So the wife and I have got ourselves a Dog called Bambi. We got her from the Darlington’s Dog Trust here in the UK. She is described as a Saluki, but we think she is a bit of a cross too as she is pretty small for a Saluki.
We saw her online, and the next day we went to see her. However we could not see her in the cages. So we asked a member of staff if she had already being taken. However we were informed she was in the hospital wing, as she had just had her leg amputated. She arrived into the dogs trust, with 2 old fractures which had not healed properly.
I wont lie I had a few doubts, however the wife was adamant she wanted to see her. After our first meeting with her, it was basically decided we would have her. We passed the tests, and she was ours soon enough.
She has had one of the back legs removed, and if a dog is to have a leg amputated they do say its better its one of the back legs. She will build strength in her back leg, to the point where she will be able to do pretty much anything a 4 legged dog can do. However obviously we will have to build her up slowly. Just like a human would after a major operation.
I am a firm believer you have a responsibility to enrich a dogs life if you are to take one on. Its not just how a dog benefits you. It is selfish not to do your research fully before getting a dog. Every dog breed has certain characteristics which you need to understand and be comfortable with. To take the point to an extreme, don’t get a Chihuahua if you spend your days climbing Everest. Also don’t get a Husky if you are not prepared to give it the exercise it needs. We did our research, and Saluki’s were one of the breeds that we thought would suit us.
Current Dog Exercise Schedule
As mentioned we need to build up her strength and stamina, but she is doing really well. Below is what her current mid week walking schedule looks like.
6:30am – 2 mile walk.
12:30pm – 15 minute walk.
5:15pm – play time in the Garden.
6:30pm – 2 mile walk.
10:00pm – 15 minute walk, or until she has a wee haha.
I personally believe human processed food is absolute garbage, and is making us sicker and fatter by the day. So I have concerns about feeding Bambi dried or tinned dog food, although obviously some brands will be much better than others. So we will be experimenting with a Raw Food diet for her. Although if she doesn’t take to it that is ok, but I hope she does.
How does this help my Ketogenic Diet, and my exercise goals?
Well right off the bat I will without really thinking about it be walking 25-30 miles a week. If I didn’t have a dog this would seem like a really daunting mileage. However when you have a responsibility to look after a dogs health (and stop it soiling your house), it seems like no trouble at all. Although the 10pm walk might make me a bit grumpy in the depths of winter haha.
Humans are built for endurance. We evolved to be on the move. We have physiological adaptations that mean we thrive when walking or running long distances. Our body loves to move. So walking a dog will help make me fitter, and it will improve my mental well-being.
It is also believed that it not just weekly mileage that’s important, it is how long you are sedentary for. So if you work in an office all week, and go for a 20 mile hike on the Saturday – that’s great!!! However for health benefits, you are actually better spreading that 20 miles throughout the week. So a dog is perfect to help you achieve regular movement.
I do the majority of my running in or around my MAF Heart Rate. This should keep me in my aerobic system, which means I am using fat for energy rather than glycogen. Also the longer you are in Ketosis, the more efficient your body becomes at using fat for energy. Walking is another aerobic exercise, so I feel I am giving my body the tools to use fat as my primary energy source.
Finally active recovery is extremely important, as I do more running mileage. Recovery is vital when you are trying to build your endurance. However this does not mean sitting around on the couch for days on end. Active recovery like walking and yoga, give your body time to recover from the stresses of running but keep the cogs oiled.
We live in a hectic and fast paced world, why would you spend a couple of hours a day walking when there is so much other stuff to do. Even a lot of people who enjoy exercise, probably don’t consider the benefits of walking. There is so many other forms of exercise that can be crammed into the time it would take to have a good walk. However there is a lot to be said for the physical and mental benefits of regularly spending time outdoors. Give it ago, oh and you don’t necessarily have to buy a dog to do it but it does help haha.