BEST FOOD FOR SENIOR DOGS (Updated 2020)

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BEST FOOD FOR SENIOR DOGS (Updated 2020)

July 30, 2020

When your dog ages, their eating habits and dietary needs are also likely to change.

EUKANUBA SENIOR SERIES

 

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“I believe the second half of one’s life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it.”

~Frances Lear

 

Thanks to better dietary options and veterinary care, dogs are now living longer and more fulfilling lives. With increased life-expectancy, dogs can face more age-related health problems such as arthritis, diabetes and gastrointestinal issues, so it’s a good idea to learn how to look after your dog in its older years. As your dog ages, their nutritional needs begin to change.

It can be tricky to figure out when it’s time to start switching your adult dog to a senior-diet, but by doing a some research and checking with your vet, you should get a sense of when the time is right. There are a number of different factors that can determine when a dog is classified as ‘senior’. These can include breed, genetics, and lifestyle. Larger breeds usually have senior dietary needs earlier than smaller breeds, and dogs with more active lifestyles usually hold off the effects of ageing for longer. Typically, a giant breed dog can be classified as a senior from as early as five years of age, a large breed can be classified as a senior from six years, and small and medium breeds can be classified as a senior from seven years of age.

Senior Dog Food

WHAT NEEDS DO SENIOR DOGS HAVE?

As dogs get older, it can be common for them to experience more health issues. This includes ageing joints, illness, delicate digestion and help needed to manage a healthy weight.

Energy Intake

As dogs age, their activity levels may decrease and their metabolic rate begins to slow down. Some senior dogs go through changes in their body composition, losing lean muscle mass and gaining body fat which can cause weight-gain and lead to further health issues.

Gastrointestinal Health

Digestion issues can be more common in older dogs and can cause very uncomfortable symptoms like constipation and diarrhoea. Making sure water is readily available, regular exercise and quality diet tailored to a senior life stage are all important.

Joints

Conditions such as arthritis, joint pain and obesity are all more likely to develop as a dog gets older and can be from a number of reasons like increased stress on the joints and genetics.

Dental Disease

Dental disease can be another problem for senior pets if they haven’t had proper dental care during adulthood. If your dog has severe dental disease problems, it’s a good idea to discuss some alternative options with your vet. Your pet’s health is very important, so remember that your dog needs to be examined by a vet at least once a year. It’s easier to prevent a health issue, rather than treat one.

Appetite Loss

Appetite loss can occur as dogs begin to age. This can be because they aren’t burning the same amount of energy, so their appetite decreases. For other dogs, it can be because they suffer from dental issues that give them discomfort when they try to eat. Others simply begin to lose their sense of smell and taste, so they don’t enjoy their food as much.

WHAT FOOD SHOULD I FEED A SENIOR DOG?

With so many potential issues for senior dogs, it’s important to choose a diet that helps prevent and relieve problems. For each of the previous issues, we’ve noted down a couple of ingredients to look for in your senior dog’s diet!

Energy Intake

To manage a senior dog’s different energy needs and slower metabolism, senior diets should have a controlled number of calories to keep their weight-levels healthy. Diets that are too calorie dense can lead to weight gain if the exercise does not match their energy needs. To combat loss of lean muscle mass, look for Senior Diets that have highly digestible animal proteins to make sure the protein is being absorbed and used by the body instead of being stored away as fat.

Gastrointestinal Health

Senior Diets should contain fibre and prebiotics to help assist their digestion. Older dogs can suffer from constipation and other gastrointestinal issues, so feeding them a diet with added fibre and prebiotics can help keep them regular and comfortable.

Joints

To help with joint problems and arthritis, look for Senior diets that contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate , along with Omega 3 oils to help reduce joint inflammation and ease any discomfort. These conditions can have their effects reduced and even avoided when a senior dog is fed a high-quality diet that certain preventative measures.

Dental Disease

All Eukanuba™ Senior Diets include our easy chew kibble with dental defense to help reduce plaque and maintain strong teeth.

Appetite Loss

To help with appetite loss and to encourage senior dogs to eat, some owners may like to mix wet food into their pet’s meals. Wet-food can have an appetising aroma that helps tempt older dogs and the softer textures make it easier for sensitive teeth to chew. You can also try dividing their food into two or three meals a day , this can help with managing picky eaters and reduce wastage in the bowl. If they’re still not eating, there could be another issue, so a trip to the vet is a good idea to rule out anything concerning.

 

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TOP TIPS FOR EXERCISING WITH SENIOR DOGS (Updated 2020)

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TOP TIPS FOR EXERCISING WITH SENIOR DOGS (Updated 2020)

July 30, 2020

As dogs age, they can eventually become much more sedentary and won’t show the same high energy levels as they once did.

