trotting for 30 seconds. This will be repeated 6 times. 

It will look like this

Running for 1 minute followed by trotting for 30 seconds

Running for 1 minute followed by trotting for 30 seconds

Running for 1 minute followed by trotting for 30 seconds

Running for 1 minute followed by trotting for 30 seconds

Running for 1 minute followed by trotting for 30 seconds

Running for 1 minute followed by trotting for 30 seconds

 

D) 5 Minute Jog aka ‘trott’

After the interval run, your dog will go straight into a 5 minute jog also known as a ‘trott’. Unlike the other portions of the workout this part does not involve any resting and it’s just a continuous 5 minutes of trotting.

 

If you have any questions or want a more personalised workout for your dog just let us know at support@fitdognation.com

Keep Them FIT!

FITDOG NATION

P.S.

Only 13 Days left of our August Bonus which gives you over $250 worth of FREE Products when you order your slatmill before August 31st. >>>>Grab yours now

 

Most of what we do here at FITDOG NATION is the promotion of a healthy and active lifestyle for dogs. But there is a large segment of people who also want to achieve world class canine performance. If you’re one of these people then you must read on.

Working EBT (Credit @jay_pk9)

 

One of the biggest challenges a working or sporting dog will experience in their lifetime is something called ‘Overtraining’

Overtraining is when your dog has ‘done too much’ to the point that they are unable to effectively perform or you see a decline or plateau in their performance. More often than not, overtraining goes un-noticed so here are some signs your dog could be over-trained:

  • Loss of appetite

Dogs that consistently perform intense work higher than their threshold with insufficient recovery will eventually experience stress which is higher than what their body can handle. When this occurs, their body will begin to use their vital energy reserves as food instead of eating. This is your dogs way of preserving balance in their body. A sign of this happening is if your dog begins to refuse food or becomes a picky eater. If this continues your dog can experience serious conditions that affect their cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. That’s why all our 12 Week programs are specifically designed with training systems that make sure your dog does not become overtrained.

 

  • Decline in performance

Another sign of overtraining is when you notice a decrease or plateau in your dogs performance. This could be an obvious decrease in strength during weight pulling sessions, slower agility scores or lack of endurance in treadmill races. That’s why we always recommend tracking your dogs performance levels (at least weekly) so you know what is normal for them.

 

  • Irritability and anxiety.

Overtraining can affect your dog’s stress hormone levels, which can cause them to display abnormal behaviour. This could be an increase in rank aggression in the home or less patience around other dogs or young children.

 

Working Whippet (Credit @powerpawz_)

So what do you do if your dog is showing any of the above signs? Well first of all do not panic. Our advice is to firstly see your veterinary professional to assess their vital signs. The next step would be to put the following in place.

Rest

Make sure your dog has access to the opportunity to have good quality rest. This should be in an undistracted place that allows them to sleep and rest with the ability to spread all of their limbs and joints.

Hydration

Provide your dog with access to water 24/7 and if necessary you may want to offer them an electrolyte solution. Also avoid feeding foods which will dehydrate your dog further such as main stream kibbles and treats.

Nutrition

Ensure your dog is being fed the appropriate macronutrient quantities. Every dog is different based on their breed, age and ability. That’s why our Custom made 12 Week Conditioning program focuses on tailor made nutrition plans. However, we recommend a basic guidelines of 35% Carbohydrates, 40% Fat and 25% Protein for active and working dogs.

Muscle Recovery (Rub down)

Give your dog a rub down daily especially after workouts. This will allow the lactic acid in their muscles to be releaved and will increase blood flow and oxygen to their muscles which improves recovery and prevents overtraining.

Recovery Days

All good conditioning programs provide recovery days. A recovery day does not mean a rest day of doing nothing at all. A recovery day will be a day of activity that compliments the more intense days. We believe all dogs should be active every day. That’s why we use a cyclical conditioning systems which plan all your dogs workouts to maximise performance and reduce the risk of overtraining.

