Curbing Dog Obesity One Fun Activity at a Time

dog obesity

Curbing Dog Obesity 

In the last decade the United States has seen obesity become a huge issue for society as a whole. Children, teenagers and adults are overweight and experiencing health problems due to our poor eating habits and lack of activity. Our nation is continuously working on providing healthier options and educating the public on food consumption. Who knew this issue would directly translate to our pets.

What YOU Need to Know: Between 20 and 40 percent of all dogs seen by veterinarians in the United States are considered overweight, and many are clinically obese. When a dog is obese they lose speed and stamina, which makes any movement difficult.

Furthermore, a dog can become heat intolerant, where they cannot regulate their body temperature, which can be a serious problem in Miami. Digestive disorders can develop as well.

Carrying extra weight puts more stress on joints, bones, and ligaments causing permanent damage to their frame. In addition, lack of environment change and activity will increase boredom and destructive habits.

Our mission at Equipaws is to keep your pet Fit, Healthy and Happy. Here are some great ideas to start an active journey, to get you and your dog moving! These activities will strengthen the bond between you and your pet, give them mental and physical stimulation and keep your pup in good spirits.

15 Fun Activities for you and your dog:

1. Obedience Class: No matter how well-behaved your pup, Fluffy can always use a brush up on manners. Obedience class offers helpful tips on handling and commands for both owner and dog.This is an opportunity to socialize your dog and strengthen the trust between you two. We recommend Applause Your Paws for enriching discipline for you and your dogs.

2. Bike Ride: Try cycling with your pooch. Walking or jogging may be too slow of a pace for your dog. Having your pup run along side while you cycle is a great trick to get them moving. Be very careful where you attach the leash to the bike. This activity may take some practice and improvising.

3. Hike: Explore your surrounding area! Miami may not be the best neighborhood to “hike”, but seek out new trails in a Nature Preserve or National Park. Dogs love to see, smell and hear new things and a new environments keep them alert and motivated.

4. Doga Session This is a non-traditional yoga session for you and your canine. Doga is explained, “Through acts of meditation, gentle massage, and stretching, doga practitioners seek to achieve a greater harmony with their dogs.” This is an opportunity for the human and dog to work as one unit. Although, if your dog is hyper and can’t stay still this may not be the best option

5. Canine Freestyle Routine: This is a form of obedience and movement training that illustrates the beauty of the dog movement and learning to work as one team. Canine Freestyle is a medium meant to be creative, and visually illustrate the trust between handler and dog. Think synchronized swimming for dogs.

6. Tag or Hide and Seek: While pet sitting this is a favorite game you can play indoors or out. Running up and touching the dog and running away does the trick. They will chase you around the kitchen island or through out the back yard. Dogs love the chase. This gets the owner and dog active.

7. Fetch: Have you ever heard of a chuck it? It’s a tool that acts as a slingshot for a ball, allowing humans to throw a long ball for fetch fanatics. A great tool for fetch in the park and will save your throwing arm.

8. Dog Walk: Having a dog and going for a stroll go hand in hand. It provides a potty break and fresh air for your pup. Humans are creatures of habit, so beware dogs can get bored on their everyday walk. Change your path, tour different neighborhood or go explore the nearest town. You and your dog will love the new sights, sounds and scenery.

9. Frisbee: A backyard game of Frisbee is a nice change of pace from fetch or a walk. Your pup is jumping, running, dodging and working all of their senses for that mid-air Frisbee catch! Plus a Frisbee is a lightweight toy that can easily travel anywhere.

10. Dive In: A pool is a refreshing place to play catch and splash around. In the Fall, many pools in the close for the season and host a doggy play day. This is when canines take over, all dogs small and large are welcome to jump in and play in the water for the day. This is wonderful socializing opportunity and a out of the ordinary activity for your pup.

