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Over-weight dogs

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 01:49 PM
Hello. I'm starting a dog-walking bussiness in the Ottawa area that will be focusing on the health of the animal and will include not only walking, but a planned diet and encouragement of the animal to play and run. I have found that there are simply too many dogs that do not get enough exercise and end up over-weight and unhappy. I would appreciate some feedback as to whether you would be inclined have a pet signed up for such a program, and what you would consider a fair price. You can visit our web site at http://kibble-and-bytes.blogspot.com/. Please uderstand that we have an odd sense of humour however, and since the business is not yet underway, we are having a bit of fun with the site. And feel free to leave your comments.

BMDLuver
April 8th, 2005, 01:53 PM
Do you have a degree in animal nutrition specifically small animal? Thanks.

Eleni
April 8th, 2005, 01:55 PM
have you taken courses and studied on pet nutrition?

that would be my first question for someone who would be wlking and creating a dietplan for my overweight pet



qualifications to make suggestions about an overweight pet might be something good to put on your website, I looked and couldnt find any.

with good qualifications where people can see them is a great way to draw in interested customers


Eleni

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 02:05 PM
We have a member working towards a degree in Animal Sciences who has worked with her parent's dog breeding, however I guess that is not really formal qualifications. I see your point, and guess it would be better to focus more on simply getting exercise for the pet rather than trying to develop a diet plan.

Eleni
April 8th, 2005, 02:09 PM
i saw on your site as well you do pilates with the dogs?? how would you do that??

BMDLuver
April 8th, 2005, 02:14 PM
I see your point, and guess it would be better to focus more on simply getting exercise for the pet rather than trying to develop a diet plan.
Be very aware of each dog's health before setting up an exercise regime. Many dogs have underlying health conditions which can be aggravated by too much too soon. Dog walking is one thing but putting a dog on a regime to reduce weight is an area which I think should be strictly monitored by a veterinarian as it would be by a medical doctor for a human who is overweight.

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 02:25 PM
Maybe I'm wrong but I thought we weren't allowed posting our business endeavors?

I would ask "Has anybody studied Exercise Science?" because physical activity in the wrong way instructed by an untrained person can leave permanent damage. I would expect at least one BSc (Exci) in there.

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 02:35 PM
Of course any previous health problems would be discussed prior to any type of exercise has begun, and the exercise would begin gradually making sure not to cause any problems instead of fixing them! The owner would be kept fully informed as to the dog's daily training and progression. And I have been taking my dogs to pilate classes for a year or so now and she quite enjoys it. As for doing pilates with other dogs it would of course depend on the size of the dog, the owner's wishes and whether or not the dog seems to enjoy the exercise. And I strongly recommend trying dog pilates for any true dog lover. It is a great way to get in shape along with your dog!

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 02:42 PM
In response to the concerns of me using this website to solicit my bussiness, I am simply asking for some feedback in regards to your feelings on the idea of an exercise program for dogs. I do not as of yet run any bussiness, but would like to if it seems to be of interest and people feel it is safe to the dogs!

Eleni
April 8th, 2005, 02:42 PM
are you consulting with vets on any of this?


different breeds of dogs need different forms of exercise, as well as elderly dogs and puppies have different exercise needs as well


Eleni

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 02:47 PM
That's a good idea. Perhaps as part of the program a mandatory veterinarian visit before any exercise begins? Most dogs could use a good visit to the vets just for a check up anyways!

Eleni
April 8th, 2005, 02:51 PM
you missed what said I think, I mean are YOU speaking to a vet to be sure you know what your doing and dont inadvertantly hurt someones pet with pilates or what not.

thats the thing with such businesses there is alot of legality involved, and you have to be real cautious to not only know what your doing but to be 1000000% sure what your doing is appropriate to the pet.

not only could you open yourself up to legality issues, but you could also harm a pet even if you are well intentioned.


Eleni

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 03:05 PM
You have to understand that we talk about dog exercise we don't mean we are training this dog to run a marathon! Our exercise will consist mostly of just getting the dog out of the house a few times and with the consent of the owner some light stretching or some fetch. Each dog will be considered individually and will be brought to a vet for consultation as to the best way to approach the dog's fitness and what to avoid. Of course being 1000000% certain we are doing our very best for the dog is not possible, even for the best trained veterinarian! But we will try our hardest to approach 100% certainty. In terms of legality, of course there will be consent forms to fill out before any activities begin with the dogs. I can appreciate your concern for the dogs well being, but you certainly must agree that sometimes the best thing you can do for a dog is to get it out and moving, what dogs are meant to do!