American Pit Bull doing Bite work (Credit @team_vida_loca)

Track performance

It’s important to track your dog’s workouts and performance so that you know how they are progressing and what is normal for them. There are four components you must track; That is the frequency (how many sessions they do) The intensity (How hard they go for example did they do a trot or a sprint?) The time (how long did they sprint for?) and the ‘type’ (was it interval treadmill sprints, drag pull sprints, sprints with a chute? Etc)

 

If you have any question or concerns feel free to contact us at support@fitdognation.com

 

Keep them fit,

FITDOG NATION

P.S. Boost your Dogs Power and Endurance with one of our World Class Dog Treadmills

>>>>>Check them out now

Bella of Elite Bully UK in a Single Suspension Gallop

How much attention have you paid to your dogs gait recently? You may or may not know that your dog’s ‘Gait’ is their mechanics or quality of locomotion. In other words, it’s how efficiently your dog can move. Yes! There is actually a standard for this and it can by divided into eight phases, however not all dogs can perform them (as we will explain!)

Why should you care?

Understanding a dog’s gait has two main benefits. 1) It allows you to identify imbalances and poor movement dysfunctions. 2) It assists you in tracking and improving your dogs performance.

What are the types of gait?

In order to keep this practical and focused on canine fitness, we are going to describe four out of the eight types of canine gait (the main four). For the record the eight forms are 1) Walk, 2) Amble, 3) Pace, 4)Trot 5) Flying Trot 6) Canter 7) Single Suspension 8) Double Suspension.

Walking

When it comes to canine gait, walking is the initial phase and also the lowest in intensity (because it’s the least taxing). There are a number of walking gait types but the main walking gait is characterised by a pattern that involves the dog’s three out of four legs actively supporting their body at all times. During this phase, each foot is raised from the ground one at a time in a regular sequence. Walking well is essential for all dogs. Most dogs spend most of their ‘exercise’ in the form of walking in the park or round the block only, which is a shame as it’s not very challenging  or stimulating for a dog (dogs were born to run). That being said there are ways you can increase the intensity of a dog walk. This can be done by altering the ground such as incline walking. More intense adjustments involve adding a weighted vest, doing drag pulls, using a weighted collar or just simply increasing the speed of the walk.

Canine Gait: Walking

 

Trotting (Jogging)

A step up from walking is trotting otherwise known as jogging. It requires more energetic effort than walking which makes it higher in intensity. Canine jogging is characterised by a unique rhythmic two-beat diagonal gait in which the feet at diagonal opposite ends  strike the ground together; i.e., right hind with left front and left hind with right front. 

Canine Gait: Trot (aka jogging)

 

Running (Single Suspension Gallop)

As a dog moves consistently faster they naturally break out into a run, otherwise known as a single suspension gallop. Unlike the trot, the single suspension gallop is a four-time gait. The dog supports their body weight with their feet in an unsymmetrical sequence: Right Front, Left Front, Right Hind , Left Hind.  (it can happen that the two limbs LF and RH hit the ground at the same time). Just after taking off from the front left foot the dog achieves suspension. Each front foot must be lifted off of the ground before its corresponding rear foot is set down. The rear foot may hit the corresponding front foot if the timing is wrong. Most dogs can achieve a single suspension gallop and it’s commonly performed through the good ol’ game of fetch!

 

Sprinting (Double Suspension)

The most intense form of gait is Double Suspension Gallop (also known as sprinting). Just like the Single Suspension Gallop (Run) the Double Suspension Gallop is also a four-time gait.  However, the dog’s weight is not supported by the feet at all. This is the only gait in which a dog is in either in full extension or full contraction. The dog’s front legs are in full extension forward while the rear legs are in full extension rearward. Likewise, the dog’s front legs are in full contraction forward while the rear legs are in full contraction rearward. Also, the dog’s spine is fully extended as they perform a max overreach  during the extension phase and their spine is fully flexed when their feet are in the full contraction phase. A double suspension gallop is a very intense form of gait and cannot be achieved by all dogs; as a result it is more common in working dogs such as greyhounds. 

