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How to Get Healthy With Your Pet

For the better part of the last six years, we were a two dog family. Andre, a weimeraner-lab mix, was the active one. He was the kind of dog that was bred for bird hunting. He was the one that would drag me for long walks and chase tennis balls. Even in his advanced age, he was the one that wanted to hang out on the pier and fish or chase opossums out of the backyard. Kamikaze, our chow mix breed, well, he was the lazy one. He didn’t do much except sit around in the air conditioning and stare out the sliding glass doors. The outdoors wasn’t really his thing. We didn’t blame him. He had that heavy fur coat. In Florida.

Dre, as we called him, passed away earlier this year. The only time Kaze really went outside was to go to the bathroom. Since stairs weren’t really his thing either —like I said, he’s a lazy one—his entire existence was confined to the rug in the first-floor living room. There were always excuses for allowing a sedentary lifestyle but not anymore. With cooler fall temperatures on the way and a new eating plan from for our furry friend, we are both on track to get healthy!

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Get Healthy With Your Pet

How to Get Healthy With Your Pet

“It’s too hot outside.”
“I don’t have time to take him for a real walk.”
“I’m busy.”
“He doesn’t really want to go exercise anyway.”
“He’s happy to just sit there.”

These are no longer excuses. You have to hold yourself accountable. Fortunately, if you have a dog, you have a partner that can help keep you on track.

So, here are five ways that you can help each other feel better each and every day.

Get Healthy With Your Pet
1. Exercise with your dog: Last year my dad got in a really bad car accident and injured his back. Motivation to do physical activity was tough when his back hurt.

That’s why he enlisted the help of his dog. They started walking around the block every night after work as a way for my dad to get in his exercise. Pretty soon his dog got him into the routine of walking around the block every night and if he wanted to take a night off, his dog wouldn’t let him. That’s why your dog can make a great exercise partner. Plus, they are always around.
This might be tough for you and your dog. I know Kaze isn’t a fan of walks. He tends to give up after 100 yards and tries to take a nap in the nearest grass. Just keep pushing each other. You aren’t going to be running 5K marathons together right off the bat. If tracking your progress is your thing, use this printable dog walk tracker.

Dog Walk Tracker

Get Healthy With Your Pet
This simple printable reminds me of our time and distance together over the past week. If I skip a day, I make it up over the weekend. We have a command center near our front door with a calendar and this new printable. We laminated it so we can fill it out each week and wipe it clean. It’s the first thing I see when I come home and the last thing I see on my way out.


2. Get out in nature: Dogs were never meant to sit around all day in a cramped apartment watching television by themselves. They were bred to herd sheep, or to hunt hogs, or to guard property. They’re pack animals. I’m sure being the equivalent of a furry throw pillow is extremely depressing for them. And same with you.

3. Use each other as an excuse to go be social. Go to the beach. Go to your local state park. A lot of minor league baseball teams even offer nights to bring your dog to the stadium. Vitamin D is good for you. Go chase squirrels. Howl at the clouds. Be an animal. Don’t just sit around all day waiting for someone else to entertain you.

Get Healthy With Your Pet

4. No more treats: No dog begs for a raw carrot. They don’t whimper for vegetables. Nope. They only give you those puppy dog eyes for chicken nuggets or the last bite of your cheeseburger. That can’t be a good thing. If your dog wants a piece of whatever you are eating, chances are you shouldn’t be eating it. A healthy diet for your pet is just as important as a healthy diet for yourself. This is why we both have changed our diets recently to include more of what need to be healthy and happy.

Get Healthy With Your Pet
5. Be an inspiration to each other: When Dre passed there was, of course, sadness. But in the end, we all knew that he lived the fullest life a dog could have hoped for. It made it easier to accept the end. Fortunately, there is time to still change that for our pup Kaze. I can put a leash on him and go explore. His mood has been improving with our daily walks, and his coat has never looked better after using IAMS™.

And maybe, he’ll start dragging me into being that active, healthy person I know I should be.

Get Healthy With Your Pet
How do you get healthy with your pet?

Stock up with this Dollar Store Pet Shopping List.

Krystal | Sunny Sweet Days
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