One of my biggest issues with having three dogs is keeping them all well exercised. It becomes especially challenging when you have dogs of different ages and exercise needs, not to mention just different interests. One of the best things we ever did was to fence in a large part of our yard. Not only does it make life easier when it comes to let outs for bathroom breaks, but it gives us a great place to exercise all three dogs at the same time.
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary Umbilical Belt to review for this post, and The Umbilical Belt paid a fee to be a Multiple Pets Mania month sponsor. Wag ‘n Woof Pets only shares products we believe will be of interest to our readers, and all reviews are our own honest opinion. The Umbilical Belt is not responsible for the content of this article.
Fetch is a favorite game around here, but the problem is that Cricket rules the fetch games, and Luke and Sheba don’t get as much exercise that way. Cricket does most of the running, and they play off and on, sometimes chasing each other but often times just lying down while waiting for me to throw the ball right to them. I do my best to keep them all moving, but they don’t always get a lot of running in.
Besides, I think it’s good for them to get away from the house and get some different types of exercise….walking, jogging, or swimming. When Cricket and Sheba were puppies, we had four dogs and we did not walk a lot back then. Therefore neither of them is very good on a leash. They get better as they age, less pulling, but it is still just too much for me to try to walk either one of them with each other or Luke.
I also like to work on Luke’s training when I walk him. We work on his heeling, which he’s doing well with. I can barely handle the whole coordination of that when it’s just him and me, never mind if I had two dogs. He is also just like his beagle brother Kobi was (who always got walked alone), in that he mostly wants to stop and sniff everything. The girls are all about going when they walk. You might expect Cricket to be a “stop and sniff” type of dog too, since she’s a beagle, but she’s not. She takes her walks very seriously, and it’s all about moving forward! When I have Cricket we jog off and on too. Walks, jogs, and hikes can be so much more enjoyable when you have the right equipment.
I’ve tried some hands free leashes before, and they worked fine. I hadn’t used one for a while though, so I was intrigued to try the Umbilical Belt and see how it was different than the others I had used. Even if you’re only walking one dog, having your hands free can be a great convenience. If you’re a blogger, you’re always taking photos. I have some issues with my hands and gripping a leash constantly can cause me pain afterwards. I’ve also had shoulder pain from the tugging on a leash. Do you have to hand out treats when walking? It’s so much easier when you have an extra hand free! Cricket can be leash reactive so we work on “watch me” often when we’re on walks.
The Umbilical Belt was developed by a fitness and sports training expert. It is specially made to provide back support as well as to encourage core strengthening. It allows full movement of the arms while running, which leads to better running form. There is a zippered pocket on it that can hold a phone, keys, or poop bags. The belt secures by quick-release Velcro, making it easy to take on and off or make quick adjustments. The o-ring is designed to accommodate multiple leashes as well as pulls and jerks.
I find the Umbilical Belt to be very comfortable. I have the narrower 2 inch belt, but it is still wider than any other hands free belt I’ve used. I also like the leash that came with it, as it is soft and easy on my hands if I need to grab it to pull the dog closer to me such as when walking on the road. I usually use a longer leash, but I really like the 4 foot that came with it. I’m often sore after jogging….both my back and my legs, but when using this my back did not bother me. I think it really does give much needed support. My arms are free to swing; Cricket slows down sometimes so if we need to slow down to a walk I can still swing my arms to up the intensity of my workout (which I really need).
I also gain a little more coordination when working on Luke’s heeling command and handing out occasional treats to reinforce it. He also can pull some at times, but I did find it far easier absorbing that impact with my core than with my hand, arm, and shoulder. I have not used it with Sheba yet because she is still a strong puller and I’m not as comfortable being hands free with her.
The swivel o-ring where the leash attaches moves smoothly and the belt itself can slide on my waist or hips if the dogs switch sides, which they often do when we’re walking on a dirt road. I honestly think that Cricket walks better when we use this…she doesn’t try to pull as much as she normally would. As I get more comfortable, I can also see how great this would be for walking more than one dog. I am seriously thinking of giving it a try to see how it goes….if I can figure out how to leave only one dog behind at the house without them throwing a fit, which for me is another challenge of having and trying to exercise with multiple pets!
This is the last week of Multiple Pet Mania, and next Tuesday June 30th is Multiple Pet Day! On that day your hosts Cascadian Nomads, MyGBGVLife, and us will announce the winners of the photo contest. You still have until June 26th to enter photos, and you can find all of the details in this post. June 25th is the last day to take theLife with Multiple Pets Survey, we’ll be tallying the results and sharing those with you on Multiple Pet Day as well. Bloggers, please link up any Multiple Pet Posts to the list below! This week’s theme is Fitness Fun but you can write on any Multiple Pet subject you would like.