Canine Gait: Double Suspension Gallop (Full extension)
Canine Gait: Double Suspension Gallop (Full extension)

 

Here is a short clip in real time looking at the temp and rhythm of the canine gait. TOP TIP Pay attention to the head movement 🙂

 

There are a number of ways you can improve your dog’s gait. The best way is by letting them use it more! Sounds simple but as the old adage goes; if you don’t use it you lose it and this is no more truer than today. With more than half of the USA’s and UK’s dog population obese most dog’s simply cannot walk or run with ease anymore.

A great place to start is our Ballfit12 Program. It is a specifically designed 12 Week Canine and Nutrition program that will increase your dog’s running ability and over health and performance. When you order now you get 60% OFF! Pretty cool huh?

Cool, then go grab it now:

>>>>>>>>>>Ballfit12

If you own a high energy or working dog you may want to look into investing in a dog treadmill such as a Slatmill or Carpetmill. Dog treadmills make it easier to manage high energy breeds (most need at least 2 hours of running a day) 

Check out our Dog Treadmills here:

>>>>>>>>Dog treadmills 

If you have any questions just let us know at support@fitdognation.com

 

Keep Them FIT!

FITDOG NATION

There’s a ton of misconceptions about dogs running on treadmillswhich have caused many social media battles online recently so in this article we are going to bust some of the main myths and put to rest the misinformation! 

 

 

First of all dog treadmills are nothing new, in fact the first dog treadmill was patented by John R. Richards, of Oak Park IL in1939. The design was conceived from an idea John had whilst seeing an earlier version of a manual treadmill which was used to automate farm and domestic chores by live stock. By the 1960’s the treadmill was no longer used for chores but instead was being used by working dog enthusiasts to help condition their dogs. The pit bull community were the first to use dog treadmills particularly as a way to exercise dogs in preparation for the illegal activity of dog fighting. Unfortunately this has tainted it’s use and created a hysteria about dog treadmills despite the fact that it is used today by a variety of breeds including canines in military and police departments around the world. For a more in depth history of the dog treadmill read the following article>>>>History of Dog Treadmills

 

3 Myths about Dog Treadmills.

MYTH 1: Dog Treadmills Are Cruel

It has been claimed that dog treadmills are cruel because dogs are forced to run on them. This is a complete myth especially in the case of the non motorised dog treadmills such as our Slatmills and Carpetmills. The fact that they are non motorised (manual) means the dog is in full control of the treadmill belt and it therefore only moves when the dog moves. You can learn more about the different dog treadmill models by reading the following article but suffice to say that manual dog treadmills (when made and used correctly) are100% safe >>>>>Dog Treadmill Types

 

See Above: Our Unique Shock Absorption System  on our Slatmills for Extra Joint Care 

MYTH 2: Dog Treadmills Are Dangerous

 First and foremost running is a natural activity for all dog’s.  A dog treadmill merely facilitates this natural canine movement pattern with an added layer of safety since all dog treadmills have safe and secure fixing points which keep your dog running securely on the treadmill in case they get distracted. In fact, we have even added more safety to our dog treadmills recently through our unique shock absorption system. This provides your dog with extra support while they are running to mimic a soft ground and therefore reduce any possible tension on their joints. Furthermore, when you introduce your dog to the treadmill in the proper way and maintain good treadmill etiquette it’s virtually impossible for your dog to have an accident. To find out how to introduce your dog to the dog treadmill read our article here >>>>How To Introduce your dog to the Dog Treadmill

 

MYTH 3: Dog Treadmills are for lazy people, just take your dog for a walk!

