Dog owners often try to think of ways to keep their pets healthy and fit. And that's a good thing, It is crucial for dogs as well as humans to have an exercise routine to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. In this post, our Cincinnati vets discuss some fun ways you can help your dog exercise.
Nearly half of all dogs in the United States are overweight. Creating a daily exercise routine is critical for keeping our dogs physically and mentally fit. The good news is that there are numerous quick ways to incorporate more exercise into our dogs' daily routines. And because many of these activities are interactive, you'll burn a few extra calories as well. Here are some simple ways to exercise your dog.
Walking, Jogging, & Running
Start by walking them for 20 minutes and gradually increase the time. Once they are comfortable walking, try jogging or running with them to break up the routine. If they don't do any other physical activity, make sure they walk for 45 to 60 minutes every day.
Playing frisbee with your dog is an excellent way to keep them active and help them burn off excess energy. You can think of it as a game of fetch on steroids because you can throw it much farther than a ball. To begin teaching your dog to play Frisbee, introduce them to the new toy and get them excited about chasing it. Toss it a short distance or roll it along the ground, and reward your dog when he or she chases it.
Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body. The best way to get your pets to exercise and follow your commands is to train them to do so. Teach them how to fetch you a ball, sit down, and other commands that will come in handy for future indoor or outdoor sports. Aside from that, it is always a good idea to spend time with your pups because they enjoy it the most.
Play Tug of War
Tug of war with your dog is a great way to give them both physical and mental exercise. Tug of war is a great exercise for dogs, but a word of caution when working with puppies: if your dog hasn't mastered basic bite inhibition, he or she will likely struggle to follow the rules.
If you don't already have a tug toy, you can make one out of fleece or old t-shirts.
Climb The Stairs
If you're looking for some indoor exercise, nothing beats making your dog climb the stairs. You can either ask your dog to follow you up the stairs or throw a ball or soft toy upstairs for them to fetch. Always express gratitude when they climb the stairs or bring you something to keep them motivated.
Nose Work Games
If you've never done nose work before, start with some easy-to-find spots. To begin, have your dog sit in a stay position while you hide some of the treats throughout the house.
After you've hidden the treats, give your dog a command to "go find it." Maintain a joyful and encouraging environment for your dog by praising them every time they find a reward. Once they've mastered the game, you may begin hiding the goodies in more difficult-to-find locations, such as under carpets or on window sills. This will encourage your dog to use their natural sniffing talents to find the rewards rather than depending just on visual cues.
Swimming is a non-weight-bearing exercise that can help your dog increase his range of motion and muscle mass. It's also ideal for dogs with mobility issues such as arthritis because it's low impact.
If you don't have a regular swimming spot, look for canine-friendly hydrotherapy centers, pools, public beaches, or dog parks nearby.