EUKANUBA SENIOR SERIES

 

EXERCISING SENIOR DOGS?

“Once you are doing exercise regularly, the hardest thing is to stop it.”

- Erin Gray

 

As dogs age, they can become much more sedentary and won’t show the same energy levels they once did. You may think your dog is happy relaxing all day but it’s important to keep up regular exercise. While your snoozing dog might look pretty content, regular exercise can be one of the best things for your senior dog’s health to prevent a range of health issues. A lack of exercise can make older dogs prone to weight gain and obesity, which can lead to an increased risk of other health issues, such as diabetes or joint problems. Arthritis is a common issue for older dogs but a solid workout can be a good way to stop their joints from further deteriorating and keep them in shape.

It’s important to not overdo exercise, as your older dog doesn’t have the same energy levels as it once did, so be sure to choose a comfortable walking pace for your dog and take them for gentle walks that aren’t too strenuous. It’s also important to be careful and watch for signs of fatigue and trouble breathing, you don’t want to overexert your dog. If you’re considering a change to your dog’s exercise regime, it’s important to take your dog for a check-up, especially if they’ve put on weight or have joint problems.

Active Senior Dog

 

HOW MUCH EXERCISE IS TOO MUCH?

The level of exercise your older dog requires depends on several factors, like whether they’re used to exercising, if they’ve recently put on weight or have certain health issues. You should be able to tell when your dog has reached their limit and needs a break.

  • Excessive panting or drooling can mean your dog is under a lot of stress and is heavily dehydrated. This can happen when the weather is hot, so don’t take your dog out to exercise in the heat.
  • Limping or favouring one leg can be a sign to stop as it may mean they are experiencing inflammation or joint pain.
  • Coughing can be a sign of heart or airway issues that are often common in senior dogs. Repeated coughing can be distressing for your pet, so if this keeps happening it’s a good idea to check in with your vet.

“Senior

 

KEEP IT INTERESTING

To keep your dog interested in exercise, mixing up their usual regime can help. Besides walking, if your older dog can handle a short jog, this can give their joints a solid workout and help maintain muscle tone. Swimming is also great for older dogs as it’s a low impact workout that puts less pressure on their joints, which is good for dogs suffering arthritis.

Exercising your dog is important at any age. As your dog gets older, you should keep adjusting their exercise routine to suit their changing needs. This could mean exercising more or going for gentle walks around the block every second day. It’s important for owners of older dogs to know just how much exercise their pet needs.

Explore the Eukanuba Senior Range

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How Much Should I Feed My Puppy (Updated 2020)

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How Much Should I Feed My Puppy (Updated 2020)

July 30, 2020

Bringing a puppy home for the first time can be very exciting, but it also brings a lot of responsibility.

EUKANUBA PUPPY SERIES

 

GET STARTED!

New puppies and their owners have a lot to take in (nutrition and information!) so a little bit of research goes a long way in giving your puppy the best start. We’ve put together some feeding tips to help your puppy get used to their new diet and some key ingredients you should be looking for in their food.

In their first year, puppies go through a massive growth spurt so it’s important they are getting the right nutrition to fuel their development into adulthood. A strong nutritional foundation in their first fifteen months will help them reach their full potential which means feeding the right food in the right amount.

How much you need to feed your puppy depends on their age, breed, and individual needs. To figure out how much they will need to eat, you should take a look at the feeding guide on your dog’s food label. You should keep in mind the size they will grow to; different size dogs will have different nutritional needs so their diets should be tailored accordingly. Small-breed puppies have a higher metabolic growth rate and require higher amounts of energy from fats and protein. Large-breed puppies have a longer growth period and need specific levels (and ratios!) of calcium and phosphorus for strong bone development.

 

WHAT SHOULD I FEED MY PUPPY?

When it comes to feeding your puppy, there are so many options it can be confusing to pick the right one. A high-quality puppy diet should be formulated to their specific needs and include the essential nutrients they need to grow up to be healthy adult dogs. When you’re looking at a puppy diet, make sure the following nutritional needs are included:

Proteins

Every puppy’s diet should include high-quality proteins to help build their muscle mass. Proteins are the essential building blocks for muscle development and also help develop a healthy skin and coat.

Fats

Fats are especially important in a puppy’s diet. Puppies need a balance of fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6, to help absorb certain vitamins. Omegas help contribute to the glossy sheen you see in healthy fur!

Carbohydrates

One of the three main nutrients a dog needs, carbohydrates, along with proteins and fats play a key role as an important source of energy. Being such bundles of energy, Puppies are incredibly active and need sources of energy that can be quickly accessed like carbohydrates.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are key to a puppy’s overall health and well-being. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron help with bodily functions and prevent dietary deficiencies. Vitamin E helps support your puppy’s developing immune system and Vitamin A promotes healthy skin and a shiny coat. Puppies have a developing immune system that needs a helping hand to prevent sickness. Good puppy diets should include antioxidants and Vitamin-E to provide immune protection while they’re still developing.

