Luckily, she shaped up just in the knick of time!With Felix off on major restricted movement for the foreseeable future, I knew this month’s challenge was going to have to be all me. I take this job very seriously and so I was looking around for ways to get active with the Mama. The challenge was to try something new and man…Mama tried something new. I’m not sure I like what she came up with. Since we’ve become apartment dogs and Felix is in his stroller most of the time, 9 times out of 10, we take the elevator, but when it’s just Mama and I, we’ve been challenging ourselves to take the stairs. UGH. So many stairs!
You guys, watching Mama climb the stairs is like seeing a train wreck.It’s scary! So so scary! You want to look away, but you can’t because you’re filled with a sort of morbid fascination. Some days, I’m worried she’s going to die in a stairwell and then where will I be? You ought to see her! Why does she breathe like her throat is swollen and she’s not getting any air? Why does she turn that weird shade of pinkish-red? What are those creepy, wailing noises that sound almost like an orca whale? I don’t speak whale! I’m not Dori!!
The good news is, that Mama is feeling the difference the stairs make in her butt.Even though she isn’t certain that it’s making a difference to mine. (Um, duh Mama, I am a perfect specimen of puggley health. We’re hoofing these bad boys for YOUR benefit.) The side benefit is that Mama has been giving me *frequent* butt rubs, just in case I’m a bit sore. JACKPOT!
What did you do for this month’s Keeping Up with K9 Kamp ChallengeKol’s Notes and Peggy’s Pet Place and You Did What with Your Wiener are the official co-hosts of K9 Kamp, a fitness challenge aimed at fighting pet obesity. K9 Kamp happens a couple of times year, however, we believe that canine fitness should be something you work on year-round. Check out the Keeping Up with K9 Kamp for a challenge on the first Friday of every month at youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com, and check back in with your results on the last Friday of every month. Slimdoggy, and To Dog with Love. Join the hop!
A wise man once said, “Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.”Apparently, Felix doesn’t listen to awesome late 90s, spoken word pop because he has not been doing his knees any favours. 9+ years of running, jumping and treating his knees with a haphazard carelessness that can only really be attributed to the fact that he’s a dog and has no idea how his legs are built led to the hind right one having a blow out last week. Here’s how it went down: Fe was kicking it in the yard and he jumped down from an 8″ high garden ledge and yelped. He parked himself on his butt and was either unable or unwilling to put any weight on it. Worried that he’d broken the dog, the Daddy called me at work and we were off to the ER vet. After a couple of drawer tests (where the vet grabs the femur with one hand and moves the tibia with the other. If the tibia can be moved forward, resembling a drawer being opened, the cruciate ligament has been torn or ruptured) and a set of X-Ray, we had our diagnosis: a torn anterior cruciate ligament. the solution? A surgery where they screw a plate into his bone to keep the joint stable and cut out a chunk of the bone to keep the tibia from sliding around.
Is it just me or does that whole process sound painful and pricey and pretty much awful?Oh right! That’s because it was! Our surgery estimate was $5k, followed by a few months of rehab, complementary treatments and cha-ching! cha-ching! cha-ching. We were super lucky that we have veterinary insurance and 80% of the surgery was covered, but still. Do I look like I’m made of money?! Felix, this is coming out of your allowance.
I opted to hold off and wait for a second opinion.Holy woof! Am I ever glad that I did. We decided to travel to a specialist about an hour away. The vet we chose has done extensive studies in ligament surgeries, is proficient in more than one surgery for cruciate repair and knows like all the things when it comes to this injury. He reviewed Fe’s X-rays, repeated the Drawer test, rubbed Felix’s belly and told me he doesn’t recommend surgery for Felix.
