It’s so important to give your dog the exercise they need to keep them healthy. This isn’t always what a website tells you, or what is typical for a particular breed. It is what’s right for your individual dog. Certainly you can start out with what’s recommended for a breed. However as a dog ages, their needs may change, and your vet may also advise you. As time goes by, you will get to know what the right amount is for your own dog.
The Overall Health Equation
Of course you need to balance the whole health equation. Exercise stimulates mind and body for a dog, but a healthy diet with not too many snacks is also important. Also, rest is super important too, to allow their minds and bodies to have a breather. Just like our sleep is important, so too is our dogs.
In terms of your dog’s mental health, play and interaction with you are both key factors. One of the best things is to take the time to play with your dog outside. If you need inspiration, here are my top picks for the best dog fetch toys. For more ideas, I also have compiled a selection of outdoor dog toys that are perfect for playing with together.
Why is it important to keep your dog healthy? If this health equation gets out of balance, for an extended time, your dog can have real problems. We’ve probably all seen pictures of overweight pets on social media. In the majority of cases this is down to overfeeding and too many treats. In this case, as weight increases it can become more difficult for a dog to exercise in a normal fashion.
Don't Let your Dog Become Overweight
Just like humans, extra weight puts unnecessary pressure on joints, as well as the circulatory system. The heart has to work harder, and lungs work overtime to get oxygen around the body. Also, an overweight dog may have less than ideal arteries making blood pressure an issue as well. No-one wants their dog to be on medications unless it’s absolutely necessary.
An Unhealthy Dog will Cost you More
There are also financial considerations. An overweight and unhealthy dog will require more visits to the vet, your insurance premiums will likely rise, and if all of that’s not enough, they are likely to have a shorter life.
So, you can see there’s quite a bit to keep tabs on. I’m sure everyone wants their beloved dog to be around as long as possible, so staying healthy together is a great thing.
Unless you have already heard of FitBark, you might not know what it is. It’s a device that can be attached to a dog’s collar, that tracks and records a wide range of dog health information.
For example, it measures your dog’s level of activity, how well they sleep, the distances they travel, and how many calories are used. It really is a overall health monitor that works constantly, every hour of every day. It therefore provides your with everything you need to keep your dog in tip top condition.
What's so great about the FitBark?
My favourite feature is probably that it’s waterproof. This is a huge bonus in the summer months, especially if you have a dog who loves nothing more than jumping in and out of any water!
Just like Apple iPhone generations, the FitBark has been so popular that its makers have developed the FitBark 2. The most significant improvement is the battery life, and it actually lasts for about 6 months now. This is a great convenience factor and means less time for you recharging it.
Share Dog Health Information with your Vet
Because the information is all digital, you can also share information with your vet. This can be super important for keeping track of mobility issues, particularly in arthritic dogs. In this instance it’s likely your dog would need more frequent exercise, but over a shorter distance and on flat ground. The app will help you review this with any specialist care giver and keep track of what’s going on. It really does allow you to follow what is healthy for dogs.
Benefits of monitoring your dog's health
Being able to identify health issues early on
The FitBark 2 has been developed in conjunction with a whole host of animal specialists. As a result it combines all the data about your dog into a Health Index. It can pick up on early signs that there might be something wrong with your dog, if the index score drops for some reason. This is a huge benefit, as with many conditions, the earlier we can get onto them, the better the long term prognosis for your dog.
Assessing anxiety levels
This fitness tracker allows you to have a look at how your dog behaves when you leave the house. Do they run around like a mad thing? Or are they quite calm? Reviewing the data can show you your dog’s stress levels, and identify if they have separation anxiety.
Checking you are getting value from your dog walker
If you pay for dog walking services, FitBark gives you a tool to see how far and for how long your dog is being walked for. With the number of these services that are available now, you should be sure you are getting what you pay for.
Getting healthy together
You can even connect your own fitness devices to the FitBark, so you can really enjoy exercising together. It connects to links to the FitBit, Google Fit and the Apple HealthKit.
Related content: What are the health benefits from dogs?
Why I Recommend this Dog Fitness Tracker
I totally rate the FitBark as a dog fitness tracker.It has so many useful features and is vital in keeping an eye on your dog’s overall health. I haven’t come across anything else that is as comprehensive in the level of information it collects. Overall I highly recommend it as a way to learn what is healthy for dogs, and how your own dog compares. As an added bonus, there are heaps of different colours to choose from too!