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Jog With Your Dog

Jog With Your Dog

You count calories with your cousin, hit the gym with your girlfriends, and commiserate with your cubicle mate. But according to a new study, you’ve left out a vital component in your weight-loss support network: A jog with your dog.

Researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Wellness Institute in Chicago tracked 92 overweight and obese people for a year as part of “The PPET Study: People and Pets Exercising Together.” Results of the study were published in the October 2006 issue of Obesity. Thirty-six of the study subjects were paired with their obese dogs; the other 56 participated in the study alone. All of the people received diet and physical activity counseling, and the dogs were fed a calorie-controlled prescription diet.

At the end of the year, 61 percent of the pet owners were still participating in the study, compared with 58 percent of those without pets. The pet owners exercised 3.9 hours a week compared to 3.5 hours a week for those without dogs and spent two-thirds of their total physical activity time with their trusty companions, leading researchers to conclude: “Consideration of social support for weight loss of family members, friends, and coworkers should be extended to include pets.”

Before you lace up your running shoes and leash up your dog, consider these pet exercise tips from the Partnership for Animal Welfare and the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

Dogs like routines, so if you establish a regular exercise time, you’ll never have to self-motivate–your dog will beg you to get up and get going.

If you want your dog to run rather than sniff the flowers, try using different leashes. One leash signifies sniffing and potty breaks, while the other means serious jogging only. Your dog will soon learn the difference.

If your dog is a puppy or a big breed, don’t jog for long periods of time. It’s too hard on their joints.

If your dog is a bulldog, boxer, Pekinese, or other breed with a short nose, opt for frequent but short walks to limit breathing difficulties.

Asphalt and concrete can be too hot for furry feet, and rocks and gravel may cause cuts. Monitor your dog’s pads for cracking and wear.

Dogs overheat easily, so avoid exercising with them on hot afternoons, and make sure to carry water for them.

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

Read more: Dogs, Fitness, Health, Pets, Safety, , , , , , ,

By Vicky Uhland, Natural Solutions

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Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living.

39 comments

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12:16PM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

Thanks for sharing :)

6:07PM PDT on Jun 17, 2010

I have thrown myself into a flurry of activity to cope with the endless blows I have faced, and am planning to move and hopefully join an army, I have shamefully given up walking any of my father´s many adopted, abandoned stray dogs, except on an odd Sunday

2:57PM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

I started roller blading with my dogs. I love it because it doesn't cause my knees to hurt and they love any excuse to run. I agree with the author if you walk, run, jog, bike, roller blade or do any other type of exercise with your dog on a regular basis your dog will remind you it is time to go. Rusty and Sadie know I go out at 7:00 every morning and are always waiting for me by the door.

If you are like me and cannot run consider walking your dog.. You'll be amazed by how much weight you and your dog can lose. You'll also find your mental health as well as your dogs mental health will improve greatly.

11:22AM PDT on Jun 6, 2010

Thanks for the info.

7:12PM PDT on Jun 3, 2010

Thank you for reminding me that a walk with the dog is important for both of us.

11:48PM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

Thanks, Melissa.

7:10PM PDT on Apr 13, 2010

thanks for helping me decide to run with my dog

5:07PM PDT on Apr 13, 2010

Now that's one thing I can't do with my cat ;-)

3:42PM PDT on Apr 12, 2010

I don't jog, but it's true that a dog is a great motivator for exercise. Mine certainly encourages me to get out and about much more than I would if I didn't have her!

12:47AM PST on Feb 14, 2010

Dogs just luv to run and frolic !

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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