Chicago dog trainer Marc Goldberg recommends new parents do the
The motivation to exercise doesn't always come
easily, especially when you are pregnant. However, a study shows
that pregnant women are more likely to maintain an exercise regimen
when they have the help of an in-home workout buddy: their dog.
University of Liverpool researchers found that pregnant
women with dogs are 50 percent more likely to actually fulfill the
recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day.
"Findings suggest that ownership of a dog provides some
motivation to go for a walk, even during pregnancy," according
to Dr. Carrie Westgarth, from the University of Liverpool's
Institute of Infection and Global Health.
However, while the exercise can help keep both mother and
baby healthy during and after pregnancy, it's best to proceed with
"Safety first. Consult with your doctor about how much
stress you can take," says Marc Goldberg, owner of
chicagodogtrainer.com, which trains dogs all over the Chicago
If you have a big dog, he recommended forgoing a harness
since they attach to the dog where he is strongest. Using a harness
could turn the walk into a "contest of strength," a dangerous
battle to undertake when you are pregnant. Opt for a training
collar instead, he says.
For little dogs, he says, "Put the retractable leash
away." The leashes are empowering to the dog and not the handler.
Since owners have a larger risk of being tripped up by their little
dogs, it's best to stay as in control as possible.
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