Dogs Help Seniors Stay Fit

Dogs are a favorite pet for senior citizens and there is plenty of research showing that dogs help seniors stay fit by urging them to exercise. The way the dog does this is by insisting that it be walked every day or be joined in a game of catch the ball or frisbee. Dogs also encourage seniors to participate in other activities with them.

Walking is by far the favorite way for seniors to exercise with their dog. According to a poll by AARP, sixty one percent of people aged 65 or older who own a dog, exercise by walking their dog. What may surprise a few people is another statistic from the same poll: fifty four percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 who have a dog also exercise by walking with their pet.

Of this same group of 50-64 year olds, forty two percent also play catch or toss a Frisbee with their dog as a fitness routine, while twenty six percent of the seniors aged 65 or older who own a dog, exercise with their dog in the same way. Other favorite ways of exercising that both age groups regularly do is jogging and wrestling. Yes, wrestling with their dog. Respondents said that they love to wrestle at home with their dog and also when they go to a park for exercise.

The frequency that dog owners exercise with their dogs varies substantially between the age groups. Twenty two percent of people aged 50 to 64 regularly exercise with their dog, while thirty three percent of the seniors 65 and older exercise with their dogs more than once a day.

The difference between the regularity of exercising with their dog may possibly be attributed to work responsibilities or more active social lives. Of those who don’t exercise every day with their dog, about seventeen percent exercise with their best canine friend two to three times per week. As for the slackers, fifteen percent say they never exercise with their dog.

Research seems to indicate that people who exercise with their pets are more likely to stay on a regular fitness program. Walking, jogging, or playing catch with their dog provides the same exercise benefits for both the person and the dog, helping keep muscles and joints flexible and aiding in controlling weight gain for both.

Companionship is the primary reason that people aged 65 and older decided to get a pet. Companionship was also the major reason people aged 50-64 chose to adopt a pet.

Taking care of a dog is not something everyone can do or is willing to do every day of their lives. Dogs come with a lot of responsibility for the owner. A dog must be fed regularly and always have access to fresh water. Dogs need a fenced in yard to play in or they must be taken for a walk at least twice a day to take care of their biological needs.

The cost of buying pet food, regular checkups by a veterinarian, and necessary vaccinations can place a heavy burden on seniors dependent upon Social Security for their retirement income. Sixty percent of people 65 and older and thirty seven percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64, say they don’t own a pet for these very reasons.

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Mite M – Mijn laatste woorden

Video Rating: 5 / 5

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Review: Easy Scoop a Poop

Let’s face it: picking up dog poop is not the most pleasant of tasks. The warmth, the moisture…well, you know… Because of this, we were very interested in reviewing a new product…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

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HealthyPetNet’s BBB rating is A+

Was just interested in this BBB report on Trilogy HealthyPetNet. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida. Having been associated with them for three years as an indepedent rep, I already knew they were straight-arrow, but was glad to see it in writing!

http://www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org/BBBWeb/Forms/Business/CompanyReportExtensionPage.aspx?CompanyID=4005372&sm=
A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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Nice Flea photos

Some cool Flea images:

Flea Beetle – Longitarsus jacobaeae? 2
Flea

Image by Dluogs
Red Flea Beetle – possibly Tansy Ragwort Flea Beetle – Longitarsus jacobaeae or similar. Thanks, Boris, for the ID. I’m mildly disappointed it’s not my first ID attempt – Neocrepidodera ferruginea as there are plenty of other pictures of the Tansy Ragwort Flea Beetle out there.

Flea Wall
Flea

Image by Pete Ashton
Sunday Flea Market at The Custard Factory.

Flea Country USA (duck trip but he was feeling shy this morning)
Flea

Image by Jon Haynes Photography
Flea Country {american flag} USA is empty and cluttered with empty cardboard boxes

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What Is Wrong With You People?

38383346What is wrong with you people?

Sometimes it seems to me like this is the motto of the dog trainer. Whether it’s using shock collars, not using shock collars, using food, not using food, using clickers, not using clickers — whatever it is — there’s a reason to be angry. And of course that means there’s a reason to be sharply critical, maybe even abusive, toward other people. After all people should know better shouldn’t they?

When it comes to dogs we advocate compassion. We advocate the use of positive reinforcement to get the behavior that we want. We advocate the use of the most gentle possible method we can find in order to help dogs to choose the behavior we want and to stop displaying the behaviors we don’t.

