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It’s Time for Spring Training

Yes, it’s finally here! The first official day of spring is – or is supposed to be – tomorrow, so if you’re not seeing sunny days now, they’re sure to come in the near future!!!

For the past few months, we’ve seen the show dogs that are “in it to win it,” going full throttle in the competition. In a sense, since the first of the year it’s been sort of a warm-up session for this year’s serious contenders. Or, as some might like to think of it, spring training.

Yes, spring training isn’t just for baseball! In actuality, it can be associated with many different sports, dog shows included. Spring-like weather makes this the perfect season to get your puppies out for some extra playtime.

Maybe it’s even your chance to escape to a warmer climate for your favorite show!

Springtime allows us to gear up for the big shows and circuits that lie ahead. During this time of year, dog shows seem to attract more attention, not only in entries, but from the many families that come out to see the dogs. And for students, spring break gives them that extra time to make it out to their favorite shows!

Put me in, coach! (Photo by Willeecole/Dreamstime.com)

Controlling You Dog’s Weight

This time of year is all about looking good and feeling good, so why shouldn’t our dogs do the same?

Of course they aren’t out searching for the perfect bathing suit – well most of them – but it’s so important for our dogs to maintain a healthy diet and have regular exercise to ensure their well-being. Unfortunately, certain breeds are simply more prone to obesity than others. My breed – the Beagle – tends to pack on the pounds, along with Bulldogs, Pugs, and even Dalmatians and Corgis!

Obviously though, your dog isn’t going to turn to you and say, “I think I need to lose weight.” That’s why they have us!

If your dogs need to lose weight, it’s your responsibility to help them. That means fewer table scraps and no more falling for that doe-eyed look! Take more evening walks together and maybe even try a new sport to boost your dog’s weight loss. Playing fetch or getting involved in agility or obedience could be a great way to get you and your dog feeling in shape and involved in springtime training!

Spring Conditioning

Spring conditioning doesn’t just mean finding a fun way to help your doggie maintain its healthy ways. More dog shows mean more coat conditioning. And seasonal changes can easily affect how much or how little coat conditioning we actually need to do. This is why it may be a good idea to get a head start before the situation gets out of hand.

If your dogs are anything like mine, they love to roll in the grass, but sometimes this can cause a lot of irritation. When they start with the constant scratching, we know a bath is in order. Let’s be honest though, I don’t need or want to give my dog a bath every single time he rolls in the grass! I’m sure you don’t either!

The skin is your dog’s largest and most vital organ. It’s armed to protect your dog against infections, parasites and a harsh environment, which is exactly why it’s so important to take that head start to a healthier, stronger, happier dog! It starts with providing proper nutrients, food, exercise and grooming care!

Spring is the perfect time to enhance your dog’s lifestyle and prevent health problems in the long run! So get out there and do it!

Healthy, happy, strong Dogs Freakin’ Rule!

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"