#1 Training AND Health Tip For Your Dog

Exercise!! I've said it for years - and I'll keep saying it for years to come. The #1 reason for behavior problems is simply because dogs are bored. They need exercise - mentally and physically. They not only get in trouble when they get bored they also get, well, fat. Obesity is a huge problem. (pun intended).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults and 17% of children in the United States are overweight. The statistics for dogs — and cats — aren’t good either. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention finds that 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats are overweight or obese.

Being overweight or obese — whether it’s you or your pet — can lead to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even cancer. Before you exercise with your dog it's always a good idea to discuss it with his veterinarian.

Certain exercises, such as jogging, are not recommended for puppies whose bones haven’t finished growing and for some short-legged and short-nosed breeds. I never saw the point in jogging personally. I always say I only run if I'm being chased, and even then I'm going to die.

Here are a few tips on how you and your dog can exercise together:

1. Walk. Walking is the best exercise. It's appropriate for most dogs, you don't need any fancy or expensive equipment and it's easy to fit into your schedule. You don't have to go for an hour hike. Just a 10 minute jaunt around the block is beneficial. I like to arrange my walks to include the neighborhood Starbucks. Just a little treat to reward me.

2. Dog park. Bonus, walk to the dog park park if possible.

3. Swim. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that you and your dog can do. Please be careful of too much sun exposure. Dog can get sunburned.

4. Play fetch. Whether it’s a ball, a Frisbee, or your dog's favorite toy fetch it's the best game. I personally love playing fetch because I can sit on the couch and the dog does all the work. Yeah.

5. Stairs. If you have stairs in your house use them. Throw the ball or toy up the stairs and your dog has to run up AND down. It's double duty fetch. 6. Doga. Dogs is yoga with your dog. The only thing that can make yoga better is doing it with your dog. It's great to help teach them to love handling and the stretching helps improve their circulation. I always include lots of doggie massage in my doga classes to teach you natural calming techniques for your dog.

7. Resistance walk. Walking through resistance, like in the snow or on the beach, helps to burn off energy and strengthen muscles. Dog beach is my favorite place on earth. The sand, the surf, the sun it's so peaceful just to be with my dogs. It's very zen. And Bosley's colorful Mohawks always attract lots of surfers. Bonus. So whatever you chose, go have some fun and exercise with your dog. It takes 21 days to form a new habit. So by the end of the month those daily walks will be habit you won't even have to think about. Now go play with your dog!

Questions? call (714)393-0432 or email cindy@thedogsetc.com