That’s right, Fe is not going to have surgery.Turns out, Fe is not a good candidate for TPLO surgery. He’s little, under 20 lbs and the metal plates really aren’t designed for his teensy dwarf legs. There are other surgeries and other repair methods, but the specialist feel pretty confidant that Fe doesn’t need it. You see, in small dogs, there is a ridiculously high success rate with non-surgical intervention. We’re taking an approach called Conservative Management. For the next while, Fe will be on very limited exercise. No running, no jumping, no shenanigans, Felix. We’ll let the manage inflammation and let the leg heal, scar tissue to form and then build the strength back up by slowly increasing how long/far he walks and a combinations of physical therapy, cold laser therapy and (holy woof, am I excited for this or what?) swimming.
I’m nervous though.Even though it sounds like the easier option, Conservative Management can be a lot of work! Physical therapy needs to be done twice daily to keep the leg moving and build it back up. There is the best canine swim centre an hour away and we’ll be ferrying him back and forth. Laser therapy appointments can be cost intensive and time consuming. We’ll be calling Fall the “season of Felix” for sure. Good thing I think he’s worth it.
Has your dog ever had an injury that had multiple treatments? Which treatment did you use and how did you decide it was the best way?
For the Love of Dog, I have never felt as judged as a dog owner as I have felt this week.For those who don’t follow us on the Facebook (and why the woof not? Get over there and like me. I neeeeeeed to be liked.), last week, the Felix jumped down and tore his cruciate ligament. (For those who lack a veterinary degree and had to be shown in stick figures like I did, that’s the elasticy bit that keeps your knee in place and allows it to bend & flex. It’s kind of a big deal.)
We’re waiting to see the specialist on Tuesday, but until then, Fe is on a strict rest plan that only allows him 2-3 minute walks, 2 – 3 times a day.I’m not going to lie. He’s mad as heck. I think that face really says it all. He’s not a fan of the Barney-mobile and to be honest, neither am I. I’ve always been a staunch supporter of letting dogs be dogs. I’m as woofing crazy as the next dog lover, but the Walk is a sacred doggy activity that provides not just much needed physical exercise, but also a ton of mental stimulation as well. Heck! We host a whole fitness event encouraging people to get out and get fit with their pet, so the idea of having a dog who rides in style sticks in my craw a bit. I’d feel a bit dorky even if it was the most stylish thing in the world, but that fact that it’s Tinkywinky purple only adds insult to injury.
I know what you’re thinking, “You bought the thing. Why did you buy such a stupid colour.”Well, yeah. That’s fair. I totally could have hit up the local store and bought something hip and cool, maybe something like this snazzy model, but excuse me? Do I look like I’m made of money? Felix is staring down the barrel of a pricey surgery and buying an awesome off-roading pet stroller just wasn’t in the pocketbook. Fe wanted the high-end model that would drive the girls at the park wild. He got the cheap one I found second hand on Craigslist. Suck it up Fe. You’re turning into the Million-Dollar Dog. I should change your name to Bill.
I was totally prepared for my own judgey pants to be in a knot over this stroller, but I wasn’t prepared for the number of judgey people I would meet.
Um, excuse me, folks about the neighbourhood. You are no big deal. You don’t know me. So what the woof is that judgey stare about? The laughing smiles, the sneers and the off-the-cuff remarks are making me crazy. I’m half tempted to put a sign on the thing that says “Ask me about my torn ACL.” The thing is, I get it. I used to think dog stroller were the height of silliness. Why did they even EXIST?! This week has taught me so much and behalf of all the judgey pants out there:
Stroller peeps, we are sorry.
Turns out, there are some pretty legit reasons to use a dog stroller.Felix’s bum knee is only the tip of the iceberg. As many judgey people as I have met this week, I’ve met an equal number of totally awesome dog people who shared their own stroller experiences with me. Here’s just a few of the ways a dog stroller can totally rock your world.
- They’re great for injuries. Without our stroller, I wouldn’t even be able to get Fe in & out of our building. Poor Koly would be housebound and going absolutely stir crazy. Can you imagine having an under stimulated puggle? It would be like slowly massaging your skin with 40 grit sandpaper.
