If you’re looking to lose weight, you really need to exercise. Although you can diet without it, it’s so much easier when you’re active. Dogs need exercise, too. Some dogs need a lot. You know the kind of dog I’m talking about. It’s the kind that gets into everything (especially into trouble) when he doesn’t get his workout.
Get you one of those. If you have a pup like that, you won’t be able to make excuses and skip your walk.
We all want to get healthy and look good. But, let’s be honest, not everyone is cut out for the gym, Zumba, or spin class. Still, you gotta get moving if you want to get fit. However, you can easily acquire a secret weapon. Da dahhhhh, it’s Rescue Dog to the rescue.
What’s the first step?
First, get a dog.
It’s highly recommended that you rescue a dog rather than purchase online, at a puppy mill, or from a breeder. Doing so is a win for everyone. When you rescue, the benefits go to 1) your new buddy, 2) yourself (you now have a devoted new friend), and 3) the dog who gets his spot at the facility where you acquired him.
Spay or neuter to avoid surprise litters.
Don’t take chances. We’re trying to save dogs, not create new ones.
Microchip and register your dog.
A vet can implant a microchip at a cost of between $30 – $70 depending on the dog. You can then use a commercial registry who will charge a yearly fee to track you down should you and your pet become separated.
However, there are free registries available. My dog, Roxie, is registered with a non-profit organization named Michelson Found Animals. For information, you can find them at www.foundanimals.org. Just make sure you keep the registry up-to-date when it comes to changes with your phone number, email, and veterinarian as that information is what they use to notify you when your dog is found.
Also, keep in mind that some municipalities require annual licenses. Check with your local vet for details.
To begin, you’ll need a collar and leash. Importantly, they’re used to keep your dog safe as you seek nature and fitness wandering around outdoors. Here’s the harness Roxie uses.
Because you’ll want to reward good behavior, always have some treats on hand. Keep in mind that you’re the pack leader on this team, so study up on how to get that message across to your dog in a humane manner.
Also, when it comes to walking for weight loss, a fitness tracker is a great asset. All you need to do is set a step goal and get moving. As a result, it’ll track your progress as you bond with your pet. Here’s the tracker that works for me.
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I gotta stop for a minute because Stevie Ray Vaughn is playing Little Wing on Pandora.
Okay, I’m back. That was awesome!
Finally, get going.
You’re all ready, now where are you gonna go? Here are some ideas:
- Around the neighborhood.
- To the park.
- To the beach or the woods.
- Petsmart, Home Depot or any store that allows well-behaved dogs.
Although this sounds too good to be true, my personal experience is that when I got Roxie in December of 2013 I was 50 lbs. overweight. That’s right, I said it. With the help of my beloved pet and Weight Watchers, by July 2014 I’d lost 60 lbs. (Nobody said you could do this without watching what you eat.) I’m always grateful to Roxie for helping me to get back in shape.