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Barking Up the Healthy Tree

by Tricia Montgomery, Founder & CEO, K9 Fit Club

K9 Fit ClubOur expanding waistlines have reached epidemic proportions: 2 of 3 Americans are now overweight. Unfortunately, we have now added our dogs into the epidemic with over 56% of our dogs overweight.

Whether it’s 2 pounds or 50 pounds, slimming down for both dogs and owners is the most important decision of their life. Waistbands have been expanding for the past 20 years, and, according to recent study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 69% of Americans are overweight or obese.

Another distressing finding is the fact that more pet owners are unaware their dogs are overweight. According to Association of Pet Obesity Prevention founder Dr. Ernie Ward, “22 percent of dog owners characterized their pet as normal weight when it was actually overweight or obese. In simplest terms, we’ve made fat pets the new normal.” If we continue growing at our current pace, an estimated half of Americans will be obese by 2030 and over 78% of our dogs will be obese. This startling fact places both of us at an increased risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis.

It is easy to see why, from reality shows like Addicted to Food, to fast food campaigns, to snacks, treats and more, slowing of metabolism and unhealthy habits are seriously hard to break. Meanwhile, our daily lives have become increasingly sedentary, with the average American clocking in 55 hours per week behind a desk.

The good news is fitness and good health for you and your dog can be found in a few simple steps and a few simple movements.

Barking Lunges: Start with your dog on your left side. Perform your basic walking lunge leading with your right leg stepping forward. As you hold the lunge, guide your dog to walk under your front leg leading them to your right side. Press up with your back leg and step through repeating the lunge on your left. Guide your dog under your left leg and to your left side. **If you have a very large dog who won’t fit under your bent leg guide them through your legs before you sink into the lunge.

Pup Push Ups: This exercise can be done two ways, you first then your dog or both of you doing push-ups at the same time on FitPaws and FitBall: Ask your dog to lie down next to you. Place the leash under both hands with your hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders. Press up on your toes into a high plank position inhaling as you lower into your push up and exhale as you push back up to start. Repeat for as many reps as you can. Once you are done, stand up and ask your dog to sit, next ask them for a down. Rotate between the sit and down command 5 times for 5 doggy push-ups. Doing push-ups together: You are on the FitBall and your best friend on the FitPaws Peanut. When you lower down ask your dog for a down, as you push back up ask your dog for a sit. Doing push-ups together will be more challenging for both of you. Your dog will need to be able to follow what you ask with only a verbal signal and you may have to hold your push up positions longer while waiting for your dog to move from a sit to down.

Spot’s Squat & Shake: Start with your dog sitting in front of you. Perform a squat. Holding at the bottom of your position ask your dog for their paw. Hold their paw gently for a few seconds then release it as you press back up to standing. Squat again and see if you can get your dog to give you their other paw. Repeat for 10-20 reps.

About K9 Fit Club
K9 Fit Club is an innovative lifestyle company focused on creating better health through fitness and wellness for both people and their dogs. The company was founded by Tricia Montgomery, a pioneer and leader in human canine fitness with the goal of revolutionizing the growing $85.2 billion pet and fitness industries. K9 Fit Club’s proprietary programs were designed to address all levels of fitness, ages and abilities. The programs and classes were developed by veterinarians, doctors, certified animal behaviorists and personal trainers to allow for an effective workout dedicated to dogs and their parents. For more information, visit