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Weekend Warrior Syndrome

August 7, 2012

This weekend I led my first hike for the Hiking Hounds Meetup group. Six other people and seven dogs joined me and my dogs for a beautiful, fun filled hike in the Sierras. We hiked nearly five miles, with almost 700 feet of elevation gain. We stopped several times to let the dogs cool off and play in the nearby creek. At the end of the day, we all had tired, happy and relaxed dogs. However, it’s important to realize just how much of a workout the dogs got, and to understand the dangers of  “Weekend Warrior Syndrome.”

The average person works a 9-5, Monday through Friday job. Add to that the additional responsibilities that are part of our day to day lives, and it can be difficult to give our dogs the exercise they need during the week. When the weekend comes, it’s our time to relax and have fun, and many of us love to include our dogs in our weekend activities. The problem is this sets our dogs up for injury or other negative health effects. This would be the equivalent of someone who is a couch potato attempting to run a 5K at a record pace without proper training. This is what is known as “Weekend Warrior Syndrome.”

While exercise on the weekends is better than none at all, it’s important to keep your dog’s fitness level and abilities in mind. While the ideal would be to exercise your dog every day, it isn’t always practical for busy dog owners. One option may be to hire a dog walker or runner to help your dog get the exercise he or she needs during the week. Most importantly, never push your dog beyond his or her capabilities, and watch for signs of discomfort.

If you live in the Sacramento area and are interested in learning more about hiring a dog runner, please visit my website.

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