It’s no secret that Mama needs all the help she can get when it comes to weight loss.After all, she’s been brutally honest about her fat pants, her over enthusiastic way of tackling challenges far beyond her fitness level and how she is in (frankly) mediocre shape. Still, she tries hard and she knows that she wants to do better. She even hosts K9 Kamp, alongside Peggy’s Pet Place and You Did What With Your Weiner. She loves how the challenge gets us out and getting fit together and she can’t wait for the next Kamp in October, but sometimes, she needs a bit of help & encouragement between Kamps.
She loved Peggy’s book, Dieting with My Dog and so, she’s SUPER excited for it’s new companion: the Dieting With My Dog Guide to Weight Loss & Maintenance.Mama was a big fan of the first book. She hates diet books written by fitness gurus. She’d much rather read something by someone who “gets” her. Someone who struggles with fitness and just wants to do their best. She really enjoyed reading Peggy’s story and since we kind of have an in with the author, she decided to abuse the connection and ask Peggy a few questions about the new book, life with two dogs and her own fitness ideas.
Q: When we last left you and Kelly, at the end of Dieting with My Dog, you were working on a weight loss program and getting fit together. Where does the new book pick up?A: One of the last lines of Dieting with my Dog is that it is a lifelong journey. We are always working on keeping up the good habits and making good choices. The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance is a companion book to the first book.Q: Dieting with my Dog was more of a personal story that shared yours (and Kelly’s) journey with weight loss. This book is a guide book. What differences can we expect to see? Is this book more hands on & “do this” type advice?A: Yes, exactly! This book contains “how-to” information on losing weight, eating healthy and exercising for people and dogs! Additionally, it’s not just my experiences, but also many other devoted dog lovers who share how-to tips on the sports and activities they love to do with their dogs.Q: Has anything changed about how you and Kelly tackle fitness and diet? Have you learned anything that really swayed you to try something different or has this been a process of discovering (and sticking to) the things that really work for you guys?A: A little of both. We’ve learned that you have to do what works for you, and you have to constantly motivate yourself to keep up the good habits. But, in writing the book I discovered new activities that Kelly, Ike and I can do together to vary our routine and make keeping the weight off more fun.Q: You’ve called this book the Guide to Weight Loss & Maintenance. To you – what is the difference between the two? Do you have a different strategy for when you’re losing weight vs. trying to keep it off?A: I do look at them differently, because so many diets work, and then you think There! I did it! That’s the end! It’s such a relief to get to that goal weight, it feels like you’ve reached the finish line. But you haven’t, because keeping weight off is the most difficult part. At this point, it’s not so much learning new things, but how to keep your head in the game. I’ve included motivational strategies to focus on how to keep those goals in focus.Q: Do you have a go to snack for when you’ve got the munchies? Does Kelly?A: I usually crave something sweet, so I’ll grab a banana. It’s quick and easy and filling. I know some diets say avoid bananas because they’re actually high in calories. But weight watchers says you can have unlimited bananas for zero points, so I’m going with that. Kelly still loves baby carrots. And they’re not gone in one gulp, it takes her a few seconds to chew them! Q: How has adding Brooks and later, Ike to your family changed the dynamic of your fitness routine? I know Brooks had some health issues. Was that hard to work around? A: Adopting another dog actually helped, because we were more diligent about getting out and walking the dogs together, partly as part of a pack-bonding routine, and partly for exercise. Kelly is 11 now, and spends more time lying around and sleeping. But the golden retrievers needed more exercise. Brooks did well on his walks up until the last few weeks. Ike is younger, he’s 6, so my husband takes him running and he loves it! Q: Do you, Ike and Kelly have one fitness activity that you both love? What about one you hate? A: Ike loves chasing a tennis ball, he could do it all day. Kelly could care less about the tennis ball. We all love walking together as a family, we do it every morning and most nights. And any time before we have to go out and leave them for an hour or two, they get another walk. We also love to go to the park and put them on super-long leads and let them have room to run or sniff about wherever they want. My husband and I have added the gym to our workout. I’m not crazy about going to the gym. In the book, I have a large section on Woof Workouts from the K9 Fit Club, a gym that actually allows people and dogs to work out together! There are now more than 30 K9 Fit Clubs nationwide. I’d enjoy going to the gym a lot more if we had one near us, but unfortunately there’s not one yet.
