Dog on a leash exiting a Dogtopia lobby.

In 2022, Pet Obesity Awareness Day lands on Wednesday, October 12th. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50% of all dogs can be classified as obese, and Dogtopia is out to change that statistic. 

Dogtopia’s focus is on the health, wellness, and happiness of all dogs. While at Dogtopia daycare, dogs spend their day with other likeminded pups boosting their socialization skills, exercising in a way that feels like play, and learning new abilities all while under the professional care of our certified Canine Coaches. Dogtopia understands that dogs are family, and we want to ensure they are living a healthy and fulfilled life. One of the biggest factors contributing to a dog’s overall health is their weight. Between the years of 2010 and 2018, the percentage of dogs reported as overweight increased by three percent. With more than 50 million dogs being considered obese today, as projected by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, it is time for pet parents to make the necessary changes in their dog’s lives to prevent health-related issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, decreased life expectancy and other unfortunate issues that can impact a dog’s overall wellness and quality of life.  

By bringing your dog to daycare, your furry family members will enjoy supervised play to ensure they continue to combat obesity and get the exercise (both physical and mental) they need to live a long and healthy life. 

The average Dogtopia dog walks more than 30,000 steps a day while at daycare, dogs who spend their day at home walk less than 7,000 steps! While in our care, your dog will participate in a variety of exercises and games to get their heart rate up and to get those steps in. All this playtime is really exercise, and who doesn’t love making exercise fun? Here are a few of the games and activities our Dogtopia dogs may participate in while at daycare: 

  • Agility Exercises: Playrooms at Dogtopia are filled with a variety of agility and playroom equipment. Dogs are welcome to walk up, jump up and play with the equipment throughout the day. When a Canine Coach asks for a dog to jump up on the agility equipment and they successfully do so, they are rewarded with verbal praises and pets. By jumping on this equipment on command, they are moving their muscles and keeping their bodies strong. Many daycares will also set up agility courses to test the dogs a bit more by having them follow a specific course to move through as a way to challenge their bodies and minds. 

  • Follow the Leader: To get dogs moving around the playrooms if play becomes stagnant, a Canine Coach will begin a game of Follow the Leader. Although Dogtopia dogs are usually preoccupied by playing with their BFFFs (Best Furry Friends Forever), if play does slow down, a quick game of Follow the Leader will get all dogs on their feet and listening to the cues given by the Canine Coach to move around the room in an organized fashion. This is great for movement and to test their listening skills. 
  • Bubble Parties: Dogs are mystified by these little floating spheres and will often chase after the bubbles until they pop. Bubble parties get dogs up on their feet and full of smiles as they attempt to learn more about these bubbles by jumping in the air to get a closer look! Daycares will regularly host these bubble parties with dog-safe bubbles that are peanut butter, bacon and even birthday cake-flavored! 
  • Name Recognition: Not only is it crucial for a dog to recognize their name in the event of an emergency, but it is also a great way to have a dog get a little extra movement around the playroom. Dogtopia dogs are rewarded when they come to the Canine Coach who called their name. Not only is this a necessary skill to practice, but it is also an easy way to energize the playroom. 
  • Brain Games: Just as it’s important to strengthen a dog’s muscles, it is also essential to strengthen a dog’s brain! Brain games allow dogs to use their minds to achieve a goal whether that be verbal praise and pets while at Dogtopia daycare or a treat if playing brain games at home. 

Physical and mental exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand to support a well-balanced pup. Dogtopia daycare centers host special treat days while keeping a dog’s health and nutrition top of mind. Some of these treat days may include healthy treat options like carrots, green beans, and watermelon (without seeds) to name a few. Dogs love these special treats and pet parents love the special attention given to their furry family members, so they live a long, happy and healthy life for as many years as possible. 

When a dog comes to daycare at Dogtopia, they are not only spending the day with their friends in a fun environment, but they are also benefitting their health, wellness and happiness! Pet Obesity Awareness Day is a reminder that our furry family member’s health is just as important as our own. Regular exercise, a consistent daycare routine and proper, mindful nutrition will allow our dogs to have a better quality of life for many years.  

What are a few healthy changes or swaps you can make for Pet Obesity Awareness Day? Maybe it’s simply modifying your dog’s treats to be healthier, adding an extra day of daycare or making a promise to limit their table scraps, all can help their overall health and wellness.  

Interested in getting your dog enrolled in a regular daycare routine at Dogtopia? Find a Dogtopia near you!