- Got a dog with separation anxiety? A stroller can help. I had never even considered the impact it could have for a dog with separation anxiety. A stroller makes it possible for these dogs to be taken on errands, into stores and all sorts of places most dogs would be denied access. (The only place still off limits is food service locations.) I’ve also found that for Felix, his stroller is letting us test the limits of his anxiety more than the leash ever did. Yesterday, I parked him by the counter at our fav. pet store and walked nearly 6 ft. to a canned food display. If I had done that on a leash, he’d have lost his mind. He didn’t even seem to notice in the stroller.
- Keep elderly dogs active. Anyone who has had a senior pet knows how heartbreaking it is when you realize your dog is no longer capable of that walk. Help keep their head in the game by taking them for a stroll – even if they can’t walk far. Giving them the chance to explore different parts of the neighbourhood, even if they can only explore for a minute is well worth the effort.
- Walk blind pets with confidence. The cutest doxie in our neighbourhood has a stroller. What I didn’t know is that she’s newly blind and very insecure when she’s on leash. Taking the stroller gives her a safe place to retreat to when the stimulation is too much.
- Tackle crowd reactivity in a non-threatening way. Some dogs hate crowds. Putthing them in the stroller lifts them up out of the “stepped on” zone and lets them feel more secure. For Felix, this was a great way to test the theory that he actually loves a crowd, he just feels insecure in one. It’s also a great way to make an outing dog friendly without being one of those totally obnoxious leash octupus’. (You know the folks I mean, at the Farmers market with dogs pulling in every direction hogging up the walkways? I hate those people.)
For my part, I’ve resolved to be less judgey when I see people with strollers.Who knows if they’re managing a tough medical or behaviour issue. I’m not going to judge until I’ve walked a mile in their shoes – or in their stroller, as the case may be≥ Except that blonde down the block. I’m still judging her. She has no good reason for the stroller. I asked. “It’s just like, totally cute!”
Last month, we celebrated the first K9 Kamp of 2013 with our “Do More” Challenge.It was awesome and we were so excited to have so many people join in. Just because our first challenge is over, doesn’t mean our featured kampers have abandoned their fitness plans.
- While Honey at Something Wagging is wilting in the heat, Pamela is finding creative ways to stay fit with Fido indoors.
- Jodi at Heart Like a Dog has been braving some wet conditions to make sure Sampson & Delilah are getting enough exercise.
- Winner of our first K9 Kamp prize, Sharon, Schooner and Skipper report that Schooner is down another 2 pounds. They have been swimming, playing ball, and Skipper chases Schooner to keep him on the move. Great work!
- The SlimDoggy humans barked about how Jack seems to work out a whole lot of his core muscles while he plays at the park.
- Diane and Rocco from To Do With Love are attending a Canine/Human Fitness class.
- Jackie is sharing how walking is also helping build Rita’s confidence and learn some new skills
- Gizmo’s from Terrier Torrent shared his 10 Reasons you should try geo-caching
- Emma from My GBGV Life shared just how big she is and how she did on this month’s Keeping Up With K9 Kamp mini-challenge
That’s right! The K9 Kamp fitness and fun isn’t over.Every month, our new Kamp Coach Jessica from You Did What With Your Wiener is sharing a mini-challenge designed to be a quick and easy way to ensure your dog’s fitness is on track!
This month’s challenge is to make sure you’re feeding your dog the right amount of food.Through my kibble consultations, I’ve learned that when you ask most pet owners this question, they respond with a confident “Yup!” and explain that they carefully follow the guidelines on the bag. The trouble is – the guidelines aren’t always a good fit. In fact, more than 50% of the dogs I’ve worked with were being fed the wrong amount.
It’s important to know how many calories your dog should consume and it’s important to double check that number from time to time.Changes to your lifestyle and activity level can affect how many calories your dog burns. Recently, Koly, Fe and I moved to an apartment and this has totally changed how much they get to eat. Instead of letting the boys out in the yard, we’re now going on 4 – 6 walks per day – well over 2 hours total. This means that the calories Kol and Fe used to get just aren’t enough anymore. On the flip side, as your dog ages, after surgery/illness or other life changes, your dog may need less calories. It’s all about finding what’s right for your dog, not just trusting what is on the bag.
