Being a Dog Mama – Keeping My Pup Fit and Healthy
This post brought to you by Iams. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Daily Mom.
Our family is one of health and fitness. I am a runner, a yogi, and an avid fitness lover. My husband is an active duty Marine, and fitness is in his daily regime. Frequently our family goes on runs, hikes, and bike rides together. I take my three daughters with me to workout groups and they sit in the jogging stroller on long runs. We love to be active and healthy, and our dog Pendleton is no exception to this.
When my husband and I first adopted Pendleton we would take her to the dog park or the dog beach almost every weekend. I would come home during my lunch break during the week and take her on a long walk around the neighborhood or let her play in the field behind our apartment complex. As Pendleton got older and our family grew, our outings became less frequent but her love for the outdoors never ceased. But we stopped taking her on our long adventures out because she would become visibly weary, and we didn’t want to exhaust her. This continued for years until recently when we made the switch to Iams quality dog food.
Keeping Up with the Family
Pendleton is now 8 years old. She is a German Shepard and Sharpei mix which gives her the short stature of the Sharpei but the joint issues of a German Shepard. She has always been energetic and happy, but as with any dog her energy levels have decreased with age. When she sees our family getting ready to go out on an adventure, whether it is a family walk or a run with the double stroller she starts to get herself excited. But over time we have come to learn Pendleton’s limits, and oftentimes we end up leaving her behind because we fear she won’t be able to finish out of exhaustion.
When we lived in California I would frequently take Pendleton on runs with me. We loved this time together and she loved being out near the ocean. She would help keep my pace, and I would be her eyes for any seagulls to chase. However, a few babies and a few thousand miles in a cross-country move later it became apparent that our runs wouldn’t be happening as often. I felt bad not being able to give Pendleton the exercise she deserved, but we ended up moving to a large property with a football-sized field for running and woods with lots of squirrels for chasing. Even with a ton of space to run and play, my husband and I could see that Pendleton didn’t enjoy her activities as much as she did before. We attributed this to her old age and our increased family size. We had some other family issues – recurrent miscarriages and secondary infertility – that stopped me from wanting to workout. Our efforts to keep Pendleton active were put to the wayside, but all that changed a few weeks ago.
My Training Partner
After our third child was born, with no answers toward our secondary infertility, I decided to get back into my regular fitness routine. There was a half marathon in a few months that I had missed the past two years due to pregnancy, and it was my goal to be able to run it. I started myself off slowly as I was postpartum, but soon my strength training and running schedule were engrained into my days. I would often do shorter training runs while my oldest was at preschool or around our neighborhood during my younger two children’s nap times. When Pendleton would see me lace up my running shoes, she would get herself excited to come outside with me, but I often found myself telling her “No, not today. I don’t think you can run that long.” She would slink back to her doggie bed as I walked out the door, either by myself or with the girls, feeling left behind.
A few weeks after making the switch to Iams, we began to notice Pendleton’s increased energy levels. First we saw her behavior as she played with the neighborhood dogs, and we noticed how much energy she had. A few days later, I decided to take the girls for a hike on a nearby trail and this time I took Pendleton with us. She had a blast, and her energy levels were so much better now that she was on her new dog food. I was beyond impressed, but I still wasn’t sure her age would allow me to take her on any training runs.
It was the weekend, and I decided to do a couple laps around the neighborhood while my husband sat at home with the girls. No double stroller to push, so this time I wanted to try to increase my pace for race day. My husband suggested I take Pendleton with me. I was hesitant but since we would be close to home I decided it was ok – I could always drop her back if she became too exhausted. It was four miles, and our neighborhood was hilly. She hadn’t continually run this long in years, and now she was much older. I started the run convinced that I would need to bring her home shortly. Much to my surprise, Pendleton kept up with me the entire time! She didn’t slow down my pace except to make a couple of pit stops. At first I watched her intently for signs of exhaustion, but after awhile I didn’t even think about her being by my side except to think of how nice it was to have my training partner back with me.
After that, Pendleton went on every short training run with me until my half marathon, which I met with a goal of a sub-two hour race. I’m convinced that having her by my side helped me stay consistent with my training pace and helped me reach my goal.
We are beyond thrilled to have made the switch to Iams for Pendleton. As a fit and active family, it’s important to have her join us when we are out and about. The Iams Visible Differences that we have noticed in her – from her shinier coat and increased energy levels – has been significant. We can tell, both from her behavior and her change in bowel movements (just ask my husband – he’s the official dooty duty!), that she feels better and stronger. We love being able to include Pendleton in our runs, hikes, and bike rides and Iams helped make that possible.
Check out the video below to see our family with our fur baby, Pendleton.
For more stories about Pendleton’s adventures with some other neighborhood pups, check out Being a Dog Mama – The Coolest Dog on the Block right here on Daily Mom!
Photo credits: Lauren Lomsdale
Tags: #AD, #IamsDifference, bike rides, dog, dog food, evening run, family fitness, family pet, fitness, half marathon, half marathon training, hike, hikes, IAMs, iams quality dog food, iams visible differences, marathon training, morning run, pet, pet food, pets, run, runner, strength training, training runs, yoga
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Lauren is a full-time mom of three girls, who also happens to run her own in-home preschool. She loves to write, run, yoga-it-out, and keep fit. She’s kind of crunchy in her homeschooling, cloth diapering, and natural products sort of way, but she also loves Starbucks and trashy tv. For more about her internal judgments of herself and hilarious quips about motherhood, follow her on IG and Twitter @thescoopmama, fb.com/thescoopmama, as well as her website theSCOOPmama.