Archive for the ‘Canine Conditioning’ Category

Physical and Mental Stimulation for your Dogs

Mental Stimulation for you DogDogs Need for Physical and Mental Stimulation by Marilee Cole

Everyone knows that dogs need physical exercise.  Keeps them in shape, healthy, in good condition and a  good weight – just like people.   Dogs also need mental stimulation – just like people.

Training your dog is a great source of both physical and mental stimulation whether it is for a dog sport or for pet obedience and household manners.  Going for a walk is also a great source of physical and mental stimulation.  When going for a walk, let your dog stop occasionally to sniff and, as John Steinbeck said in his book “Travels with Charlie”,” check out the guest register”.  Checking the guest register is like us reading a book or the newspaper.Even something simple like taking your dog with you in the car when you run an errand.   It is some fun bonding time , as well, as letting your dog get out and see the world.

Life is different than it was several years ago, when dogs were our companions that greeted us when we came home and went for walks with us and that was pretty much the extent of their world.   A friend at that time made the comment that she thought dogs must think we all worked at vet’s offices because that was the only place they ever went.  So, therefore, they must think that is where we went when they weren’t with us because that was all they knew.  Now,  dogs are so much more to us than just the household companions… they are our friends and like friends, we want to do things with them, share experiences with them and spend more and more time with them.  Change is good  🙂

So, let’s treat our friends well….. most dogs spend a fair amount of time on their own.  Think how boring life would be if you didn’t leave the house and yard for days on end with no interaction with anyone other than your family.  For some, this would be nice but not for a lifetime.

There are some fun games that you can do that will help keep your dogs mentally stimulated.  Some examples…..  find some smelly treats ( a can of sardines is good!)hide some of the treats in the yard- in bushes, under chairs,  it’s like hiding easter eggs…then let your dog outside and let them find them.  Teach them nosework games that you can play in the house !

Take a muffin tin, place a couple of treats in one or two of the bottom tins, cover all of the openings with tennis balls and let them find the treat !   Put a treat under an upside down clear plastic bowl- let them see you place the treat and then they will scoot the bowl over the floor trying to figure out how to get the treat !

There are many, many more games that you can play with your canine that will encourage the dog to think and let them have fun with you AND they get to use their brains !   Have fun with it  🙂  !!

Canine Conditioning for the Senior Dog – Physical Rehabilitation

When someone hears physical therapy the common thought is injury or surgical rehabilitation.  However, canine conditioning for the senior dog or physical therapy, will aid in giving your older dog a longer, increased quality, healthy and more active life both physically and mentally.

Canine conditioning for senior dogs is a great complement to their wellness examinations, bloodwork and good nutrition.  Dogs are very much like people and tend to lose muscle strength and balance with age, as well as lose mental focus.  Senior dogs benefit from shorter walks for cardiovascular health, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises and balance/proprioception exercises will aid in stability and developing core strength to help build a stronger dog. These exercises have the added benefit of providing the dog with mental stimulation and focus and keeping the bond strong with the owner.

  1. Senior  Dogs can benefit from continued activity and mental stimulation.  Encourage clients to maintain their mature dogs both with wellness examinations and activities to enrich and  possibly extend their dogs lives.
  2. Conditioning  exercises will strengthen the senior dog and help promote healthy joints and balance. The need to target the gluteal and hamstring muscles for  maintaining standing.
  3. Exercising  is important physically, as well as mentally and goes beyond just making the senior dog “comfortable.  It will possibly extend their lives and increase the quality of their lives.

Cheeky Dog Obedience and Julie Mayer, DVM (www.integrativeveterinarian.com) offer a Canine Conditioning for the Senior Dog Class not only for the athlete but for the old canine, as well.