Creating an exercise routine for your dog isn’t too difficult, making it fun can be a little more trying. We want our dogs to enjoy being dogs yet with discipline and obedience. It’s healthy to allow your dog to “let loose” every once in a while. Just like humans, if it’s the same routine day in and day out, your pet may get bored and lose enthusiasm. It’s up to us to keep it exciting. Here’s our top 5 fun dog exercises you can use to stimulate your pet’s health, natural instincts, and brain activity…
1. Include Your Pet in Your Exercise Routine
Do you run, jog, or bike regularly? You can include your dog in most of these activities. It might take some adjustment training but it’s a great way to spend time with your dog while increasing activity levels for both of you. So, if you run or jog daily, you could adjust one day a week that you include running with your dog.
2. Daily Walks and Changing Scenery
Dogs require regular exercise and a good routine, yet we want to keep it a fun exercise. As good pet owners, we usually want to walk our dog at least once a day. As humans, we easily get into routine and become robotic in our actions. A daily dog walk doesn’t have to be around the same block that you walked around yesterday, and the day before. Changing where you walk your dog adds new things to see, smell, and mark for your pet. To him it’s a new adventure just because it’s different. Therefore, you can change the boredom of routine by walking your dog in new and varied places regularly.
3. New Social Interactions
A great place for new social interactions is at the dog park or at a dog-friendly beach. This is fun and enjoyable for most dogs who need something different to experience and have some freedom. What dog doesn’t love to run, fetch a ball or stick, or simply meet new friends? If you’re able to visit a beach or other water spot, your dog will have the chance to swim, splash around, and soak up the sun. How great is that?! On another note, more and more stores and retail locations are allowing you to bring your pet with you. This is not only the big brand or boutique pet stores but many home improvement or farm and garden supply stores. With your canine companion accompanying you, your dog gets to absorb new smells and surroundings. Lucky dog! And if visiting a pet store, they will probably get to interact with other dogs. Remarkably, a weekly trip to the store for dog supplies, or an unexpected dog park or beach stop can be a simple yet fun dog exercise.
Tip : If your dog isn’t socialized yet or just starting, the new smells and stimulation may be overwhelming at the beginning. Take it slow if your dog shows apprehension in these environments. You can encourage him positively by first being confident about the situation yourself.
4. Agility Training or Obstacle Courses
You can join a dog group that specializes in agility training and exercising using obstacle courses. You can even go big and build your own obstacle course for your dog in your backyard if you have the space. Agility training can also include your kids. Dogs will usually follow your kids through the course making it a fun dog exercise for the whole family.
5. Use Treats as a Motivation to Get Your Dog Moving
Play a game of hide and seek with your dog. The idea is to place bite-size treats around your house so your dog will have to go searching for them. It’s fun, rewarding, and best of all it compels your dog to be active. Encourage your dog to keep going—knowing that there are more treats to find. The more you play, the more entertaining it becomes. Your dog will anticipate where the treats are and that is when you need to switch things up by placing them in new or more difficult to find spots.
Tip : Be sure to remember where you put the treats just in case you have to help your dog find them!
All things considered, coming up with fun dog exercise ideas can be as simple as changing their regular routine. Easy enough, right? Keeping your dog active leads to better health, longevity, and an all-around happy pet!
What is your favorite exercise for your dog?