DHA

DHA (docosahexanoic acid) is an omega-3 fatty acid which plays an important role in puppies reaching their full mental potential. DHA naturally occurs in a nursing dog’s milk and is essential for the growth and cognitive development of your puppy’s brain. It’s no secret puppies can be a handful to train which is why your puppy-diet should include DHA to support learning for training.

Calcium

It’s very easy for a puppy to not get enough calcium or too much calcium, which can cause problems down the track. Too much calcium can cause joint problems and not enough calcium can slow development. Getting the right balance of calcium and other minerals can be difficult so it’s important to find a science diet that has put in the research to find the right calcium phosphorus ratio.

Fibre

While they are growing, puppies need more energy from their diet than adult dogs but, like human babies, puppies’ mouths are much smaller with fewer teeth so they can find it hard to chew their food. Food which hasn’t been chewed properly is harder to digest and can make it difficult for their bodies to absorb nutrients. You should look for a diet with fermentable fibre sources to promote proper digestion, gut health and better stools!

Explore the Eukanuba Puppy Range

HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I FEED MY PUPPY?

It’s generally recommended to feed puppies three smaller meals a day if they are under five months of age, and twice a day as they get older. Puppies respond best to routine, so these meals should be served at the same time and place each day. It’s also important to monitor their weight, low amounts of physical activity or a slower metabolic rate might mean your puppy needs less food than is recommended. It’s best to go for regular check-ups with your local vet to make sure your puppy is tracking in the right direction (not just sideways)! Treats can also be a bit tricky. They are an important part of raising a puppy, especially when it comes to training but need to be factored into your puppy’s daily calorie intake and, ideally, shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their daily intake.

 

ADULT FOOD

When your puppy becomes an adult, you should start planning to transition them from puppy-food to adult-food. Puppy-food is usually much higher in calories to satisfy their higher energy requirements and often have added nutritional supplements to help them during their growth stage. It’s a good idea to talk to your vet about the best time to move to adult food which will depend on your puppy’s breed, size and individual needs. When your puppy is ready to switch, gradually transition to their new diet by slowly adding the adult-food to their puppy-food. Do this slowly over 7 days by mixing their new food in and slowly increasing the amount of adult-food while decreasing the amount of puppy-food. This will give them time to get used to their new food and minimise the chance of upset stomachs and the runs.

We hope this helps demystify what you should be looking for in a puppy-diet! With so many ingredients and claims the most important things to look for in a diet are high quality ingredients that provide the nutrients your puppy needs. Science diets are also important to make sure everything is in the right proportion and at the right ratios to give you the peace of mind that your puppy has everything they need for a healthy transition into adulthood.

Explore the Eukanuba Adult Range

 

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8 STEPS TO PREPARE FOR A PUPPY (Updated 2020)

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8 STEPS TO PREPARE FOR A PUPPY (Updated 2020)

July 29, 2020

Bringing a puppy home for the first time can be very exciting, but it also brings a lot of responsibility.

 EUKANUBA PUPPY SERIES

 

GET STARTED!

Congratulations on your new puppy! Bringing a puppy home for the first time can be very exciting, but it also brings a lot of responsibility. Basic pre-puppy planning will help minimise stress in your household and make sure your home has everything in place to meet your new puppy's needs.

 

Step 1: Making Your Home Puppy-Safe

There are lots of puppy supplies you’ll need to start shopping for so your puppy is comfortable and happy in their new home. Before you go shopping, have a look around your home to make sure it’s a safe environment for a puppy to run around in.

  • Start by making sure all chemicals and detergents are stored away
  • Cover any electrical cords
  • Put breakable items out of reach.
  • If you have a pool, you should make sure this area is completely covered and fenced off.
  • Stock up on cleaning supplies, especially when your puppy isn’t toilet trained. Stain remover, paper towels and deodorising sprays will be your best friend for the first couple of weeks.

 

Step 2: Getting Your Puppy Home

Once your home environment is puppy-safe, the next step is figuring out how to get your puppy home. If you are driving them in a car, consider investing in a travel crate or harness that’s suitable for your puppy’s age and size. This will provide a secure environment to travel in, now and in the future.

