About half of the dogs in the United States are overweight, but daily exercise can help combat that unwanted weight and help your dog stay trim, strong, and healthy. A daily walk can also give your dog the mental and physical stimulation they need to stave off boredom and anxiety. Still, a little variety can be good from time to time not just for your dog but you, too. Try one of these great dog workouts to exercise your dog and help them stay trim, healthy, and happy.
How to Exercise Your Dog
No exercise list would be complete without this classic game. You can play fetch with Fido indoors or out as long as you have enough space, such as a long hallway or a large family room. Some dogs, such as retrievers, take naturally to a rousing game of fetch, but others might need a little practice bringing toys back, making it a great training exercise.
For a twisty, spinning alternative to fetch, try frisbee. Most people can toss frisbees further than balls or other toys, which means that dogs get a lot more running and exercise between catches.
Many of the games we play with our dogs are designed to appeal to their instincts, and tug-of-war is no different. While they’re our furry friends, they are also predators, and in the wild, the tugging and yanking movements of tug-of-war mimic those of hunting. Your dog works many muscle groups when playing this game and is stimulated mentally, too. Even better, the game offers plenty of opportunities to reinforce training lessons and strengthen your bond.
The best games incorporate all your pup’s senses. Hide and seek requires your pup to use their nose, ears, and eyes to find you or a toy that you have hidden. You can make this activity as simple or as challenging as you like, based on your dog’s skills and energy level. Look for new hiding spots periodically to keep your pup guessing. As with tug-of-war, hide-and-seek is a great opportunity to reinforce training lessons, such as sit and stay. Hide-and-seek is also a great time to incorporate some nose work with some fun treats hidden in fun, dog-safe spots.
2. Flirt Poles
A flirt pole or flirt stick is a long stick with a lure attached to the end. This offers great opportunities for your dog to engage and get active. You can hold the stick and dance the lure as the dog chases it around. Because the flirt pole is a high-intensity workout for your pup, it doesn’t require a long or extensive period to benefit. In fact, you should keep the sessions short when you start and work up until your dog’s stamina and tolerance have increased.
You might think of children when it comes to bubbles, but pets love them, too. Start by blowing a few bubbles and allow your dog to chase them or pop them. Use non-toxic child-friendly bubbles if you want, or look for bubbles made specifically for dogs, which have dog-friendly flavors that won’t upset your pooch’s tummy. If your dog likes to stick its face in the bubbles, make sure to wipe them down after bubble sessions to avoid eye irritation.
Dog daycare can also be a great choice. Our lives get crazy busy sometimes, and a daily walk might be all you have time to fit into your schedule. At Dog Thrive, however, we have lots of fun, interactive dog games, and training ideas that will keep your pooch active and busy all day long so that you can spend more time bonding and enjoying your time at home together. Visit Dog Thrive dog daycare to learn more about our indoor and outdoor dog play sessions or schedule a daycare visit for your pup today!