11. Agility Class: Find an agility class in your area and teach your dog to handle any obstacle. They will be challenged with running up and down boxes, traversing through tunnels and hurdling jumps. It’s a perfect challenge for an eager and active dog, plus practices good handling manners between human and dog. 

12. Herding Class: Perfect for the working & herding dog. These specific breeds love to work, it allows them to use their instincts and release built up energy. The American Kennel Club is a great place to start for more information on requirements, testing and trials.

13. Adventure: Take your pup on an adventure with you. Why not take a vacation, trip or visit a new city with your best friend in tow. Research accommodations before you go, but most places have dog friendly hotels, restaurants and parks.

14. Dog-Friendly Restaurant: We live in a dog loving city with many outdoor restaurants and cafes who are pooch friendly. If you are going out, take your dog too. You both will enjoy the company, but stay away from the table scraps, as it defeats the purpose of staying active. Take a look at our posts on dog-friendly restaurants in Miami for some ideas!

15. Beach: Florida offers a beautiful beach front we have access to everyday. Take advantage and go explore with your pup. Anytime of day it is beautiful with the salty breeze, sand between your toes and waves singing in your ear.

16. Flyball:Flyball is a relay race that requires a dog to race over four hurdles, catch a tennis ball that has been released from a spring-loaded launcher, and then race back over the hurdles again.” This is a wonderful activity for energetic dogs who love fetch, are attentive and social.

17. Visit People in Need: Patients at a nursing home, hospital or rehabilitation center love the presence of a pet. Visits from pups can dramatically help the mood of patients. You and your pet may need to become certified for this activity. Research Animal-assisted activities (AAA).

18. Support Your Pup’s Health While Buying Local: Equipaws partners with a few local businesses, who provide all natural dog food to the community. They agree that portion control is a real issue among pet parents. Dogs always act hungry or beg, so we give them food. We have to train ourselves as pet parents to rid that habit. Consequently, the habits begin with you. A few snacks and table scraps can quickly pack on the pounds.

In Miami, you and your pup have a gorgeous backyard to go explore together. Don’t let your pup fall into bad habits. We Take advantage of these excellent ways to keep your dog Fit, Healthy and Happy. If you don’t have the time give your pup regular exercise Equipaws can help! We offer dog walks, runs and daily adventures. Email us at or call 305.794.3733 for more information!

5 Miami Must-Do’s with Your Dog!

dog friendly Miami

The top five pet-friendly adventures to partake in with your dog in Miami!

Miami is a thriving city with any and every kind of attraction you can imagine; the arts, restaurants, entertainment, outdoor activities, and more.  But what about for the dog lovers out there?  You can’t always leave your hound at home while you have all the fun! Pet sitter Meghan stepped up to help our canine buddies enjoy the Miami scene along with their parents, and found the most popular and dog friendly activities that are a Miami must!

#5  Art Deco Tours with Christine & Company
1021 Collins Ave (Tour Starting Point Varies)
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours: Tours are available daily. Tour times vary by season. Reservations are required.
Cost: $30 per person and $30 per pet

Feeling in touch with your artistic side or would like see the beauty and history of old Miami brought to life? Art Deco Tours with Christine & Company has been voted one of the top attractions in Miami Beach.   This top notch tour takes you inside the cities Art Deco buildings with a full tutorial on Miami Beach then and now. Don’t worry, Fido can come along for the walk. You bring the collar, leash, and treats and the company will provide the water, bowl, and waste bags! The pets may not come inside, but the company provides a pet companion to keep them company while you explore history indoors.  Make it an event!  Feel free to dress yourself and your pet to the nines while touring the lavish buildings of old Miami Beach.  If you plan to bring your pet book at least two weeks in advance and notify the tour (they may have more details on the rules).