  • Before setting off, spend some time with your puppy in the car so they can get used to their new surroundings.
  • Encourage your puppy by using praise and rewards for calm behaviour. Your puppy’s first journey home with you is likely to be a stressful time for them as they are leaving their mother and littermates and may never have been in a car before.
  • Take a towel when you collect your puppy and rub it on mum and littermates so you can bring some of their scent home on the towel, this will help familiarise your puppy with their new environment.
  • Take some paper towels and a plastic bag too – just in case your puppy gets car-sick

 

Step 3: Where Will Your Puppy Sleep?

Before your puppy arrives, you should decide where your puppy’s area will be in the home and where they’ll be sleeping at night. Using a puppy-pen is a good way to manage their behaviour at bedtime and will keep them safely confined when they can’t be supervised. The play pen should be big enough for your puppy to stand up and walk around in and should have plenty of fresh water and warm bedding.

 

Step 4: What Else Will Your Puppy Need

It’s important to organise a collar and ID tag for your puppy in case they ever get lost. We know it’s difficult to take your eyes off a cute puppy but there’s always the risk they can run off or escape. Your puppy can quickly outgrow their collar, so make sure you have another for when they start getting bigger. Also, check with your local council to see if there are policies that require you to microchip and register your puppy.

 

Step 5: Accessorise!

It is no secret that puppies love to chew, so buy a couple of chew toys to occupy your puppy and prevent them from chewing on furniture and your belongings.

  • Make sure toys aren’t too hard on your puppy’s teeth.
  • You should also avoid giving your puppy toys that can break and cause choking hazards.
  • Avoid giving large pieces of rawhide which can break off and cause blockages in your puppy’s intestines.
  • Don’t give your puppy soft toys with foam stuffing that can be easily ripped apart. Your puppy might swallow parts of the soft toy or stuffing which can be a choking hazard.

If your puppy has a long coat, you may also need to invest in some grooming tools such as combs and dog-friendly shampoos. Long-haired breeds should be groomed regularly in adulthood so it’s good to get your puppy used to this process early on so it doesn’t become a stressful experience later.

 

Step 6: Your Puppy's Health

Before your puppy steps in the door, it’s a good idea to start researching the best vets in your local area and look into puppy training schools, groomers and boarding kennels. Once you’ve found your vet of choice, you should have a chat to them about some of the appointments you’ll need to make.

Besides a check-up, your puppy will also need to be taken to the vet for worming, vaccinations, microchipping and potentially neutering. It’s also important to remember that new puppies should be kept away from other dogs until they’ve had all their vaccinations to avoid getting an infection.

 

Step 7: Feeding Your Puppy

When it comes to feeding your puppy, it’s worth doing some research on the nutritional support your puppy will need from their diet. Ensuring your puppy is getting the best nutrition from a complete and balanced diet will mean they are getting the support they need while they grow. A high-quality diet, such as our Eukanuba puppy range, is a complete and balanced diet to support the growth and development of your growing puppy into adulthood. Read our guide to find out the essential nutrients a puppy-diet should have.

Food can also help you to train your puppy. Many dogs are highly motivated by food, so using treats as a reward when they are learning to sit or go to the toilet can reinforce good behaviour. Treats will need to be factored into your puppy’s daily food intake, so your puppy doesn’t put on too much weight.

 

Step 8: Routine is Best

Establishing a set of rules and routine for your puppy as soon as they arrive is a good idea, especially if you live in a multi-pet household. When your puppy arrives, they’ll most likely want to test boundaries by experimenting with various behaviours (good and bad) to figure out what they can get away with. It’s important these rules and routines continue to be enforced to help keep your puppy’s training consistent. Don’t get angry in front of your puppy. Positive rewards and encouraging good behaviour, rather than punishment, will be better for fostering a strong bond, mutual respect and a rewarding relationship with your puppy. Remember, if you’re frustrated, your puppy is most likely VERY frustrated.

We hope the guide helped and that you will have a wonderful time with your new puppy. Have a look at the rest of our blog for more puppy resources!

 

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Looking after our ageing workers

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Looking after our ageing workers

March 29, 2019

Looking after our ageing workers

While dogs on flatter country may continue to work into their later years, dogs on big hill country tend to slow down a bit sooner.

How do we ensure that we are supporting these dogs as best we can, and helping to extend their working lives?

While dogs on flatter country may continue to work into their later years, dogs on big hill country tend to slow down a bit sooner.

How do we ensure that we are supporting these dogs as best we can, and helping to extend their working lives?

There are lots of factors to consider, nutrition is definitely a key one. Feeding a premium diet like Eukanuba Premium Performance can help towards keeping dogs fit and healthy into their prime. Providing dogs with highly digestible animal proteins also helps ensure they have good lean muscle tone, which can help to prevent soft tissue injuries. Antioxidant rich nutrition nourishes the immune system and helps defend against freed radicals, especially important as these dogs age.

