weight lifting with champ
In this house, we build muscle together

This post is sponsored by Nulo™ and the BlogPawsTM Pet Influencer NetworkTM. I am being compensated to help share information about Nulo, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Nulo is not responsible for the content of this article.

You may or may not know this about me, but I spent the last year writing the book, Partner Workouts. So, yes, I’ve literally written the book on the subject. You can pre-order your copy now.

Partner Workouts Book by Laura Williams

What may surprise you, though, is that even though I’m a master at coming up with some pretty cool partner exercises, like this:

And this:

And this:

My go-to partner workouts are the ones I do every single day with my dogs. They look more like this:

And sometimes like this:

The point is, here in this house, workouts are a family affair, and they’ve gotten even more interesting since adding Champ to our family pack back in July.

Age-appropriate exercise for puppies

If you’ll recall, Champ came to us as a six-month-old, skinny little thing with vet’s orders to “put on some muscle.” And, I’m pleased to report that our efforts have paid off: He’s now officially over 50 pounds, right on track for his age, breed and size. That means in the four months we’ve had him, he’s gained almost 20 pounds.

It looks good on him

The thing is, we’ve been very conscientious about how to help him put on weight, with a combination of age-appropriate exercise and a healthy, well-balanced diet.

My eventual goal is for Champ to be my running buddy, but because most vets suggest waiting to institute “forced exercise” (i.e., jogging for miles) until a puppy’s growth plates have closed (which is usually around 12 to 15 months) we’ve been easing him into exercise with shorter, daily walks, family play sessions, and the introduction of a lightly weighted backpack which he wears around the house in short spurts. We just put a couple toys in the pockets to acclimate him to carrying a little extra weight.

Doesn’t he look handsome?

Being an incredibly active puppy, we haven’t worried too much about him developing muscle through play. There’s a lot of chasing, tug-of-war and wrestling between Champ and Maybe, our two-year-old pittie, so aside from our short walks (about 1.5 miles at a moderate pace), we supply the toys and let them do their thing.

According to one Animal Planet article, puppies should get about five minutes of exercise per month of age, up to twice daily. Since Champ is now 10 months old, that means he can have about 50 minutes of exercise up to twice a day. Our walks typically take about 30 minutes, and sometimes we do a morning and evening walk. The rest of the exercise takes place in a “free play” environment with toys and our other dogs.

Nutrition, however, is a more pressing topic.

Proper pet nutrition for growing puppies

To develop optimally, puppies need high-quality pet nutrition. And most specifically, puppies need a lot of high-quality protein. When we switched Champ from a grain-free store brand food to Nulo™ about a month ago, we were amazed at how quickly we saw a difference in his coat, his smell, and ultimately, his growth.

Nulo actually leads the industry as pertains to the meat levels provided in their food, with 80-percent of the protein coming from natural meat sources, like fresh chicken and salmon. And the rest of the recipe isn’t filled with low-quality, hard-to-digest grains, but with produce like apples, carrots, lentils and sweet potato.

I may not be a pet nutritionist, but I’m an exercise physiologist. I understand the world of sports nutrition, and dogs are some of the world’s best athletes. Fueling my pets with food that supports their activity and the growth and development of healthy muscle tissue is a huge priority to me.

Heck, if I’m not willing to feed myself less than organic produce and grass fed, organic meats, why would I fill my dogs’ bowls with low-quality food? We’ve seen such an improvement in Champ’s overall health since switching him to Nulo, that as soon as our other dogs’ current food runs out, we’ll be switching them as well.

It’s worth it to us to spend a little more on our dogs’ food if it means getting more active and healthy years to play with them.

You can check out Nulo at your local PetSmart or online and learn more about Nulo at nulo.com.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Nulo. The opinions and text are all mine.

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