Humans, it seems, don’t deserve this benefit of the doubt. If you have a bunch of "dog people" as friends on Facebook go take a look at your news feed. What do you see? People are stupid. People are animal abusers. People shouldn’t be allowed to have dogs. People deserve to be left at the pound. And of course that perennial favorite: "The more I see of people the more I like dogs."

Don’t get me wrong I’ve been guilty of this kind of negativity myself. Many people are aware of this blog only because I’ve been very very critical of Cesar Milan. But I’ve made an honest effort to turn over a new leaf and have always believed that if you are going to criticize one thing, offer an alternative.

This post is about my alternative.

Helping dogs and people live happily together is my passion. I started out with my goal being to help dogs, but over time I realized that I can’t do a good job if I am not willing to help humans too. I also, oddly enough, started to like people the more I helped them with their dogs. (People who have known me for a long time still find this change in my attitude a bit surprising.) Rescuers, walkers, shelter workers, and dog trainers, enter this field because of their love of dogs. But it’s my belief that the people that are truly successful and truly help dogs either start out wanting to work with humans too or over time learn to appreciate them and the importance of working with and respecting them in order to be successful.

One of the most fundamental tools in a so-called “positive trainers “toolbox is DRI. As I’ve explained in the space before, DRI is replacing an undesired behavior with a desirable one. Why on earth would somebody who fancies themselves a skillful trainer forgo an opportunity to help somebody learn something new by, well, teaching them something new?

One answer of course is that nothing brings people together and nothing fires up a crowd better than a common enemy. That common enemy might be a famous TV trainer, the trainer across town, or even just an unfortunate dog owner doesn’t really know what she’s doing. And when one surrounds oneself only with people that share your beliefs, whether they be colleagues or fans, it’s really easy to find enemies to single out. (That would be everyone else.)

I’m not the first person to say that dogs are easy and people are hard. It’s easy to assume that people should know better. After all, it’s what many people assume about dogs, right? It’s easy to say we’re supposed to be the smart species while we make fun of "clueless trainers" and "stupid dog owners." It’s hard to get them to do the right thing. That’s when our work becomes real work.

I am a dog trainer, but I’m not just responsible for dogs – I am responsible for both ends of the leash. If I can’t reach a person in order to change their behavior or even just to help them get along better with their dog, I have failed. Snarky blog posts and Facebook pontificating doesn’t fix it.

What Is Wrong With You People? is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey


Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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The Importance Of Knowing A Quality Locksmith In Miami

There is absolutely no more aggravating time than locking yourself out of your automobile. It always seems to happen at the most inconvenient possible time and takes what seems like forever to deal with. After unsuccessful attempts to gain access to your car on your own, you may need to call upon a locksmith. Most [...]
sevendogsandababy.com

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Nice Pest photos

Some cool Pest images:

2010 DoD Pest Management Workshop February 2010 (53)
Pest

Image by Armed Forces Pest Management Board
Picture from the DoD Pest Management Workshop held in Jacksonville, FL.

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Man Clinging To Boat Asks To Have Dog Saved First

When Earl and his black spaniel mix were fishing, the small boat capsized. When the boat flipped over, Earl put Lacy on top of the boat to make sure she stayed safe. He stayed in the water with his life jacket.
Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

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Food Rules for Dogs

It’s generally accepted that of all the controversial people food trends out there, the paleo/raw/low carb/low fat rules of ingestion, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, which at its core is this: don’t eat so much processed food, and don’t eat so much food in general.

Agreed, and you can certainly extrapolate this to pets too. However, with over 50% of US pets overweight or obese- a condition with definite and real consequences- I’m more concerned with the latter than the former when it comes to pets.  If you prepare your pet’s food, you’ll be bored with this post. If you don’t, and need a little help, read on.

I feed Brody commercial food, so I won’t judge you for doing the same.

Despite knowing home-prepared foods made from your own organic farmer’s market basket provides the most close-to-nature ingredients, it’s a struggle to do this consistently for our human kids, never mind the pets. So most of us* feed our pets out of a bag and beat ourselves up over it. And that’s where clever marketers get you in the feels: we go into the pet store with this vague and disquieting sense of guilt that oh god I’m feeding my pet processed kibble and I’m a bad dog owner therefore I will compensate by buying the absolute best processed kibble I can afford. (Which, by the way, is my own personal approach, so I’m not knocking it.)


brodydish

As you all know, dissecting thorny nutritional questions could fill a whole book, so this post is limited to current marketing trends. There are plenty of buzzwords out there designed to convince you that this or that new food is the healthiest one, the most wolf-like, light years ahead of all the other ones. But do these trends really mean anything? Based on what I’ve seen hitting the shelves this past year, here are my own personal Food Rules I keep in mind when shopping.