While it is true that all dog’s are born to run, it is also true that  there are of course variations between dogs based on their breed and ability. It is important to note that certain breeds require more robust forms of exercise in order to maintain a balanced physiology. For example, the herding and shepherding breeds such as Border Collies, Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds have extremely high energy levels. This is primarily due to their past use as herding dogs which involved them running in fields for up to 5-6 hours at a time non stop. As a result of their selective breeding they have developed the physiology that requires at least 2-3 hours of moderate intensity exercise a day.

Moderate intensity exercise for a dog is defined as an exercise that is at least 60% of their maximum capacity. Running is an example of a moderate intensity exercise. Walking on the other hand is a very low intensity exercise for most dogs let alone for a working breed such as a herder.  Not only that but there are times when weather may not permit a dog walk or run which means a dog can miss the opportunity to ‘release’ their energy. Therefore the dog treadmill is of paramount importance. For more information about breed specific exercise guidelines, read the following article:

>>>>>>Breed Exercise Guidelines

 

If you have any questions regarding the use of dog treadmills feel free to contact us at support@fitdognation.com

To view our full range of dog treadmills go here: >>>>>Dog Treadmills

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOG NATION

One of the most common questions we get is ‘What exercise should I do with my dog?’

Well, there are multiple factors that will dictate the best exercise for your dog, some of which include your dogs age, ability, medical condition, injury history and your personal goals for your dog not to mention your dog as an individual.

However that being said there is one form of exercise that ALL dogs should do (AND DO WELL) and thats running!

It sounds common sense but common sense is not so common! I mean at the moment 59% of dogs in the USA are obese and 54% of dogs in the UK have been diagnosed with weight issues. That’s over 70 million dogs worldwide not even receiving basic exercise never mind running!

So why running? Well, although scientists and archeologists still do not agree on the exact origins of today’s modern dog, it is generally accepted that they have evolved from the Genus Canis Family;  an ancient form of Wolf who’s main mechanism of survival was through their ability to scavenge, track, catch and kill their prey. And guess what this was dependant on a lot of running!

Todays modern dog has developed into a very different animal but their physiology is relatively still the same as the Ancient Genus Canis. This means that their mind and body is still dependant on being able to carry out levels of the same activities they once did thousands of years ago. Today we have a huge variety in breeds and the modern dog does not need to hunt for survival. However the modern dog still displays a desire to run, scent, track and catch prey.  This is because it has been hard wired into your dogs DNA over thousands of years to ensure their survival. When dogs perform these activities their body rewards them with the release of hormones which keep your dogs body regulated, balanced and protected. 

Thats why Ol’ Rex gets excited when you reach for that leash…he anticipates  going out with his pack (you) to go hunt some prey (sticks, balls, rags or even squirrels LOL). Due to the variation in modern day breeds through selective breeding there are variations in this ability too. In fact we still have multiple breeds of dog with a strong desire to track and hunt prey such as the hound and bull breed families right down to dogs of lower ability such as the toy and exotic breeds. Yes the ability may be different but the desire is still there!

One of the best ways you can nurture and develop this desire is through running an hunting activities such as the good ol’game of fetch! Fetch not only feeds your dogs desire to run and hunt but it also saves you time on exercising your dog if you do it correctly. We recommend a specific form of fetching which combines prey work and fast relay sprints with allocated rest times and a natural canine diet. In fact we created a 12 Week Ball Conditioning and Nutrition program called Ballfit12.

 

Here are just some of the benefits of Ballfit12:

1) Builds strength
Sprinting during fetching stimulates the growth of the nerves that control your dogs muscles. By sprinting you are creating strong, capable canine muscles. 

2) Burn fat 
One of the best ways to burn fat is to increase your dogs heart rate with high intensity exercise, this makes your dog expend more calories. The most effective way to increase heart rate is sprinting!  

3) Boost endurance
Regular sprinting training teaches your dog’s body to store more glycogen in their muscles and use fat for fuel instead of muscle. This means that your dog has more energy for longer!