It’s important to consider their diet right from the day you get them. Raising pups on a premium diet such as Eukanuba Large Breed puppy or Eukanuba puppy ensures that they get the best possible start. Providing growing pups with tailored levels of calcium and phosphorous will help to develop strong healthy bones which is vital to help prevent injuries later in life. Medium breed dogs such as heading dogs should ideally be fed a puppy food until they are 1 year old, while large breed huntaways need to be fed puppy food until they are 18 months to 2 years old.

Keeping dogs warm at night will also help to protect older joints, and help alleviate those that have some arthritis already. During the night, kennel temperature can drop drastically, particularly during the colder months. Not only are dogs’ joints affected by the cold, they also need to shiver to keep themselves warm - burning calories all night which can result in needing to feed higher rates of food to keep body condition up.

Padding kennels with bedding that won’t hold moisture, and isn’t too expensive to replace, is a great start. Hessian sack mats are popular as they are relatively cheap, but make sure that they are aired out on warmer days as they will hold water. Stuffing kennels with hay or wool is another option, making sure that dogs aren’t ingesting either with their dinner (can lead to blockages).

Another relatively cheap and easy method is to cut up old canvas horse rugs. They are durable and water resistant, and provide good padding for joints.

Covering dogs, particularly older dogs or those who struggle to maintain condition, is a really easy way to help protect joints and keep body condition up. Initially working dogs may find it a little weird, but pretty soon they will be lining up for their jackets at feeding time. There are some durable and relatively cheap ones around, and they can make a huge difference in the long run.

Ensuring that kennels are draught free is essential - try leaving a thermometer in the kennel over night so you can record the temperature over a period of time.

Allowing older dogs to catch a ride on the bike or trailer will also help to save their joints, and avoiding lots of jumping on and off bikes, over rails, and out of kennels will also buy them some time. Especially with your big huntaways.

Working dogs very rarely go in to see the vet unless there is something wrong, but it may be an idea to do a yearly check up in your older dogs. This way joint, teeth and other age related issues may be picked up on early enough to keep on top of them.

These dogs are an invaluable asset to any farming operation, and so extending their working career through nutrition and husbandry will save money in the long run.

When they do eventually reach the age where they can no longer keep up the pace, there are options for retirement. Royal Canin and Eukanuba are proud sponsors of Retired Working Dogs NZ. This is a charity dedicated to rehoming retiring, injured, and young failed working dogs. If you would like to know more about the process, or you have a dog to retire or rehome, the contact details for this charity are below.

www.retiredworkingdogs.org.nz

https://www.facebook.com/Retired.WorkingDogs/

retired.workingdogs@gmail.com

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What My Dog Has Taught Me About The Trails

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What My Dog Has Taught Me About The Trails

September 06, 2018

What My Dog Has Taught Me About The Trails

Enter here for the inaugural Eukanuba™ Tails & Trails event in Auckland https://www.tailsntrails.co.nz/enter/  

 Over the last year running has changed for me markedly. It used to be a largely solitary affair, due to being a shift worker and having a busy family life, I would hit the trails at odd hours or in the weekdays. However nowadays when I run, it is rarely by myself- as more often than not I have Rigby, our two year old Australian Working Kelpie, with me.

By Matt Rayment

Over the last year running has changed for me markedly. It used to be a largely solitary affair, due to being a shift worker and having a busy family life, I would hit the trails at odd hours or in the weekdays.  However nowadays when I run, it is rarely by myself- as more often than not I have Rigby, our two year old Australian Working Kelpie, with me.

The nature of the human/dog relationship has been studied and examined for as long as humankind has had these beings as companions, which google tells me is about 14000 years. Usually, when we reflect on this relationship we focus on what we teach the dog, however in the last while I have reflected on just what Rigby has taught me, and more specifically, what he has taught me about running - which is something that hitherto I thought I knew a lot about.

I’d like to share those thoughts with you, as having Rigby by my side has taught me a lot about the essence of running on trails...

Running is about hanging with the pack

The second he gets out of the car at the trailhead, Rigby is overjoyed to see whoever is coming along. He leaps about saying hi, and his enthusiasm for getting together with fellow runners is infectious. This sociability is something that I have taken on board to seek out opportunities to run with others, and this has been useful for me in terms of connection and engagement with my fellow human beings.  Out on the trail, it's a bad idea to try talking to Rigby, though, as many of my companions have learnt. He'll stop dead in his tracks to look up and engage in conversation, utilising a braking capacity that is frankly remarkable.

