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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

 

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