 #4  Grove Isle Hotel & Spa
4 Grove Isle Drive
Miami, FL 33133
Pool Hours 10am – 5pm

Get ready for a luxurious staycation at The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa located on a private 20 acre island overlooking the Biscayne Bay, south of downtown Miami. Your pup will be pampered with their own concierge service and treats upon arrival.  Be prepared to put your feet…or paws up when you and your pup are poolside.  A special menu just for dogs including entrees like “South Beach Canine”, a bowl of veggies and brown rice or the “Sinful Dog”, a hot dog with all the fixing complimented by a side of French fries.  You and your fur baby will feel rejuvenated after a day at the pool and 5-star hotel stay.

#3  Lokal
3190 Commodore Plaza
Miami, FL 33133
Sun, M, T 12 -10 pm
W – Sat 12 – 11pm
Cost:  $$ Price point

Lokal is a quirky burger joint located in Coconut Grove, a few blocks away from the Cocowalk scene.  It’s a flip flop and shorts type of scene where you can savor hand-crafted Florida microbrews and sink your teeth into a variety of unique burgers. Yeyo, the French bulldog mascot, may greet you at the door. This local hot spot not only attracts humans, but is quite the hang out for all canines, big and small.  Your pup will be in heaven lounging on the patio enjoying the Marmaduke’s Meatloaf, Yeyo’s Chicken & Rice and washing it down with Bowser beer, a non-alcoholic beer made especially for dogs, served over ice, and made in our very own backyard (well…Tampa, close enough!).  Remember, the dog biscuits and fresh water are always free.  A Miami favorite you and your pup must check off the list!

#2  Doggie Bag Café & Pet Boutique
7310 Biscayne Blvd
Miami, FL 33138
Hours: 9am – 6pm

Are you looking to pamper your pooch?  At Doggie Bag Café & Pet Boutique, just outside of the Miami Shores neighborhood, you can shower your pup with gifts, treat them to the best biscuit in town, or dress them snout to tail. The boutique offers an incredible selection of gifts and sensational doggie fashions with a wide range of sizes for any occasion.  In addition this company has a pet party planning service complete with gourmet catering, serving freshly cooked or prepared frozen food that can be delivered to your door. Or if you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon, take a seat on their patio and meet other dog lovers while your precious pooch dines on a fantastic meal!

#1 Bark Beach at North Shore
8232 Collins Ave
Miami, FL 33141
Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday 3 – 7pm
Cost: $5 Resident/ $25 Non-Resident/ Annual Pass $20 (for residents only) CASH PAYMENT ONLY!

Bark Beach at North Shore has been voted the #1 Dog Park Metro Miami.  It’s sits on oceanfront property in the quiet and tropical mid-century neighborhood in North Shore Miami Beach.  It is one of six of the designated Bark Parks provided by the city of Miami Beach parks and recreation.  The park is a dog’s dream where they can roam off leash, use the double fenced dog runs, or drink and play in the water fountains.  Benches and waste collection are provided as well.  Make a night of it by playing Frisbee at the beach, away from the hustle and bustle of south beach and check out the delicious restaurants nearby.  Try Burgers and Shakes on Collins & 74th, the joint is dog friendly and provides treats for your pup.

Insider Note: Always check rules and regulations for any dog park you are planning to attend.  Bark Beach requires your pup to have proof of all recent vaccinations. Also, if you plan to bring your dog to any business call ahead to understand the guidelines.

Looking for more interesting activities to experience with you pet?  The websites below are helpful tools when looking for pet friendly places or activities in any area. – A statewide site, servicing all 50 states and several territories.  It provides information on travel, parks and restaurants.  You can become a member of the site and add your own photos and reviews, look at articles, links and pet forums. – A worldwide site able to search for dog friendly destinations, lodging, air travel, attractions, restaurants, service’s and events.  Reviews, posts & photos are accepted as well.  The more knowledge you can provide to this website, the better. It passes on valuable information to other dog lovers and helps the website grow!


