FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 23:23 Adapt for the Seasons

Labrador Lesson for 6/2/23:

Adapt for the seasons.

As Labradors, we like to get outside to move year-round, but we know our movement routine needs to adapt with the seasons. In late Fall and Winter, when temps drop below freezing (and ticks are less active), we take our humans hiking in the woods. When temperatures rise, we still seek soft surfaces, but to minimize the heat of the sun and tick exposure, we look for shady sections of the local Rails-to-Trails. We also get out early to avoid mid-day heat and stop for water breaks. Our humans carry a @nalgene bottle filled with @berkey_filters water for us.

Move more. Move often. Adapt your movement routine as necessary to keep moving safely throughout the year.

FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 22:23 Remember Your 4-Legged Friends When Planning a Vacation

Labrador Lesson for 5/26/23:

Remember your 4-legged friends when planning a vacation.

Some vacations are perfect for including your 4-legged friend (a road trip to a pet-friendly destination). Other vacations require you to leave your pet(s) at home…when you can’t travel with your pet, do your homework to insure the best possible staycation for your 4-legged friends. If you have a friend or family member who can pet-sit, great! If not, get referrals and do your due diligence before choosing a pet-sitter or boarding facility.

Move more. Move with your pets. Factor in your pets when planning a vacation.

FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 20:23 Be Consistent

Labrador Lesson for 5-12-23:

Be Consistent.

As Labradors, we would happily get outside and get moving everyday…regardless of weather…ok, full disclosure, we don’t love hot, sunny days, but our love of movement wins out. We understand that some humans tend to make excuses for not moving – too busy, too hot, too we thought we’d offer a simple piece of advice for making movement part of your lifestyle: Be Consistent. Just move…on most days…

Whether you have 2 legs or 4. Consistency is key to making movement part of your lifestyle.

FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 19:23 Remember to Have Fun

Labrador Lesson for 5-5-23:

Remember to have fun.

This is a #flashbackfriday Labrador Lesson from January, when the Labs were hoping for snow…

As Labradors, we don’t read the news, but we see just enough television and social media to know that there is no shortage of negativity in the world. Take a tip from us: focus on the positive and remember to have fun. Our fun times include walking with our humans (on leash, for their safety); chewing sticks; and watching deer 🦌 and turkeys 🦃. We also love frolicking in the snow, but even when there’s no snow, we remember to have fun when we get outside.

Whether you have 2 legs or 4, remember to have fun…in your movement practice, and in the rest of your life. Focus on the positive and create fun times whenever possible.


FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 18:23 Don’t Get Ticked Off

Labrador Lesson for 4/28/23;

Don’t get ticked off.

A reminder from the Labs before you opt outside to enjoy Spring hiking, biking, walking, or running…while ticks don’t have an official “season,” the arrival of warmer temperatures means ticks will be more active. 3 tips to reduce your dog’s tick risk. 1. Use flea & tick meds year-round and get the Lyme Disease vaccine if recommended by your vet. 2. Check your dog (and yourself) for ticks after every outdoor movement session. 3. If temperatures are above freezing, stay out of tall grass/vegetation. Bonus tip: check out the TickEncounter Resource Center at www.tickencounter.orgfor tips on tick bite prevention and post-bite resources.

Whether you have 2 legs or 4, awareness is key for a safe, healthy Spring and Summer!

FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 17:23 Share the Space

Labrador Lesson for 4/21/23:

Share the Space.

As Labradors, we love to move outside year-round. We’ve noticed that in the Spring, we have more encounters with other park/trail users as outdoor spaces get are more crowded than they are in the Winter. We encourage you to have fun outside, but remember to be aware of your surroundings, especially of other people and dogs. Not all people want to meet your dog…and not all dogs are friendly. Leaving an extra buffer of space allows everyone to enjoy moving outside.

Whether you have 2 legs or 4, Spring is a great season to #getoutside and get moving. When you do, share the space, so that we can all enjoy our outdoor adventures.


FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 16:23 Be Present for Your Pets

Labrador Lesson for 4/14/23;

Be Present for Your Pets.

As Labradors, we’re happy anytime we get outside for a walk/run/hike…but we’ve noticed some humans don’t pay attention to their dogs when they’re in the park or on the trails. If you are more focused on your phone or your workout than your dogs, this message is for you. When you take us out for a movement session, that movement session is about our health and happiness. Stay alert. Be aware of dangers (things we can eat, wild animals, off-leash dogs, hot weather). Shorten our leashes, take breaks, or cut short the movement session as needed to keep us safe. Please. Thank you.

Whether you have 2 legs or 4, you get more out of a movement session if you stay safe and healthy! And from what we can see, humans would get more benefit from moving if they turned off their devices and focused on being present.

FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 15:23 Human Treats Aren’t for the Dogs

Labrador Lesson for 4/7/23;

Human treats aren’t for the dogs.

As Labradors, we will eat anything…whether or not it is likely to make us sick. We know that humans often have food-based gatherings of friends and family during the Spring (Ramadan, Passover, Easter, and more), so we want to remind you to keep an eye on your celebratory food. Dropped food isn’t the only risk, as some dogs are counter-surfers and others have feline friends to knock food off the counter for them. A trip to the emergency vet can ruin your holiday celebration (even if we fully recover).

Whether you have 2 legs or 4, enjoy your holiday celebrations, but make sure your 4-legged friends don’t get too close to harmful human treats.


FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 14:23 Spring Safety Reminders

Labrador Lesson for 3/31/23;

Spring Safety Reminders.

As Labradors, we love to move outside year-round. We’ve noticed that in the Spring, we have more encounters with wildlife…and with other park/trail users. Here are our top 3 Spring Safety Reminders. 1. Beware of harmful wildlife (e.g., skunks 🦨 or porcupines). 2. Watch out for off-leash dogs…even if the owner promises the dog is friendly. 3. Resist the urge to approach/pet an unknown dog without the owner’s permission.

Whether you have 2 legs or 4, Spring is a great season to #getoutside and get moving. When you do, take simple precautions today, so that you can keep moving tomorrow.

FitLabPGH Lab Lessons 12:23 Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Play Safely.

Labrador Lesson for 3/17/23;

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Play Safely.

As Labradors, we love to play. We don’t wait for holidays or special events. We celebrate little things in life, like climbing a big hill. And we make play part of our everyday lives. We won’t be drinking green beer (or any other beer) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but we understand this is a holiday when humans like to get together for drinks with friends. If you’re one of those humans, we encourage you to play safely and responsibly.

Whether you have 2 legs or 4, make play part of your lifestyle…and when you do, please play safely today so that you can continue to move and play tomorrow.