April is canine fitness month! Fitness is defined as “the condition of being physically fit and healthy.” However, the definition of fitness has been expanding to include mental fitness as well as physical fitness.
Keeping dogs mentally stimulated is just as important as providing physical exercise. Especially for breeds that are known to get into trouble if they become bored (think huskies and German shepherds!). Keeping your pet mentally fit can include a variety of things. Read on for 6 tips for keeping your pet physically and mentally fit this April.
We all know it’s important to give our dogs daily exercise. Bored, energetic pups tend to be the ones who cause mayhem at home. Try to take your pet out for at least a 30 minute walk once per day, with multiple walks or longer walks when possible.
It’s been shown that your dog’s brain gets ample stimulation while on walks. All of the sniffing they do isn’t just to prolong the walk (sorry mom and dad!), it actually stimulates their brain and reduces stress (https://www.purina.co.uk/articles/dogs/behaviour/understanding-dogs/dog-sense-of-smell).
When dogs sniff around, they are learning about other dogs who have passed through the area and finding out information about the environment using their nearly 300 million olfactory receptors (that’s compared to about 6 million in humans!)
Socializing with other dogs from a young age is a good way to keep your dog’s social skills intact. Playing with other dogs allows your pet to be exposed to new smells and behaviors, and lets them get their energy out with a playmate that’s able to keep up.
Playing with humans can be great for your dog, but playing with others dogs can be just as important for keeping your pet entertained and getting their energy out. Leave running laps around the dog park or tumbling in the dirt to the dogs!
Lazing around all day may seem great for a tired pet parent, but your pet needs mental stimulation the same way humans do. Consider using interactive play and toys to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated. Some options include puzzle toys, hidden food toys, hide-and-seek, and agility games. Any activity that keeps your pet engaged with the task at hand is working their brain and tiring them out mentally.
Training your dog serves multiple purposes. Of course you get the benefit of a well-behaved pup, but it also keeps their mental status intact by working their discipline and reward centers. Dogs aim to please their owners. Regular training helps your dog stay consistent with commands they already know and gives them the chance to learn new skills and tricks.
Balanced, Nutritious Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet is an optimal part of nutrition and fitness. Pets have dietary requirements that help keep them healthy and strong. Feeding your pet proper foods will keep them in the best shape possible, reducing the likelihood of illness and injuries alike.
Feeding your dog raw food helps support a healthy diet full of vitamins and nutrients your dog needs. One of the most convenient ways to start incorporating raw foods into your pet’s diet is by adding freeze-dried treats or using freeze-dried raw meal bars. You can add treats made with raw meat to your pet’s mealtimes, or you can replace some of the treats you currently use with a raw option.
Momentum Carnivore Nutrition meal bars are a convenient option when you’re on the go or when you just want something easy and full of nutrients that your pet is guaranteed to love. Feeding raw does not have to be the only way you feed your pet. You can start to incorporate raw feeding into your pet’s diet by swapping just one meal a day with raw food.
Regular grooming can contribute to canine fitness, too! Taking 30 minutes per week to brush out your dog’s coat, as well as take care of long nails and brush their teeth, helps your pet to stay healthy all around. Grooming on a weekly basis can help keep your pet’s fur from becoming matted and tangled and can cut down on professional grooming services. Interacting with your pet in this way can also keep them mentally engaged, especially if it’s made into a fun activity with rewards!
Keep your pet both physically and mentally fit this April. Be sure to incorporate diet, exercise, and mental stimulation to keep them as happy and healthy as possible. Post your fit pet and tag Momentum Carnivore Nutrition.