6 Reasons to Start Walking Your Dog Yesterday!

6 reasons to walk your dog

6 Reasons to Start Walking Your Dog Yesterday

We all want to be great dog parents. We intend to train our dogs, practice learning new tricks every day,  take them out for a walk- no! two walks! a day… but when we get home tired from work, it’s much easier to let them out in the yard to do their business alone then let them back in for Netflix and pets. But dogs don’t create their own exercise routines on their own- they need direction, stimulation- or else they will do it in ways you prefer they not.

As dog walkers we can unequivocally tell you that truly, a tired dog is a much better behaved dog. Just like with children, dogs have active minds and a desire to explore the world with you by their side. They crave time with their parents, and also need to stretch their legs and get in some exercise to maintain their health. It’s a no-brainer that we should all be walking our dogs, but here are a six reasons to inspire action today.
walker walking running Pinecrest dogs
1. Keep your dogs at a healthy weight.
Dog obesity is on the rise. This causes many of the same problems for them as obese humans experience, including joint and muscle pain, chronic inflammation, depression, strain on the heart and other organs, crowding of the lungs, and more.

Exercising with your dog every day, coupled with a great diet appropriate for your dog’s needs, will result in maintaining a good weight for your pet and avoid any weight-related health issues with joints and bones.

How to tell if a dog is at a good weight when you don’t have a scale at home? Here are some quick visual guidelines:

  • Your dog’s ribs should not be showing. Feel the sides; you should feel their ribs after some slight padding, like having a blanket over the ribs.
  • Look at your pet from above: hip bones should not be protruding, but they shouldn’t look like a sausage or a ball with legs. There should be a nice narrowing at the abdomen.
  • Look at your pet from the side: You should see a dip in the abdomen when looking at them from the side. The stomach should not hang below the chest, or be too tight against the back.

2. Prevent premature aging
Exercise like walking your dog prevents premature aging by engaging and maintaining lean muscle condition. Lean muscle mass is important because it strengthens bones and “dramatically increases the availability of protein and constituent amino acids, which availability is tremendously important to maintaining whole-body metabolism and “organ reserve” (the functional capacity of organs to support life).

Whole-body metabolism and organ reserve are absolutely vital to basic bodily life-support but they tend to break down as bodies age,” according to Coach Dan Schulof at Varsity Pets. Take this to heart for yourself, too- get moving at least 20 minutes a day to prevent a slew of issues in your own body. Ah, dogs are a gift that keep on giving!

3. Maintain essential bodily functions:
Daily exercise is also considered one of the first treatments for dog constipation, in addition to adequate water and fiber in the diet. Did you know that lack of muscle use allows muscle to generate? Yeah, we learned about that in school at some point. Exercise such as walking your dog improves insulin health and metabolism, as well.

According to Animal Wellness Magazine, “Physical activity helps jumpstart natural gene systems involved in regenerating and maintaining insulin health, helping to reverse insulin resistance and diabetes. It’s another one of those natural adaptation mechanisms where the body adapts to physical work by improving nutrient absorption by the cells. It consequently improves sugar transport for the energy required by working cells, and helps restore insulin health and correct the diabetic condition. Improvement of insulin resistance literally enhances biological age and general health as well as energy, stamina and strength.”

4. Helps your dog be better behaved.
Are your dogs tearing up furniture, your favorite shoes, or being generally destructive when you’re not around? If you work or travel a lot or simply have a very busy schedule, your animals might be channeling their pent-up energy as best they can. Active dogs who don’t have an outlet for their energy can become destructive and exhibit neurotic behaviors such as chewing, digging, or barking, but you can prevent that!

Get up a little earlier to take your dog out for a morning walk- we promise it’s much cooler these days and it will get you off to a great start as well. Walks, without cell phones to interrupt, are a good time for introspection. And your dogs get to sniff the world around them. Just remember to be zen about the doggy poop pickup.

5. Training and Dog Socialization
Chances are, you’ll be meeting other dogs on your walk. Routine walks are a great way to teach your pets how to interact in a healthy way with other dogs. If it’s been a while since your dog has seen another animal and thinks it’s human (meaning, it doesn’t remember how to “dog”), or it is fearful or anxious, be sure to enlist the help of a great trainer who uses positive reinforcement to help get them over that hump.

6. Strengthen your bond with your pup
Dogs have evolved over thousands of years to please humans. Descended from wolves, their bodies became smaller, from paws to fangs, they became less frightening and less fearful, the first domesticated animal and our constant companions. We bred them to be with us and want to be with us- so bear with them when they crave your attention. Give them quality time, structured as it must be around your schedule- but find time to fulfill this need. Love for you exists naturally, but a bond takes time and small daily commitments to instill.

So take the 30 minutes to an hour to walk with your dog and strengthen your relationship with shared experiences and a chance to reinforce great walking behavior and other commands. Notice whether your dog is checking in with you, making eye contact. When you get home, incorporate a new trick or reinforce old ones. The point is taking the time to build a relationship beyond simply feeding your dog and petting it whenever it’s convenient.