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 03:09 PM
What I am talking about is technique and movements not only starting off gradually. Knowing where each muscle begins and ends and how to determine the natural range of motion is very important in preventing injuries. There is so much at stake in exercise and there is so much misinformation out there. It's not a joke, you know. Someone will sue you if you move their dog the wrong way and crack their spine. You may think I am exaggerating but I was in Exercise Science before biology and it's very dangerous. So many people get hurt every day at the gym because a guy who said he was trained showed him how to do something the WRONG WAY. People end up with bad backs, bad knees and other problems because gyms provide a two week training session when the trainers really need the BSc. There is a lot to learn not only about the physiology of it but also about how to exercise with certain diseases. Are you going to enroll fat dogs with diabetes too? If so you will probably kill one of them if you don't research first.

If you have a conscience, you could at least try to learn exercise science before you damage some well-meaning people's dogs just to make a buck.

It is a way bigger deal than you think and I wish you wouldn't just brush it off.

Of course any previous health problems would be discussed prior to any type of exercise has begun, and the exercise would begin gradually making sure not to cause any problems instead of fixing them! The owner would be kept fully informed as to the dog's daily training and progression. And I have been taking my dogs to pilate classes for a year or so now and she quite enjoys it. As for doing pilates with other dogs it would of course depend on the size of the dog, the owner's wishes and whether or not the dog seems to enjoy the exercise. And I strongly recommend trying dog pilates for any true dog lover. It is a great way to get in shape along with your dog!

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 03:30 PM
We understand that some devout dog-lovers tend to be over-protective of their pets. We feel, however, that the real problem is with dogs that are locked up inside all day and overfed with no way to expend their energy. These are the dogs that will truly suffer in the long run. And, as I have previously stated, no activites will begin without the permission of the owner and with the recommendation of the vet. And also as I have stated, there will be no exercise so strenuous as to risk the breaking of a dog's neck!

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 04:38 PM
You don't get it. It doesn't have to be strenuous to cause damage. It just has to be the wrong way. If you are sretching a dog out, how will you know where to stop so it will be beneficial but not painful? How do you know that without researching it? People get hurt in gyms all the time lifting 10 lb weights. It's not from overdoing it, it's from doing it WRONG. Stretching farther than muscles should be stretched, twisting bones in ways that the muscles can't handle. Some are minor but repeating it causes permanent damage.

Permission from the owner means diddly squat. Owners feed their dogs Pedigree because they are told it's good. Do you really think they are going to research everything before going? If people did that, you wouldn't even hae a market for this because people would do it on their own.

Asking a vet means diddly squat too because the vet doesn't have a clue what you are doing. There are a few people who posted here that their vets recommended trainers who severely abused the dogs. Vets don't know.

If you are a responsible animal lover, you will look into injuries etc before starting.

For example, K, HOW do you stretch a human bicep? Do you know how? No one I have ever met (not even your local gym trainer) knows how. And if they can't figure it out on a human, how do you expect to do it on a dog?

BMDLuver
April 8th, 2005, 04:52 PM
I'll give you an example of exercise that appears normal but has caused severe harm. Dog A, goes to the vet. He's a beautiful specimen of health and vitality. He's not getting enough exercise so he's rather rambunctious on doing any activity. The vet fully looks him over and finds absolutely nothing of concern with this dog. He's one of the nicest specimens he has seen of the breed in a long while. Dog A then moves in with Dog B. Dog A and B are the same breed. The activity level becomes greater and the volume of exercise goes up. Dog B is fine with this adaptation and enjoys having a buddy to go to the run with etc.. Dog A, who was fully examined, now can barely walk. Dog A, needs both hips operated on and an elbow. He appeared perfectly fine, was not in any pain, could have his limbs rotated without any difficulty on examination and was raring to go. What happens if you start doing extra things with Dog A and this occurs. Who is liable for the surgery now required.? OF course it is a genetic predisposition but no one had a clue it was even remotely present in this dog. I understand this is an extreme case but no one saw it coming. It's just to point out that really, unless you are dealing with certified or registered people at all times, I would truly stick to dogwalking. Anything else may open up a can of worms that will result in far greater ramifications than you or your partners were prepared for. :)