Running is about finding wonder in the small things

We can't always get out to exciting places to run. Even being fortunate enough to live next to a huge forest, The vast majority of my running is loops of familiar trail or gravel. This is largely due to time constraints as these days running fits in around my life, not the other way round. As nice as the trails are, there are only so many variations you can run and I'd hate to think how many kilometres I've clocked up pounding the same routes. Yes, it can be a drudge, and ennui can set in. Not for old mate, though.  Rigby, every time he runs, he finds something new - a new smell, a new pinecone, a new place to, er, relieve himself. He looks for the differences, not the similarities, so that every time he runs, be it somewhere new or somewhere familiar, he focuses on something new to wonder at. For me, reflecting on my surroundings, or the feel of a trail, the smells and colours, has a calming effect, it keeps me grounded in the moment, and noticing what is around me and taking enjoyment from this has increased my sense of well-being and gratitude at being fortunate enough to be able to run in such a wonderful place and to have the company of Rigby, a being who universally reflects positivity and enjoyment.

Set the dial to “Heck Yeah”

All the best running happens outside. And sometimes I can be swayed by the conditions: I was going to go for a run, but it was raining? Or it was too cold? Or too hot? I forget, but it likely limited my chances of getting out there.  Not Rigby. Any conditions, any season, are perfect for a run. Having to adapt to a Kelpie, who is relentlessly up for it be it rain, hail, or shine has for sure limited any sneaky “It’s raining” rest days. Sure, I get a bit cold and wet sometimes, but now I just get out there and run. And every time I do, I have a better time than if I just stayed home. Every time I do I quickly forget about the weather and enjoy my time with Rigby strengthening our bond and getting fit.

Running is supposed to be fun, its playtime.

For me, this was the big shift. I may be mediocre in my ability to run, but I’m serious in my training. My mediocrity is heartfelt. This has, in the past, stripped the enjoyment out of the act itself. I took pleasure in the process of training, but the act of running itself quickly became a chore. This is especially evident when I’m aiming for an event, and using a training schedule, as I so often do. I easily become a slave to running. Spending even 2 minutes with Rigby reminds me that running is supposed to be fun. It’s a process that we are superbly adapted to do, and like children, who we see incorporating running in their play, For Rigby, being out in the forest, running along the trail is playtime. He always has a total blast.  And it should be the same for us. Focusing on the play aspect of running, be it tackling an obstacle, or finding a route that you’ve not taken before, or just belting along a trail because it feels good,  not because it is part of a marathon split, is inherently refreshing and intensely good for your physical and mental wellbeing.

I love my dog, and I love running with him. I would heartily recommend hitting the trails with a four legged friend, their tails will be wagging, and I bet yours will too.

 

Do you want to get out and about like Matt and Rigby? Join them and treat your best friend to tail-to-trail fun and adventure. Enter here for the inaugural Eukanuba™ Tails & Trails event in Auckland https://www.tailsntrails.co.nz/enter/  

 

Image via Photos4Sale

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Tales of Rigby

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Tales of Rigby

August 09, 2018

Rigby

I had never been a dog person, and I had not been able to put my finger on what was so beneficial about running with a dog - until Rigby came along. My wife wanted a dog to go trail running with for some time, but we couldn’t agree on what breed to get. That changed one morning when Rebecca stumbled across a post on Facebook for a four month old red and tan Australian Working Kelpie who was looking for a new home.

I had never been a dog person, and I had not been able to put my finger on what was so beneficial about running with a dog - until Rigby came along. My wife wanted a dog to go trail running with for some time, but we couldn’t agree on what breed to get. That changed one morning when Rebecca stumbled across a post on Facebook for a four month old red and tan Australian Working Kelpie who was looking for a new home.

After a rigorous application process Rigby arrived just before Christmas 2016 and since that moment we’ve been in the forest nearly every day. First we rambled, then we walked, then we hiked, now we run.

Now that we own a trail dog, I see his happiness when he is out with us, the satisfaction he gets from doing his job (being our trail companion) and the wonder he experiences from the myriad of smells and tastes on the single track.

For my part, it has been a wonderful feeling knowing that he looks to me as the big dog, the guy who takes him on his daily runs. Having a Kelpie has certainly cut down on sneaky rest days.

To be honest, I had always inwardly rolled my eyes when I heard someone talking about being in tune with an animal to the point where you can communicate non verbally. But I see that now, I’ve experienced it often on the trails and it is deeply satisfying.

Finally, we now have the awesome responsibility to bear that even though Rigby will only be a part of our experience, owing to our differing life spans, we will be one hundred percent of his. So while he is able, fit, and pain-free I am going to give him the best life I can. He won’t be around forever which inspires me to make every run I can with him the best one he has had.

Just like it has been a process introducing Rigby to the trails and a process in learning about his personality and his near limitless energy levels, it has been a process finding a food that suits Rigby and more importantly, one that he will eat regularly - as it turns out, he is not especially food driven.  

