Are you running out of ways to keep your dog healthy and entertained at the same time? Maybe it’s time to look into activities other than the same old walks through the neighborhood that your pet no longer finds interesting.
If you’re wondering what other activities you can pursue to prevent your furry friend from getting bored, here are five physical activities you can engage them in.
However, before we discuss them, it’s crucial to understand that physical activities are more about keeping your pet’s health in check first than keeping them entertained. Heart disease and diabetes are real problems, and even your dogs can suffer from them. Moreover, a leading cause of these issues is obesity. Hence, the best way to tackle them is to ensure a healthy lifestyle for your pet and incorporate as much physical activity as possible.
Again, speak to a veterinarian and figure out a routine that will suit them well before exposing them to conditions beyond their control. For example, if you have a puppy, taking them on a jog or run is not recommended as their bones haven’t finished growing yet. Additionally, exercises for short-legged dogs are different from exercises for long-legged dogs. Hence, once you have spoken to a vet and have all the plans in order, you can engage in the following physical activities for dogs:
For many years now, hiking has proved to be a great way to make your dog shed some pounds. However, this activity is not something you should expose them to if they’re not habitual of strenuous exercise. Give them enough opportunities to warm up by walking and running a bit before you take them hiking.
Remember, your dogs may not even be able to communicate if they’re getting too exhausted while hiking. Therefore, you need to pay attention to any signs of them wearing out and maybe stop to take some rest before you get going again.
We can bet that you’ve never heard of a dog swimming before. However, this activity has only gained momentum recently. Swimming is a different yet effective way to help your dog be more active and shed some pounds in a creative way, without it feeling like a workout.
However, that doesn’t mean you should throw them into a pool without exposing them to some form of training before. Therefore, speak to a trained professional and consult your vet before planning on making your dog pursue this activity.
Playing the game is a great way to help your dog build their upper body strength. While tug-of-war is one of the best ways to encourage your dog to display predatory behavior, you should play it with caution. Too much pressure or pull from your end without the right measures can make your dog even more aggressive. However, on the bright side, it’s not only a good physical but also mental exercise for your dog. So don’t hold yourself back from playing it if your dog is well-trained.
If regular walks in the park have started getting too boring and repetitive for your dog, you may want to add a little twist to it. Resistance walk is a practice useful in all weather conditions. It consists of exposing your dog to a certain condition and making them walk.
For example, walking in the snow or sand or wading shallow water is much more challenging than walking on a clear jogging track. Resistance walk is also a great way to prepare your dog for hiking as they’re exposed to slopes and peaks uncommon on the ground.
There’s nothing a good old game of playing fetch can’t solve. Even though it’s nothing new, it never stopped being your dog’s favorite sport. Since it allows them to be athletic and show off their strength, it’s a whole other form of gratification.
Not only is it a way for them to show off their immense strength, but it also helps them burn off some energy in a way a simple walk in the park or a run never could. Additionally, it’s a game they naturally excel at, so we know there isn’t much you have to do other than play the game with them.
How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?
Before you consider pursuing any particular activity with your dog, be mindful of the fact that every dog has a different threshold and physical requirements. Your dog’s breed also plays a crucial role when it comes to determining the kind of activity to expose them to.
For example, if you have a high-energy breed like a Belgian Malinois, you may want to expose them to more strenuous exercises than a low-energy breed like a Basset Hound. Therefore, getting an active breed if you’re not active yourself can put you in a difficult spot, and getting a toy poodle to do excessive training is equally impractical.
Indoor Activities For Your Dog
However, physical activities are not only restricted to outdoor activities. Your dog can also have a great time indoors if going outside is not an option for the time being. Stairs happen to be one of the spots your dog finds very interesting to be around. This means, making them run up and down the stairs can really help them build some muscle. However, avoid pushing them too hard because sometimes it can get as strenuous for them as it does for people.
If you think your dog understands the concept, you can also engage in a game of hide and seek to get them moving and mentally stimulated. Similarly, a simple game of chasing can also keep your dog at their toes for a while.
In conclusion, finding the right balance is necessary to ensure that your dog is neither overworked nor underworked. Their body needs a certain amount of exercise to stay healthy. Knowing what breed requires how much exposure to a certain activity will help you determine a good routine for your pet. Therefore, we recommend speaking to a vet before making a leap.