With that in mind, I set out to complete this month’s Keeping Up With K9 Kamp mini-challenge.Our friends (and fellow K9 Kampers) at SlimDoggy have a whole app that can help you make sure your dog is eating right. It’s super easy to use – just put in what your dog eats, how much exercise they get and voila! It shows you if your pet is on track for fitness or if their calories need to be adjusted. It’s not really designed for raw feeders like us, so I have to fudge it a bit, but I’ve found a way to make it work. If you’re an Apple piePhone user, you can get the SlimDoggy app from the App Store. If you’re not an iPhone user, SlimDoggy can still help you calculate your dog’s calorie needs. They’ve built this handy dandy widget that you can use. It’s as easy as putting in your dog’s age, weight and exercise level. Go try it, then check out the calories in your dog food (usually found on the bag or the website of any good brand.) Click here and scroll about quarter way down the page – the widget is in the right
What did you find out?We found out that with all this exercise we’ve been getting, my Koly needed close to 200 more calories. #Jackpot. He’s kind of thrilled about it. We’ve bumped up his breakfast significantly and, just for fun, we’ve added in a few extra treats. (Great timing, since Clear Conscience just sent us a big box of yummy things to try.) Felix on the other hand is still just about right. He needs a few more calories, but not enough that he’s getting any extra meals – just a slightly larger portion and a few extra treats. He doesn’t mind. He says dinner is over rated anyways – especially in this heat.
Do you know how many calories a day your dog needs?You’ve still got time to join in! This Friday, July 27th, Jessica will be sharing her results from their Keeping Up With K9 Kamp Mini-Challenge and joining in the Fit Dog Friday Blog Hop! I hope you’ll drop by and tell her how you did with this month’s mini challenge and what you learned! Kol’s Note: the Mama purchased the SlimDoggy App herself to try & use. No compensation was provided.
K9 Kampers are doing it right!We are SO pleased and proud that not only is our blog a finalist for a 2013 Petties Award, but FIVE other K9 Kampers are finalists in their categories as well! Way to go team! Congrats to our fellow Kampers: SLIMDOGGY finalist for Best Best Mobile App PET BLOGS UNITED & TO DOG WITH LOVE finalists for Best Over All Pet Blog YOU DID WHAT WITH YOUR WIENER & TERRIER TORRENT finalists for Best Active Living Blog and of course, KOLCHAK PUGGLE, (hey! that’s me!) for Best Dog Blog! Your votes mean the world to us! You can vote every single day until July 31. Cast your votes now!
K9 Kamp is over and there’s only one thing left to do:
♪ Kumbaya, bark-woof ♪ ♫ Kumbaya ♫
♪ Kumbaya, bark-woof ♪ ♫ Kumbaya ♫
♪ Kumbaya, bark-woof ♪♫ Kumbaya ♫
♫ Oh Dog, Kumbaya ♫That’s right, it’s time to sit ’round the campfire, sing kamp songs and give out some kamp awards. Every year, I’m always amazed by how totally awesome K9 Kampers are. This Kamp we’ve had such a great diverse group, which made it super difficult to choose our Kamp Awards, we just want to give one to every one because to us, you guys are all K9 Kamp super stars. So, if you took the K9 Kamp Challenge, if you walked or ran or hiked or swam. If you played fetch or tug of war. If you worked on dog sports or worked on your strength training. If you did anything to push you and your dog’s fitness boundaries, this is for you: their kayak adventures and their fun take on agility.
Holy woof ! It can be hard enough to keep up with fitness when you’re staying in one spot. We were totally impressed with all the ways the Casacadian Nomads found fitness on the road.
For finding a way to get out for K9 Kamp and raise funds for the ASPCA, the most generous kamper goes to Daisy from Woof Woof Mama.Have you checked this out? We’re totally impressed with the Charity Miles App. You can earn $0.10 – $0.25 per mile for doing things you would do anyways, like walking or running with your dog. This app was easily one of the best Kamp finds and we’re so glad they shared it with us.