I mean, he is a dog, he won’t turn down roast chicken if the opportunity avails itself, but it has been a struggle finding a diet that keeps him full, and more importantly that he enjoys. Our experiments veered all over the map, from raw, to a mixed diet, to goodness knows what else. For the last three months we have had Rigby on Eukanuba™ Premium Performance and we finally feel that he is onto a winner.

Rigby can run from anywhere between 80-160 kilometres a week with us, and in between times he is active in his main role as our beloved family pet, tearing around the house with our three children, going for walks and chasing his favourite thing, a ball. Since starting him on Eukanuba™ Premium Performance we’ve noticed that he’s maintained an excellent weight and his coat is shiny and in great condition. Rigby has not experienced any gut distress and he has joined the clean bowl club for the first time in his life. Happily, he appears satiated in the mornings, which helps markedly with reducing the ‘Kelpie Energy Bomb’ that can go off when we let him out of his crate. 

Having a food like Eukanuba™ Premium Performance that we know Rigby will eat and one that is high in protein and fat for his energy levels and work rate is a major stress reduction in our lives, as trying to feed ourselves and our children when life is busy can be hectic enough let alone trying to deal with a finicky hound.

As Rigby and I work towards the Eukanuba™ Tails & Trails 10km in October, I will be interested to see how the food suits him when we are putting in some focused efforts. I will be sure to check in and let you know how he is doing.

~ Photo via Chris McKeen

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4 reasons why your dog could be your greatest personal trainer

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4 reasons why your dog could be your greatest personal trainer

August 01, 2018

Are you keen to increase your fitness but finding it hard to get motivated? Dogs can be great training partners, not only because they are always eager to get out of the house for a walk, but they’ll also keep you company and make exercise feel less like a chore.

Are you keen to increase your fitness but finding it hard to get motivated? Dogs can be great training partners, not only because they are always eager to get out of the house for a walk, but they’ll also keep you company and make exercise feel less like a chore.

Your dog needs exercise too

Not only do we need regular physical exercise to keep our body and mind healthy, but our dogs do too. Getting active outdoors with your dog allows them to experience new sights and sounds but is also a great way for them to socialise with other dogs to build up their confidence. A brisk walk around the block is usually enough to get the job done but there’s plenty more you can do together if you want to up the ante. Walking, running or even joining you alongside a bike ride are great ways for both of you to stretch out your muscles and keep you both in great shape. Plus, a dog that burns loads of energy will be much better behaved inside the home.

Your best motivator

Every dog loves a good walk and likes to stick to a routine. So, when you're toying with the idea of flopping down on the couch at the end of the day, your personal trainer will be there to remind you that there's no couch-time until you've done a lap of the park. Setting up some exercise stations at the park or in your backyard is also a great way for you both to meet your daily exercise quota and exercises like burpees can be a lot more fun when you can incorporate a game of fetch in between. Even though your dog may not come with a whistle and a clipboard, they'll definitely help get you up and out there, even when you'd rather sink into the cushions and have a little nap

Make your workouts more enjoyable

Dogs build a special connection with their owners and love nothing more than being together and having a play. By including your dog in your fitness routine, you can not only build that special bond, but you can also take your workout to a whole new level - especially if your dog likes to run. It’s important to remember though to choose an activity that suits your dog’s age, fitness level and health. Some dogs may be more suited to a leisurely stroll while others may be full of energy and keen to join you on a 5km run. Check out your local dog friendly fun runs such as Parkrun or look into agility training – which can be a great work out for both you and your dog. No matter what kind of dog you have, there are plenty of different dog-friendly exercises that incorporate chasing, running and agility work that are not only fun, but can really help you to push yourself physically.

Workout buddy at home or away

Another big plus for training with your dog is that even on holidays they can be by your side. If you’re planning on heading away for a short trip, bring them along so you can spend some quality time together while out and about. Dogs give you plenty of activity options and are great hiking companions, so next time you’re off on an adventure and still want to enjoy your daily run, bring your best mate along too. Before you head off, have a read through our “Planning an adventure with your dog? 5 key things to prepare and pack” blog for some tips.

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Planning an adventure with your dog? 5 key things to prepare and pack

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Planning an adventure with your dog? 5 key things to prepare and pack

August 01, 2018

Holidays usually mean leaving your dog behind at a boarding kennel or with a close friend to look after, but there’s no reason you can’t bring them along the next time you’re planning a short weekend away.

Holidays usually mean leaving your dog behind at a boarding kennel or with a close friend to look after, but there’s no reason you can’t bring them along the next time you’re planning a short weekend away. Getting out of the house for the weekend is a great way to spend some quality time with your dog and lets you experience plenty of new activities together.

