April is Canine Fitness Month!
By: Shauna Greene, Veterinary Services Coordinator and Lipsey Clinic Manager
Western New Yorkers get pretty stir crazy this time of year and with a world-wide pandemic stretching into its second year, a lot of us are feeling extra cooped up. Humans aren’t the only species feeling the call of the outdoors – your dog wants in on the action! This month gives you the perfect excuse to get out in the sunshine and shed some excess winter/covid weight. April is Canine Fitness Month!
Taking your dog for a walk around the neighborhood is a great way for them to explore and satisfy their need for mental stimulation while giving you some exercise and the chance to socialize (from a safe distance, of course). If your dog is nervous or anxious around people or other dogs, consider using a yellow leash (or tying a yellow ribbon around their leash) to indicate your dog requires space from others. Here’s a little more information about this movement:
If you want to explore somewhere a bit more exotic, consider one of these dog friendly hiking trails in the WNY area: Guide to Dog Friendly Hiking Trails – Step Out Buffalo
And if you are stuck in the house, there are a lot of ways to exercise your dog indoors (remember, mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation and can help prevent destructive behaviors). Use props made from common household objects like laundry baskets, hula hoops, buckets and exercise steps to build obstacle courses for your dog to work through. My Australian Cattle Dog, Tex, LOVES it when I set up different tricks for him to figure out:
We’ll talk more about other ways to keep your dog fit throughout the month. Until then, get outside!
The SPCA’s Lipsey Veterinary Clinic offers veterinary services for cats and dogs! To see all available services, please visit LipseyClinic.com. To make an appointment, please call 716-531-4700.