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April

Canine Fitness Month – April 2023

Canine Fitness Month takes place every April. You read that right — an entire month of fun with our resident good boys and girls! What more could one possibly ask for? Most of us need exercise, now more than ever; so do our pets. Canine Fitness Month helps dogs and their humans live longer, happier, and healthier lives. While your dog may enjoy his treats and favorite snacks, he may be putting on too much weight sitting at home. This month allows our four-legged best friends to get their fit on and burn those calories. We think it’s teamwork and fitness goals of the best kind.

History of Canine Fitness Month

Founded by FitPaws, Canine Fitness Month aims to get pets and their owners to lead more active, happier lives. Just like humans, dogs benefit immensely from regular exercise and healthy diets. It may seem like a no-brainer, which it is, but most pet parents need gentle reminders ever so often. Exercise does wonders to meet our dogs’ physical and emotional needs. Among others, canine fitness prevents diabetes and stress on joints due to obesity. Healthy dogs are happy dogs. By extension, that means their humans are happy too.

Unfortunately, modern-day lifestyles don’t always keep us active. And dogs, like their humans, increasingly suffer from sedentarism and all its associated ills. Not only are dogs sitting too much, but they also have poor diets. Admit it, we’re all guilty of offering one treat too many or feeding them table scraps. Inactive dogs tend to have sore joints and difficulty breathing. They’re also at a higher risk for canine diabetes, cancer, and other diseases.

What’s the solution? A life of movement — being outside, playing, and engaging with their environment. Every April, Canine Fitness Month encourages pet parents to take that crucial step towards their pets’ health. There’s nothing more wonderful than a whole month of bonding with your best friend outdoors. What’s great is you can start anywhere. Choose exercises that work best for your dog and you. You must assess your dog’s age and abilities before diving in.

Making it fun is the best way to keep at it. Longer walks, basic obedience training, or even ’Doga’ (Dog Yoga) — the possibilities are endless. For the more competitive dogs, consider high-energy activities like Flyball or dog agility. If your dog loves water, maybe you can go on paddle boarding adventures together. Whatever activities you choose, the idea is to get out of the house, move, and have the best time. 

Canine Fitness Month timeline

1960s
The First Flyball Race

A group of dog trainers in Southern California conceptualizes Flyball — a hurdle race for teams of dogs.

1978
The Beginnings Of Dog Agility

John Varley and Peter Meanwell create the first dog agility demonstration at the famous Crufts Dog Show in the United Kingdom.

2017
Canine Fitness Month Is Born

FitPaws designates April as Canine Fitness Month.

2018
Dock Jumping Guinness Record Breaker

A four-year-old Whippet named Sounders leaps 35 ft six inches at the A.K.C. Olympic Kennel Club dock-jumping competition. 

Canine Fitness Month FAQs

What is National Canine Fitness Month?

April is Canine Fitness Month. Founded by FitPaws, Canine Fitness Month encourages dog parents to exercise and bond with their furry family members. From healthy diets and easy exercises to competitive dog sport training — Canine Fitness Month generates awareness on these aspects and so much more. 

What is canine conditioning fitness?

Also called ‘K9 conditioning’, it’s a workout with specific exercises to improve canine muscle mass, strength, balance, coordination, and overall fitness. Canine conditioning fitness can also minimize the chances of limb injury. 

How can I strengthen my dog’s hind legs?

Walking can help strengthen your dog’s hind legs. Depending on your dog’s age and abilities, vary the length of your walk. Alternatively, consider taking your dog for a swim or gently stretching the hind legs for strength. 

Canine Fitness Month Activities

  1. Start a dedicated walking routine

    You don’t need to push your dog into running or activities that may be too strenuous. Go for long walks instead. Let them sniff around and engage with their environment. Use the time to work on leash manners if your dog is reactive. 

  2. Play fetch

    Tossing a ball around at home or in the yard also counts. Extended games of fetch are ideal for when it’s raining out or if you don’t have areas for walking. Twenty minutes of fetch does the job just as much.

  3. Reconsider diet and treats

    What we feed our dogs is equally (if not more) important. Work with your vet to design a more balanced diet for your dogs. While at it, consider switching to healthy, homemade treats instead of packaged ones. 

5 Facts About Canine Freestyle That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Dancing with your dog

    Canine freestyle is a choreographed performance put on by dogs and their handlers. 

  2. Not just another show

    It’s a dance and competitive sport to showcase the bond between dogs and their owners.

  3. The judges are particular

    In canine freestyle, the dog’s movements must demonstrate flexibility, athleticism, training, and attentiveness.

  4. Teamwork is the dreamwork

    Handler movements must flow naturally and complement the dogs’ moves at all times.

  5. A canine sport unlike others

    Dogs and their humans moving to music — few things can better display this timeless spiritual relationship.

Why We Love Canine Fitness Month

  1. Quality bonding time

    Dogs spend most of their lives waiting for us to come home. Canine Fitness Month is much-needed time to bond. Although dogs are glad to be wherever we are, they’re happiest outdoors and exploring. 

  2. Fitness is fun with dogs

    Dogs make everything wonderful — even exercise. Gyms and three-mile runs aren’t for everyone, after all. The best workout is the one you enjoy. We can’t think of anything more fun than running around with our dogs. 

  3. Everyone wins

    Most of us will happily get off the couch for our dogs — no matter how lazy we are. Walks at 5 a.m. don’t seem painful. Running doesn’t seem impossible. Canine Fitness Month encourages everyone to get up and move. 

Canine Fitness Month dates

YearDateDay
2023April 1Saturday
2024April 1Monday
2025April 1Tuesday
2026April 1Wednesday
2027April 1Thursday
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