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Welcome to another installment of K9 Kamp hosted by Kol’s Notes, Peggy’s Pet Place and You Did What With Your Weiner! All month long, we’ll be getting fit with Fido and having fun as we embark on another fitness challenge. Do you want to join us (you know you want to! You could even win great prizes, like an amazing bracelet from For Love of a Dog!) Click here to check out this Kamp’s Challenge.
Before K9 Kamp, we were kind of off track when it came to our fitness.
I was overweight. Kolchak had a hefty layer of blubber and enough neck rolls to lose his collar in. Felix was a big boy and I would tell people he was “just really fluffy”. I was in denial. Me and my dogs needed an intervention. K9 Kamp was born. I figured if I told you guys about my fitness goals, maybe I would feel accountable to them. It works, you guys. This is our fourth K9 Kamp in three years and the Mama participating today is 4 dress sizes smaller than the Mama that started kamping. Kolchak and Felix are both at their ideal weight. The best part? We’ve had fun doing it!
The theme for this Kamp is even “fitness fun and games”
Which means we get to play all our favourite things: fetch, frisbee, tug of war! We couldn’t wait! There was only one catch:
We don’t have a yard anymore.
Um…where the woof are we going to get our kamp on? Our nearest dog park is too far and let’s face it, it’s kind of irresponsible to bring toys into a dog park any way. (Too many dogs are toy driven and bringing them into a park environment can cause aggression and fights.)
We have downstairs neighbours, so old favourites like “Hallway Fetch” and “Tug Until Mama’s Arms Give Out” aren’t exactly on the docket either. So, just how are we getting our K9 Kamp Challenge done, if we don’t have a yard and we can’t kamp indoors? Here’s a few tips for K9 Kamping without a yard:
- Tug up the fun on your walk. Kolchak loves to play tug of war, but it’s a loud, noisey, crashy game. We’ve started taking his favourite tug toy out on walks with us and using a bit of “tug time” as a reward for good behaviour. Pass another dog without pulling? Sit when we reach a corner? Obey and “off” command when we find a mystery fast food bag on the sidewalk? Tug it up. Kolchak is thrilled.
- Put on an umbilical leash and Fetch It Yourself. I love to get a really long leash, wrap it around my waist and run around with Kolchak. We love to play a game called “fetch it yourself” where I toss the ball, then we race to get it together. It’s great because it gets us both moving.
- A tie out cord can be your best friend. Let’s be honest, I would never just leave my dogs on a tie out in the yard. I firmly believe they are for supervised and interactive play only. That being said? If you’re ready to play and have fun a tie out cord can be a huge help. We’ve been taking a 30 ft. tie out cord to a local elementary school after hours, wrapping one end around the soccer goal and having some fun with fetch, chase, and a blow up ball. (Kol’s Note: Make sure you take your dog for a good walk to relieve themselves first. Good neighbors don’t pee – or worse – where the kids play!)
- Reliable recall for happy playing. If your dog has reliable recall (and it’s not prohibited in your area), games like Monkey in the Middle are great for playing and reinforcing good recall.
- Spring into action with a spring pole. Most condos or apartments have a tiny green space, somewhere! An umbilical leash and a spring pole can be a great way to really get your dog moving in limited space.
With these simple games, you and your pooch can play yourself to a healthy weight. You don’t need a yard or a fenced in space, you can do what you can with what you have and it will be awesome.
Bark Back! Do you and your dog get active without a yard? We’d love to hear about your favourite games!
Today is National Pet Obesity Awareness day. Veterinarian estimate that more than 50% of their pet patients are overweight or obese. Knowledge is power! Check out this handy guide to help you assess if your dog is one of the pets affected and get active with us.