For getting fit and looking amazing doing it, Emma from My GBGV Life gets the Best Dressed Kamper Award.
Emma is the blog equivalent of a super model. Seriously, she rocked so many amazing outfits this kamp. She’s not just a pretty face though, alongside those killer get ups, she also share great fitness tips for running, walking and kamping with your dogs.
For hiking further than the Mama would ever attempt, the Trail Blazer award goes to Charlie from A Novice in All Things.Holy woof! You guys, Charlie hiked 11 1/2 miles with 8 lbs in his pack! Can I get a gold clap for this dog? Amazing! When he was done hiking, he took to the water. Is there anything Charlie can’t do??
For combining three of our favourite things: fitness, super heroes and puppies, the Super Dogs award goes to JR & Baby Pom from Whirlwind of Surprises.
Mama is a sucker for those adorable super buddies puppies and their ideas on how you can help your own pup become a Super Dog were spot on, plus we love their doggy pedometers!
For trying a new sport and totally showing up her Mom, we’re giving Gretel the Weenie of Steel award.Say it with me pups, “I will pull on my leash when I want to, not because you put some fancy harness on me.” We’re so excited To have Gretel, along with Chester and Mom Jessica joining the K9 Kamp Coaching team to bring us the all new Keeping Up With K9 Kamp monthly mini-challenges
We’ve got more K9 Kamp Awards! Want to find out who the rest of our award winners are?
Before we announce the final K9 Kamp Award, we just want to take a moment to thank our fantastic K9 Kamp sponsors!
Without sponsors, we wouldn’t be able to offer any prizes, much less a prize package worth more than $200 and filled with awesome things like:
- An EzyDog Vario6 Leash & Fold-a-Bowl
- A NiteIze MeteorLight K9 LED Fetch Ball & SpotLit LED Collar Light
- A Natural, chemical free EasyDefense pest tag from Only Natural Pet
- A copy of Peggy’s book Dieting With My Dog & her e-book The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance A
- bag each of Kol’s Veggie Snacks & Green Bean Crunchers
- An assortment of active toys
And now, with no further ado, our final Kamp Awards for this session, along with our awesome prize package, go to Schooner & Skipper!Schooner & Skipper are both generally healthy, but recently Schooner put on a bit of weight. Skipper & Sharon have been the best cheer team helping him slim down by swimming, a great low impact exercise. Even when the weather kept them out of the pool, they got in the K9 Kamp spirit by plaing indoor games, like throwing the ball down the stairs and racing to get it. Congratulations you guys!
The K9 Kamp fun doesn’t have to end here.The next big K9 Kamp Challenge is in coming to a blog ner you in October 2013! We’ve got all sorts of fitness fun headed your way and we can’t wait to share it with you.
We want to make the next Kamp better than ever, but we need your help to do so:
Click here to take the K9 Kamp Survey and tell us what you love about Kamp, what you hate & how we can improve.
Are you keeping up with K9 Kamp?Don’t forget to check out the Keeping Up With K9 Kamp mini-challenge hosted by You Did What With Your Weiner? on the first Friday of every month for simple, easy ways you can make sure your dog’s fitness stays on track between K9 Kamp challenges!
Until next time Kampers, get fit with Fido and HAVE FUN!Do you want to keep up with all the K9 Kamp news? Subscribe to the Kol’s Notes Weekly Woof Newsletter and get the inside scoop on upcoming K9 Kamp events!
Kol’s Note: This post totally contains affiliate links. By clicking on a link and making a purchase, we will receive a small commission and you will feel going knowing you’ve helped keep Kol’s Notes running!
All month long, we’ve been getting fit and having fun here at K9 Kamp.The challenge was simple: get active with your dog, 30 minutes extra 3 or 4 times a week. Our featured bloggers embraced the challenges, doing things like kayaking, core training, geocaching, playing crate games, running and walking, walking and more walking. Our Kampers have frolicked on the beach and explored new ground, we even . We’ve explored big adventures that can help us get fit, everyday solutions that make keeping fit with your dog easy and creative ways to add challenge to every day fitness. We’ve even shared some totally tasty & healthy snack ideas, like frozen yogurt for dogs and crunchy chips. Along the way, we said good bye to a friend, who will be greatly missed by all who knew here and especially us here at Kol’s Notes.
