We talk a lot about how to get your family out and moving more, but haven’t talked as much about getting your pets out moving. In my opinion, getting the dog out moving as YOU get out moving is only natural. But, I know that in reality (at least in my reality) that can be really hard. With 3 kids to manage, corral, and keep up with now, Katmai is getting left home more than he ever was before for short adventures. He’s moving slower as an older dog (9 years old and 90 pounds), and I just can’t keep up with the two olders on bikes when I have him on the leash (per Yellowstone Park requirements).
The good side of that is that he is also getting specific walks just for him in the evenings. And yes, we do take him with us MOST of the time, just not ALL of the time on long hikes, bikes and walks like we used to.
But, because he isn’t as active as he used to be, also means we need to watch what he is eating more and more so he remains in the best physical shape he can be. His age also means that he can’t digest as well as he used to (poor thing!) and we have to be really picky with foods.
Last summer we first had a chance to check out Purina’s Light and Healthy food. You can find our full review on our Healthy Outdoor Dogs post. Katmai continues to thrive on the food, even as his activity continues to decrease and his digestive troubles become more difficult. It’s a food I recommend for normal activity dogs or ones that need to shed a few pounds for their health.
In April (2014), a survey was conducted by sampling a population of 1000 adults (aged 18-55) who own a dog on behalf of Purina Dog Chow Brand. They basically wanted to see if dogs were getting enough exercise, if their owners were fully understanding how much they needed to get and if there was a basic understanding of weight management for dogs.
I especially was interested in the following information about the importance of exercise for your dog AND how it relates to their owner/family:
Importance of Exercise
- 71% of dog owners surveyed who believe their dog is a healthy weight reported maintaining a healthy weight themselves.
- Of dog owners surveyed who believe their dog is a healthy weight, 77% reported giving their dog exercise more than 3 times per week.
- Of dog owners surveyed who believe their dog is overweight, 34% reported giving their dog exercise less than 3 times per week.
- 79% of dog owners surveyed would rather exercise with their dog than with a personal trainer.
- 77% dog of owners surveyed would rather exercise with their dog than go to the gym.
- 68% of dog owners surveyed would rather exercise with their dog than with their friend.
I’m curious – for those of you with dogs – do you find yourself exercising more with your dog and having motivation to get outside because you know they need walks, etc.?
I also love these tips from Dr. Grace Long, DVM, MS, MBA, Director of Veterinary Technical Marketing at Nestlé Purina, for keeping dogs healthy and active (so they can play and adventure for many years to come):
- Count Calories: Just like people, dogs need to consume fewer calories than they burn in order to lose weight. While some owners may achieve this by simply reducing their dog’s portion size, this can leave the pet feeling less than satisfied. Instead, opt for a low calorie food like Purina Dog Chow Light & Healthy which contains 20 percent fewer calories than Purina Dog Chow Complete & Balanced, and includes a tender and crunchy kibble blend, is steam-cooked at the start, and is made with high quality protein sources including real chicken. Its Light in calories, big on taste.
- Perfect Portions: Portion control is also essential to both weight loss and healthy weight management. Always feed your dog as directed, and use an eight ounce measuring cup and on package feeding instructions to ensure you are providing him with the correct portion at each meal.
- Get Moving: Slowly start adding physical activity to your dog’s daily routine. Exercise will not only help him maintain a healthy weight and support overall good health, but it can also strengthen the bond you share with your pet. Remember, it’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian before beginning any new exercise regime.
- Make a Plan: Develop a feeding plan that takes into account reduced calories, controlled portions and additional exercise. While it can be tempting, avoid sneaking your dog table scraps which are not complete & balanced and can sabotage his weight loss.
Light and Healthy Dog Chow coupon:
If you are interested in trying the Light and Healthy Dog Chow, there is a coupon on their site for $2 off. Like I said, Katmai is pretty picky and eats this well.
Win some Light and Healthy to try:
Purina has also offered the chance for one of you to win some Dog Chow to try before you buy. One lucky dog will receive a 4lb. Bag and two coupons worth 16.5 lbs each.
As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help! Sorry, this giveaway is open to the U.S. only.
Disclosure (in accordance with FTC guidelines)– Purina sent me some Light and Healthy food for Katmai. However, as always, all opinions and photos are my own and this is exactly what I tell my family and friends.
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