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 05:01 PM
Of course I understand what you're saying. Improperly applied exercise with a dog can cause harm to it. However, by your standards if you're not an expert in Exercise Science you are risking your dog's life each time you take it out of the house! Let's face it, dog's are strong and durable animals. You are not putting it in any serious danger by starting a small exercise routine. And of course special care and attention will be given to each animal to make sure there are no ill effects seen. So I can understand your concern, being such a strong lover of dogs, but I think you are being a tad dogmatic. Good pun, eh? Anyway, I'd love to continue this conversation, but I am heading out for the night. If you like please leave a message at http://kibble-and-bytes.blogspot.com/ and I'll get back to you.

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 05:05 PM
My concern is not with fetch. My concern is with pilates, with stretching and so on. That's where the problem lies. And you never told me how to stretch a bicep...

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 05:06 PM
My last reply was for Prin.

BMDLuver - I can see what you are saying too, but since if it is a genetic condition, then really it is no ones fault. And in terms of liability, this will have to be taken care of with liability forms prior to beginning, and having the owner fully aware of any risks taken.

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 05:10 PM
If the owner was fully aware, s/he wouldn't do it at all. It may cover your a** legally, but I for one wouldn't be able to have a damaged pet on my conscience because I wasn't trained.

Kibblez
April 8th, 2005, 05:12 PM
Ok, i really have to go, but ok. With dog pilates it is seen more as a bonding with the dog than a true work out. It is easy to sense any discomfort with the dog and can be quickly stopped. This is again the owner's choice and I have never had any problems with it.
As for the big bicep challenge, I personally stretch the bicep by rotating my wrists with my arm at 90 degrees to my body. I have no idea if this is the correct way according to you, but I again have had no problems.
Ok, heading out now. Have a good night!

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 05:22 PM
The "real" way is palm down, flex your wrist, straighten your arm and lift it all out behind you in line with your body (not out from it). Sort of like the position of tricep extension exercises only you're supposed to have your arm supported when you're stretching. In stretching, to get an effective stretch, you have to do the opposite of what the muscle does. Biceps flex the arm, extend the wrist (lift the back of the hand up about the wrist), suppinate the hand. Most people think that all it is responsible for is flexing the arm. That is where education comes in.

Lucky Rescue
April 8th, 2005, 07:20 PM
And in terms of liability, this will have to be taken care of with liability forms prior to beginning, and having the owner fully aware of any risks taken.

I have no idea what "pilates" are, but just want to tell that it won't matter how many forms owners sign, if you are not fully qualified to do what you are doing and a dog is injured. You will be sued and you will lose.

Good luck.

BMDLuver
April 8th, 2005, 08:03 PM
I have no idea what "pilates" are, but just want to tell that it won't matter how many forms owners sign, if you are not fully qualified to do what you are doing and a dog is injured. You will be sued and you will lose.

Good luck.
Pilates is a tougher form of yoga, stretching and breathing to put it somewhat in context.

And I totally agree with LR, not fully qualified, lawsuit loss signed form or not. Also, will you be a registered company? If so, if you are a homeowner, bye bye home or anything else that may be of value for the settlement if cash is an issue. Sounds harsh, but that is reality and pet owner's for the most part are no pushover when it comes to harming their pet. Doesn't mean it will happen but the likelyhood is very high.

Also, another thing to consider is disease. The dogs you may be handling will of course, all be verified for full sets of vaccinations prior to being introduced, but the dog at the dog park or any other venture you may attend necessarily be, so what happens to the under two year old dog that may come into contact with leptospirosis or parvo and require a minimum of $2000 in emergency vet care when the disease manifests itself?

I know this all sounds negative but it's meant to develop a thought process and see the risks and implications involved in taking these risks or in entering into a new venture.

twinmommy
April 8th, 2005, 08:15 PM
Why don't you go into business with the qualifications that you actually HAVE?

I don't mean to be rude, but it sounds like you are trying to set up some sort of glorified dog walking enterprise and yes, I agree you will be sued.

Dog walking is a good thing all on it's own, why not start there, and wait until you get the degree to elaborate.