Visit Five Dog Friendly Restaurants in Coconut Grove

Dog Friendly Restaurants in Coconut Grove, Part I

dog friendly restaurant Coconut Grove hammocks luscious

If you’re hungry or thirsty and want the first-rate company of your dog In Coconut Grove, you are in for a huge treat. Coconut Grove seems to have the highest concentration of dog-friendly restaurants in all of Miami-Dade County; so many, in fact, that we had to make this a two-part series for our blog! Beccie, one of our dog sitters, lives there, and shared the inside scoop.


1. LoKal Burgers & Beer: Dog-Friendly with a Twist!

As we’ve written about before, if showing your pooch a nice night on the town is high on your priority list, LoKal is your go-to for dog friendly restaurants in Coconut Grove. There will normally be a bit of a crowd, so while you reserve your place with the hostess, make sure your pup finds the bowls of free upscale treats and complimentary water just outside the door. Don’t let her/him fill up on treats, though! LoKal’s menu has three items especially made for dogs!

But first, for you! LoKal offers incredible appetizers, burgers, veggie options, and yummy desserts (pack-member Beccie is not crazy about Key Lime Pie usually, but she swears by LoKal’s!), all of which are locally sourced. If you’re thirsty, LoKal offers an arsenal of craft beer (again, most selections local) that even the most discerning beer snob would be happy with!

On the Doggy Menu are Marmaduke’s Meatlof and Yeyo’s Chicken & Rice, which are sure to make for an appreciative and loving pup. Wishing you could share that delicious frosty craft beer with Fido? It’s not the best idea, as alcohol is poisonous to pooches, but if you were wondering what that third item on the pup menu was – it’s Bowser Beer! A non-alcoholic beer brewed in Tampa especially for dogs, served over ice and offered up for thirsty pup visitors. Every restaurant should have a doggy menu like LoKal’s, as far as we’re concerned!

Scotty's Landing dog friendly restaurants Coconut Grove

2. Scotty’s Landing:

Feeling like a salty dog? Perhaps Fido will enjoy some of that salty bay air himself! Hit Scotty’s for great drink/beer specials, seafood (in season – particularly stone crab season – you’ll find some choice picks but only if you come early because they will sell out FAST!), bar fare, and live music (at a reasonable volume). Your furry friend will surely make some new pals in this laid-back local’s haven. There is a nice, grassy area just outside where they can catch a break and socialize! Support Scotty’s for the beautiful view, decent prices, and laid-back communal environment as, sadly, the rumor is it won’t last too long.

3. Green Street Cafe:

*Thee* Coconut Grove staple, Green Street Cafe is where to go to see and be seen. This restaurant/bar has been around for 24 years, is open all year round, and is never empty. They have daily specials, a fantastic brunch (with seasonal specialty pancakes!), and are open late hours. Their outdoor seating is ample, so you can bring your Fidos and Fluffies along with you and never worry that you won’t be seated in a reasonable time-frame with your furry companion. Some evenings can be more crowded than others due to weekly drink specials, and a Green Street brunch is always an event, so a wait of half an hour or more should be expected. Once seated, there are lots of people and pups to entertain both people and pups alike!

4. Dog-friendly Lulu:

Across from Green Street and brought to you by the same owner, Lulu also boasts ample outdoor, pet-friendly seating, and also some killer Fried Green Tomatoes! Vegetarians rejoice – you will find some nice options here. If you are coming for brunch, let us recommend the omelettes – ALL OF THEM.


French Bulldog Coconut Grove Florida

5. George’s in the Grove:

You know how sometimes you get that craving for French flair in your food and an over-the-top atmosphere? When that mood strikes, there is only one place in Miami that can satisfy! Leash up your Frenchy and stroll on over to George’s in the Grove! With daily food and drink specials on top of their self-proclaimed “often mysterious” menu, you’ll surely find something to satisfy you. Although having a Frenchy by your side should be satisfying enough, we think ( I mean… just look at him!).

Check back for more dog-friendly restaurants in Coconut Grove. There are quite a few more up the Grove’s sleeve!

Coconut Grove Image by Marc Averette

Adorable French Bull Dog by David Offf, under a Creative Commons License.