We have absolutely LOVED hearing about what you and your dogs do to keep fit.I think that was the absolute best part of this K9 Kamp – it wasn’t Mama being a bossy pants and telling you what to do. The K9 Kamp coaches didn’t come up with some cockamamie scheme. We just asked you to share some fun and fitness with your dog and tell us all about it. We discovered some fun ideas that the Mama is dying to try. Though we may never hike as far as Charlie and we’re sure not headed to the skatepark like Max, but we found some fun activities that we’re going to keep doing.
Its’ not too late to join in!While today is the “unofficial” close of K9 Kamp, it’s not to late to embrace the challenge and be entered to win our awesome grand prize package worth more than $200! Thanks to our sponsors
Get active with your dog and you could win!
- An EzyDog Vario6 Leash & Fold-a-Bowl
- A NiteIze MeteorLight K9 LED Fetch Ball & SpotLit LED Collar Light
- A Natural, chemical free EasyDefense pest tag from Only Natural Pet
- A copy of Peggy’s book Dieting With My Dog & her e-book The Dieting with my Dog Guide to Weight Loss and Maintenance
- A bag each of Kol’s Veggie Snacks & Green Bean Crunchers
- An assortment of active toys
Rafflecopter will be open until Tuesday June 25 at 12 noon PST. Don’t miss it.
It’s almost time to sit around the campfire and sing Kumbaya together!Next Wednesday, we’re holding our K9 Kamp Awards recognizing awesome kampers for their hard work. If you know of a kamper that worked extra hard on getting fit and who totally deserves an award, click here to give us a woof and nominate them!
Can’t wait to Kamp again? Get Ready! The next K9 Kamp will be in October.We can’t wait to do it all again, this time with a fun new theme. However, fitness is not a special occasion. It isn’t just some challenge to be tried once a year. It’s something we have to do all the time. That is why I am so excited to announce that Jessica, Chester & Gretel from You Did What With Your Wiener?? have joined the K9 Kamp Coaching Team, along with myself and Peggy from Peggy’s Pet Place, to bring you the new Keeping up with K9 Kamp mini challenges! To keep us good and ready for some fitness and fun, on the first Friday of every month, Jessica will be sharing a K9 Kamp “mini” Challenge. The challenges are designed to be super easy to complete, even if you’re busy and strapped for time and we can’t wait to see the first challenge. Don’t forget! Tune in to You Did What With You Weiner? on the first Friday of each month more information!
From all of us here at Casa de Kolchak, thanks for kamping with us.We’ve discovered all sorts of fun new things to do and try. We can’t wait to get out and get active and have some fun!
So tell me: what’s the coolest fitness idea or tip you discovered at K9 Kamp?We’re joining in the Fit Dog Friday Blog Hop hosted by Peggy’s Pet Place, Slimdoggy and To Dog with Love.
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.
Last week Mama took us hiking as part of our K9 Kamp Challenge.We had great fun romping through the forest, running after critters and generally running amok. Mama thinks that she could have done more to prepare for hiking with dogs, but I think the whole trip went smashingly. I tell you guys, that Lu is a card. You would think he’s never see the great outdoors. He was so woofing excited to be out there, to find the ground by the lake littered with delicious, delicious Goose-made snacks that must have made the Mama jealous, as she kept calling the sh*t. (*sigh* Sometimes it’s hard to have a Mama so insecure about the quality of her own treats that she can’t enjoy other people’s snacks too.) While us dogs were wholly immersed in the wonder and beauty of nature, the vastness of the Canadian rain forest and the delight of chasing woodland creatures, Mama had her nose glued to her phone looking for lost treasure or something like that. I tried to tell her that the top of a mountain, several hours inland seemed like an odd and totally inconvenient place for a pirate to hide his riches, but she foolishly persisted on. Sometimes you just have to let the humans learn for themselves that their plans are as full of holes as Swiss cheese.
