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Old 12-08-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
Ama
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Default Weighted Dog vests for exercise

What are your thoughts on them? Does anyone on here have any experience with them?

For the past few weeks I've been thinking of getting Miya one-To help give her more exercise(which is what I've read they help with).

Since starting my second job I've been actually thinking about it more and looking into them more, but I wanted others in the dog communities opinions on them.

The two I'm looking into getting are either the Rambo Pack or the Laguard dog vest. Both carry weights but have different designs-Since this is something that can be bought, I'm not sure if posting links to the websites or images of the products is allowed on here.

Has anyone heard of either though? If so, what is your opinion?

As I mentioned in a previous thread-Since I've started working a second job Miya has started to show that she is stressed/anxious. She's started 'acting out'. Someone suggested I exercise her more, which I'd love to do it's just right now my own body is getting used to working two jobs(both where I am standing on my feet the whole time and moving around a lot). * I know sounds like an excuse* but I'm so tired all the time now, it's taking awhile for my body to adjust.

Miya currently gets taken on two hour long walks daily and also I try to work in short training sessions when I can. But why I'm really considering getting a weighted dog vest to use with Miya on the walks is because, from what I've read, the vests help provide the dog with more exercise during walks. Which would be really helpful.

Before I buy one I plan on taking Miya to the vet or talking to the vet about getting one for her-make sure she is in the right health/physical condition for one(though I'm sure she is, she's a healthy two year old dog ^^). Just wanted to hear/read others opinions on them!

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Old 12-08-2012, 09:57 PM   #2
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Ama, have you thought on enrolling Miya in doggie daycare maybe two or three days a week to increase her exercise opportunities? I'm not a fan of these vests except in circumstances where there is a need to increase muscle mass. They place extra stress on a dogs joints and most people work fairly hard to keep their dogs at a good weight to prevent undue stress on joints.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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I didn't really give much thought to doggy day care because my working hours are so unusual that they didn't really fit-I could see if someone would be able to take her there or pick her up before closing if I work though. I believe there are a few in my city, I'll have to look into them, good idea !

I did read that if the vest isn't right(depending on where the weights are or if they're uneven or not the correct weights for the dog) it could put stress on the joints/cause health issue. The ones that I found(one of them, still looking into the other) state that how it is designed makes it easy to get the right size and so the weights won't hurt the dog because they're balanced. That's one thing I was worried about after I started reading up on it and found what you stated/I read about myself.

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:46 PM   #4
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I looked into those a while ago when I thought Mikey was gaining weight, but never got them. I just didn't like the idea of him carrying extra weight and possibly weakening his legs, my first dog died at 10 years old (well we put her down) because of severe arthritis and the thought of that happening again always freaks me out with Mikey.

I just don't like them, personally. Sorry I am not much help. :/ But just my 2 cents!
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:57 PM   #5
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The opinions of others on them is what I was asking for-so no need to apologize! That's a reasonable fear/worry so I understand completely.

I think there are water exercises for dogs-maybe I'll look into that, or just let Miya go swimming for more exercise(though, since it's winter time now I'd have to look for an indoor pool that allows dogs)

I found one doggy day care near me-well two but one has really bad reviews. The other seems great, from reviews but I'll have to check it out. I think they do testing before allowing dogs in, it cost $20 a day.

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Old 12-09-2012, 06:16 AM   #6
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As others have said, placing more weight on your dog can injure her joints long term. Those of us with hd-prone breeds know well the risk increase from just a pound or two of extra weight, and that risk is of course there for other breeds too. No use keeping your dog slim and trim if she's going to have to carry extra weight anyway.

The vests being well balanced can only avoid injuries coming from carrying unbalanced weights - that's certainly a serious concern and can result in some bad injuries, but avoiding those does nothing for avoiding the added stress on the joints that simply comes from the extra weight. If you want to build muscle I'd instead recommend weight pull. But for that you need a specially sewn harness, designed for the exercise and tailored to your dog specifically - and those can be a bit pricey (although I don't know if that's true on the US market of course). Weight pull (really, all physical exercise) must also be done very carefully, starting with very small weights and working up to some "real" exercise - and emphasis must be placed on training the dog to work well and focused, to avoid injuries due to incorrect movements.

Doggie swim is excellent exercise, it builds both muscle and cardio, most dogs enjoy it, and they get a very thorough exercise. It can be expensive though, and you need to be careful not to over exercise her (of course).

A simple physical exercise you can do at home in your garden (or even indoors) is cavaletti! It seems very simple, but is in fact quite exhausting to a dog - both physically and mentally. It has the added bonus of improving your dogs everyday movements, making her less prone to develop muscle tensions and strains due to incorrect gait. A bit like posture training for humans! As with all training, you need to be careful to start off right, and teach the basics before moving on to the physically challenging stuff, but once you get it right it's a very good exercise - a bit like running through tires on an obstacle course.

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Old 12-11-2012, 12:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for answering Monstermom! Great points

I was thinking of looking into getting a husky mix in the future-there is a husky rescue near me that I'm thinking of getting one from but that won't be for awhile. For that dog(after it turns two) i was thinking of getting it into weight pulling. I thought weight pulling and the weight vest would be similar or a weight vest could be used to prepare the dog/strengthen it for the weight pulling. From what I've read dogs under two aren't suppose to use a weight vest and you're suppose to start off with the lowest weights possible to put in the vest and slowly add as the dog adjusts.

I've never heard of cavaletti, I'll give that a try-sounds like something Miya would enjoy! I might also get some horse balls/yoga balls and start working with her for/on treibball.

Also-I looked into the dog day care in my city and they won't take her. She isn't spayed and they only take altered dogs >.<

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Old 12-11-2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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Making her carry additional weight will not substitute for a longer period of exercise. Walking a mile with extra weight is not equivalent to walking two miles. It's walking with extra weight and the wear and tear on th back, shoulders, hips, and leg joints that involves. If she needs more exercise, then she needs more exercise, not harder exercise. If she were in strength training for some reason, that might be different, but she isn't and for the reasons you cite, I don't think a weighted vest is the solution.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:02 AM   #9
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Point taken.

I was just considering the vest when I was looking into them and information that I found stated having the dogs wear the vests will help provide them with more exercise in shorter time. People that use to have to take their dogs on four mile walks/jogs daily could cut back to two and with the vest on the dogs would be getting the same amount of exercise/more with less actual exercise because the vest would give them ' a job'.

I wasn't sure if all that was just a selling gimmick or not, which is why I wanted others opinions of the products. which I got. Thanks all. I will not be getting one for Miya or other dogs I get in the future. I guess I'll just get less sleep for now and force myself to take her on longer walks/jogs. I have thermal clothing now-so it should keep me warm on morning walks/when it's cold at night/afternoon.

I also might end up quitting my other job(the older one) sooner since I've gotten a raise and have become full time at my new job.

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