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FitPAWS® “Power to the Dog, Fun Dog Fitness”

By Ava Frick, DVM, FAIS

If you are looking to find fun ways to build a stronger bond between you and your dog, then learning the FitPAWS® way could be just the ticket! FitPAWS® is a successful conditioning program designed by veterinarians, physical therapists, and trainers that relies upon in-depth communication between the Master Trainer™, the dog handler, and of course the dog.

Canine total health focuses on mental stimulation, balance, flexibility, strength, and cardio fitness. Each plays a varying role throughout the many stages of the fitness program. Not only will the conditioning exercises help the physical components of dogs, they also bring about behavior modification, helping dogs live a healthier, longer life.

FitPAWS has developed canine conditioning, fitness and performance tools and techniques for dogs of all abilities, life stages, and jobs. Their program model is based upon scientific research from canine and other animal species including horses, as well as quadruped robotic research. They utilize new technology and uniquely designed equipment to accelerate the training goal with novel approaches, while increasing the fun index. Some of the tools include paw pods, balancing disc, K9FITbone™, wobble board, donuts, peanuts, rocker boards, agility cones and hurdles.

Each tool will be introduced at just the right time for the dog’s safe and successful progression. A goal-oriented exercise program with frequent fine-tuned assessments by a Master Trainer ensure deeper development and improved outcomes for participating dogs and their handlers. The Canine FitPAWS model works to establish a connection between all parties, to identify body performance, and then train toward a goal.

Exercise alone has been shown to decrease the risk of chronic disease in humans and dogs. Overall muscle function improves with daily exercise. If there is an injury, even with devastating issues, often these dogs will return to high quality function that defies the odds. Dogs with musculoskeletal imbalances and weaknesses tend to have higher rates of injury. A dog that has a good base of fitness developed over several years will be able to move on to tougher challenges with fewer injuries compared to a less fit dog of similar age, mental focus and body shape without a fitness base.

We realize that all dogs do not start at the same point or have the same capabilities. Whether your dog is a puppy or a senior, a performance or working dog, a family pet, or one with special conditions (like obesity), our program concepts can be applied across all life stages. Keeping our dogs fit throughout their life will ultimately reduce injuries, increase self-confidence and improve our dog’s ability to enjoy a full and high functioning life.

Some of the benefits of the training activities include:

  • Improved reaction and control
  • Increased trunk and core strength
  • Stabilization of weak areas
  • Improved balance and proprioception (awareness of the body’s position in space)
  • Increased range of motion in joints & elongation of the muscles
  • Improved sensory & body awareness
  • Preventing sports-related injuries

Contact the FitPAWS® Master Trainer™ Canine Fitness Coaches at Pet Rehab & Pain Clinic today to start having private lesson fun with your dog. “Git Fit – Play Fit – Stay Fit!” 636-549-9100.

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