4) Increase speed and power 
Sprinting increases your dogs fast twitch muscle fibres which are the key muscle fibre type that are required for making your dog move fast and powerfully such as jumping high or moving faster across the ground.

5) Saves time 
Sprinting is hard work, 20 minutes of hard sprint training is equivalent to a 1 hour walk. That means you will have a nice tired and chilled out dog in a quicker amount of time. This is gold for people who lead busy lives!

If you really want to take your dogs running to the next level you should consider a dog treadmill. Not only will a dog treadmill provide your dog with a higher level of running training but it will also guarantee your dogs exercise on days when the weather does not permit exercise. There are many varieties of dog treadmills on the market today but we only recommend mechanical treadmills because these are the safest and most natural form of dog treadmills. These types of treadmills include Carpetmills and Slatmills. We explain the differences between them in our article which you can access here >>>>>Dog Treadmill Differences

No matter if your exercising your dog using basic fetch work or high level dog treadmills the most important thing is that you exercise your dog to ensure they live the healthiest life possible. If you have any questions feel free to contact us anytime at support@fitdognation.com

 

Keep them FIT!

FITDOG NATION

 

I visited  a friend on the weekend who currently has a fine litter of athletic sport competition puppies.

The parents hold a number of records in weight-pull, treadmill racing and wall climbing. I took a buddy along with me as he’s planning on acquiring a new pup (it will be his first sport dog) The breeder has several adult dogs on his yard too and my buddy was in heaven as we toured the place (we all know that feeling when we first started out 🙂

When we got to my friends main stud we started talking about his conditioning. I asked the breeder what he had planned for his conditioning and my buddy who is new in the dogs was amazed at the precision behind all of the stud dogs conditioning sessions.

”It’s like he’s a pro-athlete” he said. That’s right, I replied, he is.

You see, conditioning a dog for world class performance is WAY different  to exercising a dog to burn off a little energy. One of the key fundamentals is the focus on performance. When you condition for performance your conditioning must be highly organised and you must track the frequency, intensity, volume and type of conditioning you do daily. It’s not just a matter of hooking your dog on the lead and going for a walk.

I’ll give you an example using one of the main conditioning variables we track on our 12 Week Conditioning Programs….. ”Intensity”

Intensity can be defined as the quantifiable amount of physical exertion your dogs body uses when performing an activity. Most people do not track the intensity of their dogs conditioning. This is a huge mistake and by not doing so you are not maximising your dogs potential.

Below is a table that shows the fitdognation intensity continuum.

As you can see, there are different levels of intensity based on the exercise. This is important to note because it will massively impact your dogs performance. For example, if you want to improve your dogs strength, power and lean muscle mass you must focus on high intensity exercises as they increase the demand on your dogs type II muscle fibres and burns body fat percentage at a highest rate.

A great form of high intensity exercise is sprinting. We prefer sprinting on a Slatmill because apart from the fact that it’s safer (and bad weather proof LOL) it’s also the most effective way to control, track and measure your dogs intensity.

You can also sprint your dog by playing fetch but this does not give you full control and management of your dogs sprinting intensity which is how much distance your dog covered in the quickest time possible.

Not only that but dogs can get distracted during a game of fetch by either stopping to scent or by showing interest in other prey articles or animals.

This reduces the intensity of your dogs sprint workout massively. Compare that to a dog hooked up on a slatmill who is 100% focused on the task at hand, no distractions, no scenting, just pure intense sprinting.

Unlike most other  Slatmills and dog treadmills on the market, all of our slatmill models now come with speed computers to provide you with extra key data about your dogs sprints. Combine that with a well planned conditioning program and your dog is truly on the path for elite canine excellence!

That’s all for today,
Keep them FIT!

P.S.
Order your Slatmill now and you automatically receive a FREE custom designed logo of your choice! Just email us your Logo after your purchase and we will upload it for you 🙂