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Old June 10th, 2008, 10:33 AM
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Lissa Lissa is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
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I am glad you updated the thread and that you mention exercise because IMO, increasing activity level is far more important than how much you are feeding. I understand that it must be almost impossible to exercise your pups in such heat... I also used to have to wake up at 3am to take my dog for his 2hr walk before work so I feel your pain!

I know its hard with raw but try and give him his meals in a kong or use it as training treats. With prepackaged raw it should be easy enough to use a spoon to deliver the reward so you don't have to worry about using your hands. Even small traning sessions burn extra calories. Not to mention dogs appreciate/enjoy food more if they have to work for it.

You are lucky that you have smaller dogs and should be able to do a lot of exercise inside. Obviously walking or swimming is best with overweight dogs to reduce the risk of injury . But when you do get outside, make the walks count - try and do some hill work or walk in sand. You may have to take the dogs out seperately if one has a higher fitness level than the other. Walking isn't exercise for most dogs, unless they are older, unfit or have health issues so you may need to increase the pace to a trot quite quickly.
Indoors you can work on balance and core strength - a great exercise to try is getting your dog to go from a beg position to standing on his hind legs back to beg position (without their front paws touching the ground)... It takes a lot of core strength and will likely need some practice. Something that I also do is turn a steam pot upside down and have my dog balance on it with front paws, back paws and all four paws and have him circle around the pot while keeping 2 or 4 paws on the pot. It takes a lot of coordination, balance and strength (you will have to find something that is a little smaller for your dogs!).
If you have a long hallway, you can play fetch or work on restrained recalls. You can set up caveletti's or mini jumps but you need to be careful that you aren't stressing his body too much.
I also use bubbles and a "flirt/lure pole" (I acutally use the teasers for cats because my dog likes to chase it but not latch on) - just make sure you clear some furniture out of the way.
Silly tricks like spin, bow, crawl, digging and of course sitting pretty or up on the hind legs are all great ways to sneak in some stretches/exercise.

BTW - I feed my 60lbs dog about 1%-1.5% of his body weight because he could get chubby just by looking at food. And that is with 4hrs of physical activity per day (he has bloodwork taken every 6 months because its hard to believe that he's normal)
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Last edited by Lissa; June 10th, 2008 at 10:35 AM.
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