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Check the rules

If you love the great outdoors, there’s really nothing better than bringing your dog along with you to explore all that nature has to offer. While there are plenty of beaches and camping spots that are dog-friendly, it’s important you check all the rules and do your research before you head out. You’ll be able to find this essential information on most local council websites or dog related forums. Some places may need you to keep your dog on a leash, while others may be a bit more relaxed. Hiking trails may also have restrictions on whether dogs are allowed in an effort to help protect the local fauna and flora, so make sure you do plenty of research before arriving to avoid disappointment.

dog-adventures

Be prepared and plan ahead

If your dog isn’t used to long hikes, it’s a good idea to start preparing them before you tackle it together for the first time. Even the most athletic dogs have their limits so mild training in the weeks leading up to your trip is important to help avoid any injuries. It’s also a good idea to check in with your vet before you take off to make sure your dog is up to date with all their vaccinations, has the appropriate parasite prevention and for any extra advice.

dog-adventures

Pack the essentials

It’s important you’re well prepared and pack all the essentials you’ll need if you’re planning a longer trip or overnight stay. Packing your own doggy travel kit means you’ll have everything you might need on hand and ready to go. Some essentials you should always make sure you have are: • Familiar bedding to keep them comfortable at night • Toys to keep them entertained • Extra treats • Towels • Plenty of food and water • Bags for toilet trips • Portable water bowl • Safe travel items (seatbelt, crate, harness) • Spare leash and collar • First aid kid

dog-adventures

Plenty of food and water

Long hikes can take it out of you and your dog, so it’s important you fuel their body with a high-quality diet to ensure they have sustained energy to last. Some feeding guides will cater for higher performance dogs, so it is good to check these when planning an adventure with your dog. Additionally, having plenty of fresh water is a must so it's worth adding a second reminder here to bring along a portable water bowl, so your dog can easily quench their thirst.

Stay safe

Whenever you take your dog on a hiking trip, remember to always keep an eye out for wildlife. Depending on the season, snakes and other dangerous animals can be out, so a small first aid kit is a must in case of emergencies. As an extra precaution before you go away, you could research veterinary clinics and emergency centres nearby. Remember that even a rough terrain or a burning, hot ground on a sunny day are enough to harm your dog, so be mindful of all potential hazards.

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5 benefits of bringing your dog to work

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5 benefits of bringing your dog to work

August 01, 2018

A lot of us find it hard to establish a healthy balance between our work life and our home life. There are lots of businesses now looking for new ways to improve employee wellbeing and this has led to many offices and worksites becoming pet-friendly.

A lot of us find it hard to establish a healthy balance between our work life and our home life. There are lots of businesses now looking for new ways to improve employee wellbeing and this has led to many offices and worksites becoming pet-friendly. Dogs can help make almost any situation less stressful and help the workplace feel much more relaxed by boosting staff morale and creating a more positive work environment.

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Improve work relationships

As every dog owner knows, having a dog with you is a great conversation starter. People are always coming up to have a chat and give your dog a pat. This helps break the ice and brings people together, which is great way to help create a positive work environment. A healthy social atmosphere in the workplace leads to better teamwork and also encourages people to talk to others they wouldn’t usually thanks to your dog’s ice-breaking abilities.

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Reduce stress

Stress can contribute to employees getting sick, feeling overwhelmed and burning out. Having a dog by your side always makes you feel better, so it’s no surprise bringing them to work can help make a positive difference to your day. Dogs are great at providing comfort and can sense when they need to be there for you in difficult times. By making people feel more at ease, heavy workloads, deadlines and stressful work situations can start to feel less daunting and you start feeling more positive after getting a quick cuddle in with a dog.

dogs boost office morale

Boost morale

Having dogs in the workplace boosts morale, especially for those who are not lucky enough to have their own. Having a furry friend by your side encourages engagement between coworkers and can help people get to know each other much better, especially when you start sharing dog stories. Your workmates will be much more excited to spend their days at work knowing they can also enjoy the company of your dog at the same time and get in a few cuddles in between tasks. Work suddenly becomes a much more positive and enjoyable place to be when there’s a dog or two playing around and bringing people together.

Gets you outside

Long work hours mean finding the time to fit in a workout can sometimes seem impossible. It can even be a challenge to simply stand up and walk away from your desk. By bringing your dog to work, you will naturally get more steps and fresh air into your day when you take them for toilet trips. Getting outside, enjoying the sunshine and taking your dog for a quick walk around the block can do wonders for your working day.

dogs wont get lonely

Your dog won’t get lonely

Bringing your dog with you to work doesn’t just benefit you and your coworkers, it also means your dog gets to spend more time with you, without having to be left at home. Dogs would much rather be in your company than stuck at home alone, plus it means if you have to stay later, you won’t have to worry about rushing home to feed them.

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