Food Rules for Dogs**

1. The term “natural” doesn’t tell you much.

In AAFCO terms, natural pet foods only means nothing chemically synthesized (except vitamins.) The word natural does not imply better (cyanide is natural!), or even minimal processing. Natural pet food can still be processed and rendered and full of chicken feet from China. Don’t buy a food just based on that word without actually reading the label.

2. Dogs aren’t wolves, they’re dogs.

The venerable journal Nature recently published a study comparing the wolf’s ability to digest starch with a dog’s ability to do the same, which Dr. Huston sums up nicely here. To sum up the summary: dogs evolved to hang around and scrounge off of us, and in doing so changed both their anatomy and their digestive enzymes to better digest carbs like the omnivores they follow around. Which leads me to my next point:

3. Most dogs don’t need a low carb diet.

The general consensus amongst those who know a ton about these things, like DVM/PhD nutritionists who run Iditarods with performance dogs such as Dr. Arleigh Reynolds (he spoke at a great BlogPaws session), is this: performance dogs may benefit from the additional protein and/or fats in low carb foods. For the average dog, the extra calories just tend to make them fatter.

brodydish2

Don’t you look smart.

4. Most dogs don’t need a grain free diet either.

If you want to go grain free for your dog, it won’t hurt them. But ask yourself: why? People usually assume grain free diets are better for dogs based on one of a few ideas: grains are covered in glutens and glutens are bad; or grains are carbs and carbs are bad.

Gluten free diets are all over the place these days because of the incidence of celiac disease, a real and devastating condition in people. But with the exception of one subset of Irish setters, it doesn’t occur in dogs.

Is grain free = low carb? Not necessarily. Potatoes, a common grain free source of carbs, have a higher glycemic index than brown rice and are all over the place in grain free dog diets. Besides, dogs are fine with carbs (see 3.)

Or do you think your dog is allergic to grain?

5. Most dogs aren’t allergic to grains.

Of all cases of allergies in dogs, food allergies only comprise 10% of them. And of those food allergic dogs, the 5 most commonly diagnosed allergies are: beef, dairy, chicken, lamb, and fish. Are grain allergies possible? Yes. Likely? No. If you’re feeding a grain free beef formula because you think your dog is allergic to wheat, consider a food trial to confirm your suspicions.

6. There is no one ideal food for your dog.

Anyone who says ‘this and only this brand/line is all that will ever be appropriate’ is lying. There are always options (even prescription diets are usually available from multiple manufacturers), and unless your dog has a specific medical condition you’re treating with diet I encourage people to try different foods and see what works best. As I’ve said before, I rotate foods all the time. If you try the most pricey food in the store and your dog gains 15 pounds, starts flaking off greasy dandruff, or starts pooping 6 times a day, who cares what the bag or the guy in the apron stocking shelves said? Do what works for you.

7. If your dog’s overweight, get that sorted out before worrying about corn and byproduct meal.

I’m not certain exactly what so many people think corn is going to do to their dog, but they are certain it’s going to do something bad so prescription weight loss food is out of the question for their 115 pound Akita who can barely walk. Then they put the dog down when both knees go out. This is a true story from my clinic, which happened after 6 months of begging the owner to put the dog on a diet, any diet, corn or no.

Don’t focus so much on what might happen that you miss the real danger happening right in front of you.

koadish

Koa lost 12 pounds (non diet food, just portion control) after we adopted her and was all the happier for it.

I talk more about how to decipher food names, ingredients, and what I tell people when they ask me to make a food recommendation in prior posts linked here.

Got your own pet rules? And should I do a cat one?

*If you’re one of those uncommon home cooking owners, awesome for you. That is not said sarcastically. I know it takes a lot of work. And if you’re a raw feeder, I accept that you have researched it and know what you’re doing and disagree with feeding kibble. Go forward and BARF and peace be with you. 
 
** See *. I’m talking to the rest of the crowd.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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