Bark back! Did you read the Peggy’s book, Dieting With My Dog? What did you think? Do you and your dog have a favourite exercise or a go to snack??
We’re kind of loving all the K9 Kamp fun and games.I think the absolutely BEST part of this season’s K9 Kamp is that we get to hear all about the fun you’re having while you get fit with fido! Jodi and Delilah are having some fun with Canine Freestyle. (I love that song, don’t you?) Jack & the folks are SlimDoggy are working on their core workout and having a good time with a K9FitVest. The ridiculously adorbs Rocco Havenese and Diane are getting all ready to be an agility superstars with their Crate Games training. Rita and Jackie (+ the hubby with the bum knee) have stepped up the number of steps they take, extending their nightly walks. Even though their experiments with running & game playing weren’t very successful, we think it’s fab-tastic that they tried something new. and that’s just what’s going on this week!
We can’t believe that we’re already a few weeks into kamp and that there’s only one week left!If you haven’t already, click here to find out how you can take the K9 Kamp Challenge, get fit with Fido and win our fabulous $200 prize package sponsored by:
We’re pretty excited to have K9 Fit Club joining us as our “Official” K9 Kamp Trainer.
Just what is K9 Fit Club? If you’ve never heard of it, you’re missing out. It’s a pretty woofing cool concept: it’s a gym that helps you find ways to work out with your dog. Pretty neat huh?
Director of trainers, Diana Ozimek is featured in my K9 Kamp co-host’s new e-book, The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance, offering up trainer tips and instructions for fantastic exercises to do with your dog.
Luckily, I know the writer, so I’ve fanagled an inside scoop and I get to share one of the exercises with you today.
(It’s all about who you know, right??) Kolchak is well versed at this trick. I’m one busy crazy dog lady, so we’ve always tried to multi-task. (Shaving and doing sit ups was a huge fail, just in case you were wondering.) I find that while I’m strengthening and toning, I have a great chance to work with Kol on his basic obedience and every increasing sit-stay, plus some fun fitness tricks.
How to do Side-to-side Lunges with your dog:
- Have your dog stand facing you.
- Step out to the right for a side lunge, holding the lunge ask your dog to walk a few steps to the right.
- Step back to center and out to the left, now ask your dog to walk over to the left side. Repeat 10 times on each side.
– *Exercise from The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance (summer 2013)
Here at Kol’s Notes, I like add a little mental exercise in there too.I usually challenge Kol to do a trick as I lunge. For example, I think a play bow looks an awful lot like the canine version of a lunge, don’t you? Some of the tricks we do are puppy “push ups”, spinning left or right, sitting pretty and other tricks that help them stretch, tone and build muscle. Kol has become conditioned that he has to do an awful lot of tricks to earn a treat, but I’ve always got a few in my treat pouch to keep him motivated.
Have you ever tried to exercise with your dog? What works for you?
Don’t Forget! If you have been kamping along with us, you can claim some extra prize entires, just for being such great kampers. Click here to enter now!
Kol’s Note: EzyDog, NiteIze and Only Natural Pet are the sponsors of K9 Kamp and are providing the prize for our giveaway. Any links to their products are affiliate links.
Only a mad woman drags three small dogs all over the face of a mountain looking for a film canister.As most of you know, our K9 Kamp Challenge is underway. (Have you checked it out yet? If not, you totally should.) This time around, we’re asking you to tell us how you get fit with fido. Inspired by a few of our K9 Kampers, Gizmo from Terrier Torrent who does this cool activity called geocaching and Chester & Gretel from You Did What With Your Weiner who are avid hikers, we set off into the mountains this weekend with three very handsome dogs in tow in search of a cache.
Just what is geocaching?It’s kind of like a scavenger hunt, but instead of clues and riddles, you’re given co-ordinates on a map and you have to use your piePhone or a GPS to try to find a hidden item when you get there. It’s a way to smoosh together technology and a love of the great outdoors. Ever since Gizmo woofed about it, we have been dying to give it a try. After all, we have some of the most beautiful hiking around here in BC and I love exposing the dogs to new locations and new smells. The only problem?