As with anything in life, dogs thrive with care and attention. Daily walks and exercise help give them entertainment, health, and quality time with you or their other favorite humans- including dog walkers like us! We also create bonds with your pups over time, and are happy to step up for you whenever you’re busy working. Email us at info@equipawspetservices.com, or call us at 305.794.3733 to chat about your dog care options!

Things That Make Our Tails Wag: Happy Pet Sitting Clients!

pet sitter, dog walker, pet sitting, dog walking, Miami, Schnauzer

There are so many things to be grateful for as pet sitters living in Miami. For starters, we get to walk dogs and pet sit for snuggly, lovely dogs, cats and birds daily, in what is arguably the city with the best weather in the United States (oh, and yes, birds DO snuggle!).

While caring and loving animals comes naturally to the staff at Equipaws Pet Services, we do consider this a profession that requires attention to detail and training. We do our best to improve daily and provide consistency and quality to fit each pet’s needs, which is why we feel so good when we receive testimonials from happy pet parents like this one from Carolyn, mother to Leela and Penny, on our Google Plus page!

“I am grateful for the great TLC that was provided by Equipaws. I had to go on a 3 week trip and leave my “pack.” It had been a year since I traveled for my 6 year old dobie mix and it was the first time leaving my lil schnauzer. Equipaws stayed in touch with me whenever I asked for an update. Even uploaded a cute picture of them onto Facebook! When I returned I found the log, visit by visit notes, and two very happy dogs. I know that they miss Jake (petsitter). Thank you!”

Good job, Jake! He cared for Penny and Leela for three wonderful weeks during the holidays, and could not have been happier with the love and zest that these little girls share with the world. We are grateful that their mom felt comfortable enough to keep them in our care for so long, and we’re also grateful to have reliable, professional employees! Jake’s pretty great at walking dogs, too. Let us know if you need help keeping your pooch in shape in the Pinecrest area! Jake will be ready to help.

Dog Sitters and Runners Help Keep Your Dogs Fit!

Our Miami-based dog sitters have Memorial Day penciled in as the beginning of summer fun, pet sits, and sharp rises in heat, which can be unbearable for humans. Imagine how that feels for dogs, who are covered in fur! As your dogs’ caretakers, we are responsible for keeping them safe during walks and runs in the coming summer months. We want to take a moment to talk about how we care for your pets in the heat, and hopefully help you keep your dogs cool when you take them out with you. Read on to learn about how to keep your dog cool in Miami while enjoying our beautiful outdoors. Remember, May is National Fitness Month. We want to help both you and your dog kick start your exercise routines!

Dog Runs and Dog Walks for All!

We firmly believe that dogs need daily exercise. They were bred to work with us for a living, despite what most of them seem to do these days (hello, snuggly couch potatoes). They need to be doing something constructive or else they get bored. Most pet parents don’t have the time to set up daily fun projects or to take their dogs on walks during lunch time, leaving their social dogs bored and alone. That’s where dog sitters and runners help.

Dog Sitters and Dog Runners to the Rescue!

We love giving your dogs their well-deserved exercise breaks! Our pet sitters keep on top of your dogs’ well-being at all times, but ESPECIALLY when partaking in strenuous physical activity like brisk walks and runs in the Miami summer months. Here are some tips we swear by when giving your pups great exercise.

  • We always establish that your dog is in good physical condition before starting their fun new exercise routine. We heartily recommend a physical with your veterinarian before Day 1.
  • All dog exercise starts of slowly with us. First we walk your pooch, then we progress to interval training where we alternate walking and running. Finally, we graduate to full on jogs or runs, depending on your dog’s needs. Some dogs don’t do well with full runs, others need to spring for minutes at a time. This is a customizeable schedule!
  • We try our best not to exercise dogs heavily before feeding time, and we absolutely avoid heavy exercise after feeding time. Either instance could cause digestive problems. Water is given before and after.
  • We constantly check weather conditions and we will not run a dog outside if it’s over 90 degrees. On less than cool days, our dog runners find a shady route and spray dogs down with water. We keep dog running to parts of the day that are less sunny. Long-haired dogs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Because heatstroke is a real threat in Miami, and because it can set in very quickly, we focus on prevention by following the above procedures. Our dog runners and sitters are trained to keep a sharp eye out in our hot humid weather, and to recognize the signs of heatstroke. Please learn them; it is of the utmost importance to act quickly when you see the following symptoms:

  1. Heavy Panting
  2. Difficulty breathing
  3. Bright red tongue and mucous membranes
  4. Thick saliva and vomiting
  5. Dog becomes unsteady and has bloody diarrhea.

With proper care and prevention, your dog should never experience heatstroke. Once shock sets in, your dog’s lips and mucous membranes turn gray. This is often followed by collapse, seizure, coma, and death.

Follow our tips, your veterinarian’s advice, and exercise caution- and exercise will benefit everyone!

Sources: http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/heat-stroke-dehydration-dogs