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Grooming & Wellbeing

Who ate all the Christmas pies?! - Keep your dog in shape

If a pooch isn’t just for Christmas then a great place to start is to make sure it bounds through the Holiday period with all the gusto of a butcher’s dog! Whilst we all (over) indulge during the festive season, there’s always the temptation to let your best buddy get involved in the party. Not the end of the world - we’re not party poopers over here at City Paws - but at the same time, we want your dog to spring into the New Year rather than drag itself over the line!

The best way to avoid the feast and famine process that many of us bipods will have to go through over the coming weeks is to determine where you dog stands (or lies) on the health/weight scale. We’re pretty sure you know whether your dog is fit for Crufts or the sofa, but if you want some science in your life try figuring out your mutts Body Mass Index (BMI).

So how’s it looking? Good, bad or just heavy? No matter how chubby or lean your dog’s looking, we’ve got some handy tips to help you doggie get to the front of the pack and who better to guide us through seven easy steps then our very own (super healthy) pack leader.

Matt’s top tips to keep your four legged friend in tiptop condition for 2015:

1.   Having done the BMI test, you should have an idea how your dog is looking.

If you’re happy with where they’re at, then start at point number 3.

2.   If your dog is overweight and you’re concerned we’d recommend that you check with your vet before you take any steps.

It might not be simply how much food your greedy pup is putting away; some medical conditions can make your dog gain weight without explanation. Key here is to figure out where the problem lies before you strain your buddy with exercise that could be more harmful than helpful.

3.   Make a plan

Regular fitness regimes and a food/weight diary gives you a way to monitor your progress.

Reaching targets and milestones (excuse the pun) along the way will encourage you to keep up the good work.

You’ll also be able to say ‘I love it when a plan comes together’ when your doggie is fit as a fiddle.

4.   Be strict!

Only give your dog the right amount of food at the set times advised by your vet. Avoid feeding your dog with human food and only give treats when working your dog in the field for good behaviour and make sure they burn off the extra calories.

5.   Exercise your dog

At the same time, don't over exercise your pup. Build up your dog’s endurance with regular walks at a fast pace, increase the time you walk with your new training partner over a sensible period.

Eventually you might even get to run with your dog, but always make sure this is on a soft surface. Check out Cani Cross for dog running related events.

6.   Play games!

Your pup should be your most loyal companion, get them to chase you, throw balls and play hide and seek. Most of all this should be fun for both of you. This is an excellent way to burn off calories and build a better and long lasting bond.

7.   Be consistent

After your dog gets their waistline in check don't fall into bad habits again. This is a lifestyle change not a crash diet or the latest fitness craze. Keep up the good work and you and your dog will have a healthier and happier relationship together.

We all hope this helps you along the journey, but if you ever need any advice or want to come along for a walk and some one-on-one tuition please get in touch and we can have a chat about you pooch.

The City Paws Club is a unique dog service provider based in West London.  Matt & the team go out with the pack on daily trail runs and mountain bike rides to ensure the dogs in their care can "have their Christmas cake and eat it" without feeling the calorie overload.  After all, a healthy dog is a happy dog.

You can contact the City paws Club team on 07869 461 304 or by emailing

(Pictures courtesy of Andy Biggar

In April 2015, Matt will journey on a sled race through one of the world’s most revered landscapes: the Arctic. Using his dog handling skills, he will steer a trusty husky pack through 250km of Arctic land over six days. He must camp, eat and sleep with his pack, ensuring they all reach their destination safely.

We’d like to ask you to sponsor Matt. With your donations, Pets as Therapy can continue to brighten up the lives of those in ill health:

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