Hiking with three small dogs is like trying to nail jell-o to a tree.They tried to be good, oh man they did! (By “tried to be good” I mean that Feliz zig zagged back and forth determined not to miss a smell, Kol insisted on peeing on everything, even long after he was running on empty and Luey was just Luey: nuts.) In the end, all our problems come down to one thing: my lack of preparation. Here are my tips to help make your first geocaching hike a breeze.
- Make sure the area you’re hiking is dog friendly to YOUR dogs. Colour me surprised! Even though the park we were hiking in was 100% dog-friendly, the particular trail we were on wasn’t well suited to my mini mutts. While a bigger dog would have had no issue navigating some of the bigger obstacles, I found myself lifting three three small dogs over a woof load of fallen trees etc. when they decided they were far too delicate and dainty to try scaling them. Plus, we never reached our cache since it was in a non-small-dog-friendly location. Boo to that!
- Pack lightly. Apparently packing for three dogs is much like packing for three very spoiled Sultans. Not only did we need essentials like water and a travel dog bowl, I also found myself packing “non-essentials” like snacks to bribe Koly & Lu not to eat animal droppings, a cool pack for each dog just in case they over heated and a few basic first aid supplies since, let’s face it, I’m a klutz and trying to wrangle three rambunctious dogs does not make me any more graceful. If hiking were to become a regular thing for us, I would definitely invest in a quality dog backpack and make Koly haul his own crap around. (Both literally and figuratively.)
- You only have two hands – plan for that. Um, reality check? Last I checked, I only have two hands. How the woof I thought I was going to hold three leashes, manage my bag and use my phone to track the cache coordinates is kind of beyond me. Maybe I imagined I was turning into Octo-Mama? At any rate – it just wasn’t possible. Luckily, I had our multi-function leash with me – what a lifesaver! (I’m super excited that we’re giving one away as a part of our K9 Kamp prize package) Having a hands free leash meant I could loop Kolchak around my body and add a coupler to attach Felix, freeing up my hands to hold Lu’s leash while working my cell phone in the other. If you think you’ve got more dog than you can handle even with a hands free leash, use a lifeline – phone a friend.
- Stay on the trail. As tempting as it is to let your dog off leash to roam the mountainside and follow his nose, you want to stay on the trail, which means Fido should too. After all, you’ve just invited yourself into Mama Bear’s house, you’d best not put your muddy paws up on her coffee table too. There is all sorts of wild life out there, don’t let it get you. Mama bears are NOT that forgiving. Raccoons, squirrels and other furry vermin aren’t much better.
- Be realistic. If you’re dogs have never hiked anything steeper than a pile of blankets, you might need to accept that a five hour hike is not on today’s agenda. Look for a geocaching trail that is rated within your fitness level and keep an eye on the time. After a few hours of traipsing about, my dogs made it clear that we were done for the day – even though I never found that cache. (So close and yet – so far away!) Listen to your dogs and what their bodies tell you. Call it a day when you need to. The geocache trail will always be there and you can try it again. You don’t want to get this look from your dog.
Geocaching is hard work!At the end of the hike, we all felt pretty great, though some of us were sleepier (and snackier) than others. Of all the dogs, I was surprised that Felix, who is probably the least muscled, loved it the most. His favourite part of any walk is the smells and the chance to get that close to nature clearly rocked his fluffy little world. The best part for me was the added fun of not knowing where the geocache co-ordinates would lead us. Given the choice, I may have choice the better travelled path, avoided the worst of the dog-lifting obstacles and not gotten nearly as good of a work out, plus I’m still totally enamoured by the idea of a path laid by strangers all leading to the discovery of a hidden treasure. (Plus, my friend Candice totally got proposed to on a geocaching hike. You hear that Daddy?!)
Have you ever tried hiking or geocaching with your dog? Do you have any tips to share?
Kol’s Note: We received no compensation for this post, but we are using some affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, we will get a small commission and you will get our undying gratitude. EzyDog previously provided us with Kol’s Chestplate Harness for review (check it out) and 18 months later we still love it and use it every day. Our Vario 6 leash was bought and paid for out of Kol’s allowance. It’s another Casa de Kolchak favourite. EzyDog is sponsoring K9 Kamp and they have provided giveaway product for out prize package.
Holy Woof you guys, I can not believe it’s finally here!