As fun as hiking was, I was more than a little concerned.You see, I’m a trim little guy. Mama jokes about “Roly Poly Koly” and how I used to have a puggle butt, but these days I’m looking quite lean and fit, thanks to Mama and her wretched canine fitness routine. She’s the worst! She watches what we eat to make sure we aren’t getting too many calories. She makes us work to burn off the calories in our treats. She rations the snacks Nana and Daddy can give us. I tell you pups, it’s like living in a Communist nation. Knowing that I was already getting just enough calories to keep me looking like a canine Brad Pitt, I was super concerned that the Mama was going to make me hike for a few hours. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY CALORIES A GOOD HIKE CAN BURN? Holy woof you guys, if I wasn’t careful, I would waste away to nothing. I’d be a bone rack and not the good Jones Natural Chew bones. The bad, “Hey Lady, why is your dog so skinny. Don’t you feed him” kind of bones.
What do you do when your human needs more exercise, but the dog is just about perfect?Some humans would just forget about the dog and hit the human hamster wheel. I ascede that this solution would work, though from the dog’s eye view, it’s possibly the crappiest solution ever. Um, Mama? There is no way I want to sit at home, bored as woof, while you huff and puff on an imaginary walk or run. I don’t get why humans lock themselves inside to exercise when they could be enjoying the great outdoors and bonding with their pooches. After all, K9 Kamp isn’t just about fighting canine obesity, it’s about getting fit with your pet and helping your pet maintain a healthy weight.That means means not letting them gain a bunch of weight and not letting them get too thin. It’s all about balance. Honey and Pamela at Something Wagging have another great solution: they’re looking for great K9 Kamp activities that make Pamela work her butt off (literally), but where Honey gets to come along as a passenger. Last week they went kayaking. Have you ever seen anything as cute as Honey in a kayak?! I’ve heard rumours about some long bike rides with Honey in her doggy cart too. These are great ways to push the humans fitness level, even if the dog doesn’t need more exercise.
Here at Casa de Kolchak, we’re trying a different solution.Holy woof you guys. I LOVE IT. Do you know what the Mama’s solution is? Do ya? Do ya? Do ya? More food. Mama used the SlimDoggy App to estimate how many calories I was burning between playing with Lu and going on our big hike. (If you don’t have an Apple piePhone, try using the SlimDoggy widget on our K9 Kamp page to calculate how many calories your dog burns on a regular day and on a day when they have some high intensity exercise.) This app can be my best friend, since it told the Mama that I earned an extra 248 calories on our hike! Woot woot! Mama – can I have bacon? CAN I? (Mama’s note: Woof no. While Kol had more than enough calories to justify it, I worry about the high fat content and the possibility of pancreatitis.) Mama was hoarding the bacon like there was a shortage or something. She’s quite the hog sometimes. (Get it?? Get it?!) I did, however get an extra helping at dinner and extra treats. Mama says that when you’re increasing the calories your dog gets due to exercise, it’s always smart to provide good, wholesome calories, like more of your regular food, instead of piling on the calories with junk food and snacks. Your dog can use the extra protein and nutrition to feed their muscles and it will help them to grow stronger and fitter. What kind of exercise have you been doing for K9 Kamp? Have you had to reduce or increase your dog’s calories? Don’t forget! If you’re kamping along with us, you should head over to our K9 Kamp page and enter to win our great prize package worth more than $200!
Kol’s Note: EzyDog, NiteIze and Only Natural Pet are the sponsors of K9 Kamp and are providing the prize for our Kamp winner. Links to their products within this post are affiliate links.
Mama bought the SlimDoggy app with her own allowance and did not receive any compensation for mentioning it in this post. It’s a cool app that helps you estimate how many calories your dog needs and how many they’re burning. If you are at all in doubt about if you are meeting or exceeding your dog’s calorie needs, you should check it out.
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.