Dr Patrick Mahaney and I discuss the whys and wherefors of pet fitness, which goes to show, just when you know it all, there's more.

In our podcast, we answer these questions:
  1. What tips do you have for running with your dog? Frequency, distance, and what to take with you. How doyou know if you are going too far for your dog (apart from the obvious refusal to go any further)
  2. In addition, how do you get an overweight cat or dog on a fitness regime without hurting and optimize success
  3. How do you exercise indoor cats? If you keep them lean, do you really need to exercise them?
  4. While you might run or walk vigorously with your larger dogs, what about exercising smaller dogs. I don’t often see Yorkies or Chihuahuas walking on a leash.
  5. What do you think of services like Whistle (an on-collar device that measures your dog’s activities, giving you a new perspective on day-to-day behavior and long-term health trends)
  6. Are there fitness supplements you can get for more active dogs such as agility or dock dogs?

Click on the link below to hear the audio:
 
Podcast: Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney Pet Fitness 2014

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Exercise is so important, not only in our lives, but also our pets. We have an obligation to make our pets' lives as happy as they can be and exercise is a big part of that. It is fun for you and your pets and allows time for you to enjoy each other’s company. Did you know exercise can actually increase your pet’s life by up to 30% and can decrease the incidence of orthopedic problems by a third!

Exercise keeps your dog trim, and helps to maintain muscle tone and actually helps build strong bones (sounds like Wonder Bread!) If our life consisted of a continuous nap, interrupted twice daily to chow down, we also would be a blob. Everyone needs to burn off at least as many calories as we take in or we will gain weight. It ain’t rocket science folks! Get up and make your pets move.

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Hazel doing dogaSee this picture? It is my favorite pet exercise picture from Embrace - Hazel doing her doga with us Embracers struggling to keep up.

All fun aside, it is important to keep your dog or cat fit as part of their overall health regime - just like us humans. Now that doesn't mean you have to take your dog out running  or start walking your cat on a leash, although those are fun activities. Regular active playing, making your pet work for his/her food, and fun toys also count.

This month, we are focusing pet fitness at Embrace.

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Dr Patrick and I talk about pet health and we kick things off by going over Dr Patrick's top three things a pet owner can do to maximize her pet’s health.

We also discuss the following questions:

  1. Jenny: perhaps Dr Patrick could give us more information on reverse sneezing? I was at a clinic the other day where a client came in as an emergency because he didn't know what was happening. I know how scary it can be if a client is not familiar with this.
  2. Laura: do we need to worry about our pets’ mental health? We often talk about their physical health but do we need to worry about their mental health as well?
  3. Krystal: which vaccines are necessary for older fully vaccinated pets. She says “I used to get this a lot from clients. There's a lot of controversy on if it's necessary due to fibrosarcomas.”
  4. Darcy: her new cat, Mr. Meow Meow, does not drink water unless she mixes his wet food with water and make it soup. As a result, he actually drinks a lot of water. How does she know if she’s giving him TOO MUCH water? Is that even possible?
  5. Jenny: what do we need to know about anal glands? Too many people "ignore" scooting and don't understand how much of a problem this can become if not cared for.
  6. Laura: how can you tell if your cat isn’t in as good health as he/she should be? Cats don’t often tell us they are sick but there must be some signs that we might not notice as lay people that are important.

Click on the link below to hear the audio:

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We miss the cats…

Cats are unique in so many ways. Cats are an enigma. Cats appear so independent. They take care of themselves.

Dogs are just out there. What you see is what you get. Dogs are needier then cats. You often know day one when your dog is sick (my wife says dogs are like guys, I don’t see it). Dogs also are more specific in the signs and they show us where they hurt. 

Not cats! Are ya kiddin' me?! Cats are the great pretenders and compensators. This is a survival instinct.  If cats would show illness in the wild, they would be the first to be preyed upon. They will hide an illness until the last minute and they are rarely specific in their ailments, so when they do come in, they come in with what I call “sick cat syndrome”. Cats can really be a diagnostic challenge.

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