You will already have the customer base, and people will enjoy dealing further with someone they already know, when you become properly qualified.

Good Luck.

Prin
April 8th, 2005, 10:23 PM
The thing is when you are dealing with dogs with diabetes or even ones who live with smokers, if you haven't had training in dealing with all types of dogs, you will seriously injure or kill them. In exercise science there are two classes plus two internships dealing with how to help people with disabilities. It's things you wouldn't even consider that are affected. And if your main clientele is fat dogs, chances are a lot of them may have diabetes, thyroid issues or be geriatric too.

I stretch my doggy after a long afternoon of running but I know how to do it. Even with that she growls bleddy murder at me when I do it. Good luck doing on a strage dog with cold muscles.

Kibblez
April 9th, 2005, 07:33 PM
Wow, thanks for all the replies guys. Looks like a missed a few things last night. First, thanks Prin for the little stretching lesson, but lets stay on topic, shall we? :p
Second, yes basically what I am trying to set up is a glorified dog walking bussiness and I'd like to put an emphasis on having fun and enjoying what we are doing. The reason I posted hear is to find out how people would react to that. Obviously I've found out that you true dog lovers are against dog pilates, and that I'm going to have to reconsider my initial plans. However the question I have is that you guys seem ok with the idea of a dog walking bussiness, and yet many of these worst case scenarios you are describing could happen just as easily during a routine walk. However many dog walking bussinesses do well and I have never heard of any lawsuits resulting from them. How would you feel about a dog walking bussiness that also encouraged playing with the dogs?

pitbulliest
April 9th, 2005, 07:51 PM
Although I agree that I wouldn't want someone underqualified dealing with my dog..

I also find it incredibly pathetic and ironic how people deal with vets in the same way. VETS ARE NOT QUALIFIED ANIMAL NUTRITIONISTS..yet 90% of the people that step into a vet's office literally take his/her word for it when he recommends a dog food (don't lie people, I know you've done it or still DO it!)...that's just sad..vets know SQUAT about nutrition, yet they sell "specialty foods" in their clinic, or recommend certain types, and people actually think that they really honestly know what's best for their dog just because he/she is a VET...NO....WAY!!!...I knew a vet that used to tell everyone that IAMS is a GREAT FOOD, and preferred it over all others...he even informed me that it was the same quality as WELLNESS....DEAR GAWD I RATHER FEED MY DOG DEAD RAT THAN IAMS DOC...

But anyways..that's just me venting there for a second..just something to think about..

either way..I agree with the comment posted before...about how you should start off with dog walking, finish your degree in dog exercise or whatever..and then carry on..don't jump ahead of yourself because it'll just cost you problems, and seriously injure a poor dog..

Good luck in your business...hope our posts helped.

twinmommy
April 9th, 2005, 08:36 PM
I don't think that anyone here was actually "against" any of your ideas, just that you should have proper qualifications before "hanging out your shingle".

I'm sure you'll be great as a dog walker, and then you'll already have the clients to branch out, if you want.

You might not even have to, I've heard dogwalkers do allright. Quite lucrative, if you go to the right areas. :thumbs up

Kibblez
April 9th, 2005, 09:20 PM
"hanging out your shingle"? I don't know what that means, but I like it. Anyways, I'd like to thank you guys for your posts. They've been really helpful. And if you'd like to be really helpful you could answer me this. Supposing you wanted someone to walk your dog (and I know everyone on this board gets their dogs all the exercise they need), but just saying if, what would you consider a fair and reasonable price? thanks.

Eleni
April 9th, 2005, 09:28 PM
I look at it this way, before I start a new exercise routine im supposed to consult my doctor.

well before my pet begins a new exercise routine, I want him to consult a vet.

and when i go to a Gym and ahve a personal trainer, Im expecting someone who knows what they are doing helping me with my exercise.

when i send my dog to someone who is in the business of helping overweight pets get fit, i expect them to be qualified with the animals they are dealing with, be it arthritic diabetic senior puppy or perfectly healthy.


I treat my dogs health the same way I treat my own.


Eleni

Prin
April 9th, 2005, 10:26 PM
Price depends on how long, where you go and what you do.

LL1
April 9th, 2005, 10:32 PM
I used to pay $8 for 2 dogs being walked for about 20 to 30 minutes.She also cleaned up any accidents,wrote a note each day on progress and other great things.