For two years, Peggy and I have been telling you how to get fit with your dog.We’ve told you what to do and when to do it. (What a bunch of bossy control freaks!) In Year One, we focused on the basics with a walking challenge, a fetch challenge, a tug of war challenge, jumping challenge and a fun game of “catch me if you can”. Year Two, we stepped up our game with more walking, a bunch of ball games and ways you can get fit a minute at a time. We’re done telling you what to do.
This time around, kamp is all about YOU.We realized something this year: Canine Fitness is NOT a special occasion. It’s not a challenge to be sweated out once a year because you’re hoping to win some great prizes (I mean, we have that too, but it’s not what canine fitness is all about – or so I’m told.) Fitness is a year round, day in & day out affair. We’re going to be throwing kamp several times this year – and talking about it in between. We can give you all the challenges we want, but the truth is that the activities that are going to keep you and your dog fit are going to be the ones you love to do. So this time around, your challenge is this:
Spend 30 minutes extra getting fit with your dog,
3 or 4 times a week.
(*Suggested time only – use yur judgement and consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure. Senior dogs, dogs who are very out of shape or younger dogs who are still developing may not need this much time. Some dogs may need more.)
Do something you love or try something new and exciting and then come back and tell us about it.
Tell us why it helps keep you fit and what you find so fun about it. Share your fitness passions with everyone.
As always, we’re here to help guide you through Kamp.We got all sorts of great ideas for how you can get in your fitness fun. If you don’t have a “got to” activity, here are some fun ideas. Our theme for kamp this time is “Summer Fun” – go outside and play!
- Check out one of our previous challenges. I’ve provided links to them all above. They were a lot of fun and to this day, Koly and I still love a rousing game of “Catch Me If You Can” and love to play keep away with an exercise ball.
- Enroll in a local dog sports class, like agility, flyball or treiiball
- Go outside! There are tons of great paths and hiking trails. Get out there!
- Run with your dog (but first ask yourself “Is my dog well suited for running?)
- Climb stairs – hit up a local high school or the like and spend some time walking up and down the stairs.
- Go swimmimg (unless your dog is a gremlin like Kol, then don’t get it wet – or feed it after midnight.)
Our featured bloggers all have some wonderful ideas on how to get fit with your dog.We encourage you to check each one out and see what they’re sharing. I know I’m going to visit each one to learn about what they do to work it out.
Don’t forget! Even though kamp isn’t “all about the prizes” this time, we’ve still got some good ones!Thanks to our awesome sponsors, we’ve got a prize package worth more than $200 for one lucky winner! Click here to find out what you could win and how.
So that’s it folks! No crazy challenge, no outlandish to do list.Just get out and get active with your dog. Come back and tell us all about what you did and why it was so much fun. After all isn’t that what K9 Kamp is really all about? Getting fit and having fun with YOUR DOG?!?!
So tell us, why are YOU joining in K9 Kamp? What makes fitness important to you?
K9 Kamp is sponsored by Ezy Dog America, NiteIze and Only Natural Pet, who are providing the prizes for our winner. All links to these companies are affiliate links, but no other compensation has been provided.K9 Kamp is taking part in the Fit Dog Friday Blog Hop! If you’re a blogger we hope you’ll link up a post on why you’re joining us for K9 Kamp! You can also hop around visiting some other great blogs and getting great fitness ideas for you and your pup. What are you waiting for – let’s go!
Um, what the woof?! That’s MORE THAN HALF. We have an pet obesity epidemic on our hands. As a member of the pet blogging community, I feel a real responsibility not only to ensure my pets maintain a healthy weight, but to try to reach other owners to show them what a healthy weight looks like. You would be so surprised (or maybe you wouldn’t) by how often I get told my dogs are too thin, when in reality? They’re exactly where they should be.
Did you know that 52.5% (or approximately 36.7 million) US Dogs Overweight or Obese – petobesityprevention.com
Are you unsure how your pet’s weight stacks up?
For example, at 24 lbs, you’d think Koly was overweight. He’s just knee high to a pig’s eye! Where is all that weight coming from?! Well, he’s very muscled. My puggle has the physique of german shot putter. I know he’s fit though because he has a clearly defined waist, his belly tucks up nicely under his hips and I can feel his ribs, but they’re covered with just enough fat that he isn’t all knobbly and “ribby”. Not sure where your pet stacks up? Check out this handy guide:
Body condition (or how your dog looks) is usually a better way to judge if your pet is fit than monitoring their weight.