Dog Exercises | Getting your dog to exercise does not require fancy equipment, expensive training classes, or a lot of planning or thought. Instead, all you need is a little bit of time and some creativity to get your dog moving and healthy.
In fact, some dog parents include dog training as a part of their canine’s exercise so their pooch can learn some basic commands and other important movements that can keep them healthy.
Therefore, if you’re looking for some fun physical exercise ideas for your pup, you’re at the right place.
Can My Dog Exercise?
This question can only be answered by a dog parent aware of their canine’s nature, age, likes, and dislikes. However, it is important and recommended that your dog have 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily.
This will, of course, depend on your pooch’s breed. Some dogs are just naturally lazy and can do well with a light stroll in the park. However, other breeds such Dalmatians and Golden Retrievers need more activity. Therefore, you may have to be proactive when it comes to deciding their exercises.
Thus, if you’re struggling with this, here are eight exercise ideas for your pooch that can also double as dog training.
Dog Exercises: Ideas to Get Your Dog Active
If your pet loves nature along with a little bit of challenge, then hiking is an excellent exercise for them. However, you have to ensure you follow the trail’s rules set by authorities, especially those concerning dogs. Not only this, but you also have to pack according to the journey, climate, and duration of the hike. Make sure you research how to prep your pooch for this adventure, as they will need some training, especially if they are new to this.
Running can be a great way for you and your dog to get some much-needed movement. This is especially true for those breeds that need rigorous activities, such as Huskies and Malamutes. The best way to do this is by choosing an area where you can run with your dog without its leash. However, make sure the area is safe for this activity as you don’t want your dog to scare off people or other pets. Furthermore, it’s always a better idea to start slow and increase your speed and time so your pooch can develop the stamina to catch up with you. Otherwise, it will do more harm than good for their physical health.
Even though some might say that swimming is an unconventional physical exercise for dogs, this is, again, something that only a dog parent can determine. Your pooch may be a water dog such as a Labrador retriever that loves being near or in water bodies. However, make sure you have a dog lifejacket on before you undertake this dog exercise. You can also include other games in this exercise, such as fetch, and even bring safe toys such as balls or chewing toys that can float easily.
Treat Hide and Seek
All dog exercises do not have to include the outdoors. Therefore, if you’re looking for some fun inside your home, then this hide-and-seek activity can be playful for your pooch. Just hide some treats under the pillows, behind the curtains, or anywhere your dog can easily find them. This can be good for their physical health and even recharge their olfactory sense. This is simple, cost-effective, and great for days when you don’t feel like walking or running your dog.
Fetch is perhaps the simplest of all dog exercises. It is usually an outdoor game that you can play in a park or even in your backyard. All you need is a ball or your dog’s favorite stick or even a Frisbee. However, if you’re doing this in a park, make sure you follow park rules that may include leash restrictions or a designated area for your pooch. Moreover, you can play fetch in your living room on days you don’t have the time or energy to leave your house. But again, be careful of your décor.
Tug of War
Tug of war is something that everyone enjoys, so why not turn it into a physical exercise for your pooch? However, make sure you do this exercise with your dog instead of any other pet, as they can get aggressive together. Just place a rope between you and your dog and allow your pooch to tug by chewing it or pulling at it. This will allow them to use their energy and even understand boundaries.
Agility training is excellent for canines who are more demanding when it comes to physical exercise. This can also double as dog training, where your pooch can learn how to interact with other pets and even learn some competitiveness. It may include an obstacle course that consists of hoops, jumps, walkaways, poles, and tunnels. However, you might have to enroll your dog in a special agility training class for this type of training as it requires professional dog handlers who train canines for this competitive sport.
Let Your Dog Create Its own Games
Finally, allow your dog to develop its own games, especially when you take it to a park. It’s natural for them to become playful when they see an open space or they have other pet dogs around them. They might sniff, run, or play with other dogs without having you as their primary source of exercise and entertainment. However, make sure you keep an eye out and understand your dog’s body language in such situations.
The Bottom Line
On a final note, it is important to reiterate that these physical exercise ideas are some things that your dog might enjoy. While you know your pup, your vet understands its health better. So, before putting your dog through any exercise, make sure you have clearance from its vet while understanding what your dog likes or dislikes.
by Bobby J Davidson
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