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If Your Dog is Fat, You’re Not Getting Enough Exercise

by Susan · 14 comments

Hey All, I hope you’re having a great day!

I was just checking in on the Susan Campbell Fitness facebook page and I came across a status update from a fellow fitness pro, Mike O’donnell from Fitness Spotlight that REALLY caught my attention.

“If your dog is fat, you’re not getting enough exercise.”

Isn’t that a brilliant statement?

So, you all know about Buddy, Scott’s 8 year old shepard mix. He’s super cute.

This past winter he really packed on the pounds. Not surprising since he sits in his crate most of the day while his folks are working and then is just lazy the rest of the time.

So when spring came Scott and I decided to do something about it. We made the dreaded switch from normal dog food to adult formula = less calories for a less active dog.

At the same time I began walking him 4-5 times per week. Scott hasn’t been able to keep a consistent walking schedule for Buddy since he works so much. I’ve been picking up the slack.

In fact, the walks really aren’t all that long. But Buddy is so happy to have our outside time that he literally covers about 3x the amount of ground I cover since he walks in circles around me and then out to the end of his leash and then back in to see me again and then back out to the end of his leash. Craziness.

In short, he loves our walks.

And after we just furmanated about 10 pounds of winter hair out of his straggly coat, not only is he the most handsome dog around, but he really looks a ton leaner!

Funny, I’m leaner too!

I guess Mike O’Donnell was right. It’s amazing what a little (more) activity can do for you!

Is your dog fat?

If so, it’s time to start a good walking routine for the both of you to go out and play.

Here’s what I like to with Buddy:

First we take one lap around the block so he can be nosy and pee on every single bush we pass.

Then on the way back I like to do a few runs with him – make him use up some of the extra energy he has from being inside all day. We usually do about 4-5 fast runs and that gets us around a second time.

Then we do another lap of walking and he is much more calm.

And finally, we run through the grassy field right by the house. He LOVES this! It is so funny to see him prance through it with his head held high. It makes him so happy.

Then by the time we get back in the house he is ready for water and to relax for the night.

And after that, we have both gotten in a great interval training workout that apparently has made us both leaner!

So get outside with your pets and take advantage of the time to improve both of your health.

Your Friend and Coach,

Susan Campbell, MS, CSCS

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1 Dave June 30, 2010 at 9:56 am

One of the best things my wife and I did was buy a dog. The walking helped my wife get through pregnancy and has helped her lose all her weight since as well. We walk our dog after dinner together which helps settle everything we just ate. I also do a brief walk later at night after I exercise to provide a nice cool down. Regardless of whether you have a pet or not, I think everyone should really start walking more. There are so many health benefits.

2 susan June 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Hey Dave, thanks for the comment. I actually never thought about it until I read it, but it’s true. Walking your dog is a great form of exercise and an even better excuse to do it. Of course, I hope anyone who wants to lose fat doesn’t think that’s all the work they need to do. But it is great for health. :-)

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