It’s important to give our dogs plenty of daily exercise. It not only mentally and physically stimulates them, but it helps keep their weight in-check, which, in fact, can prevent many weight-related health issues.
However, you may want to change up your regular routines with your dog to keep it fun for both of you. Check out the following 7 fun ways to exercise your dog. You might just find your next favorite activity to do with your bff..
1. Fetch It…With a Twist
Dogs have probably been fetching things since they first began being a human’s best friend. For this reason, the same tired, repetitive game of fetch can become a bit (dare I say) boring after the tenth throw. Well before you chuck another stick, try fetch it, with a twist.
This game involves setting up an obstacle course. It can be with anything you have handy like bricks, stumps, plastic outdoor objects etc. Just make sure it is size-appropriate for your pooch. Once you have the course in place, walk your dog through it a couple of times and reward with a training treat for a job well done.
Here comes the “twist.” Now that your dog knows the course, chuck a toy for him to fetch. This not only creates more stimulation for your dog, but you will have fun, too.
Tip: Use the Bettie Fetch toy that lands and bounces in all different directions. It’s also great as a water toy and for tug-of-war.
2. Doggone Fun Doggy Basketball
This game is fun for big, small or in between dogs and for those rainy days stuck indoors.
All you need is a laundry basket and your dog’s favorite toy.
Put the laundry basket so your dog can see it. Walk him through the process my leading him to the basket with the toy. Give the “drop it” command. When your dog does it, phrase and reward for a job well done. After your dog has grasped the concept change up the location of the “target.
Tip: You can also change up the command to “slam dunk” or “make a basket.” With enough practice and reward, your dog will pick up on the meaning of your command.
3. Doggy Playdates
Dog parks are popping up all over the place, so take advantage of them. Most are designed with separate areas for bigger or smaller pooches and, as long as your pet is obedient and friendly, he can be off-leash. This is a great way for Fido to socialize and blow off some steam.
Tip: Keep an eye on your dog, just in case doggy friend gets too rambunctious.
4. Change-up the Scenery
If you tend to walk/jog your dog along the same route, try changing up the scenery. Visit a local park in another neighborhood or take a drive to a new location. This can include areas with hilly terrain, forests or even a beach. Your dog will love the new sights, sounds and sniffs.
Tip: Take plenty of water for both you and your dog, and pack a snack to make it a picnic for two.
5. Take the Stairs
Many public buildings have a lot of outdoor steps. Take this opportunity to exercise your own glutes and core while giving your dog’s muscles a great workout, too. If you and your dog have the stamina, repeat the process until you’ve both had a great cardio session.
Tip: If the building has a lot of people coming-and-going, you may want to wait until it closes.
6. Play Chase
Do you remember playing chase (or tag) as a child? Then bring back those (hopefully) fond memories and play chase with your pooch. Dogs love to chase and be chased so it shouldn’t be hard to engage your pet in this type of game.
Tip: If your dog gets overexcited when playing chase and wants to jump a lot, you may want to avoid being around children for this game.
7. Yoga Dog or “Doga”
Although, Doga is not a “running around” exercise, it’s still a great way to stretch those muscles and bond with your dog. These classes are popping more-and-more and incorporates exercises you and your dog can do together. Plus, your dog will love the massage – now if they could just train our dogs how to massage us back…
Tip: These Doga can also be found online in case you don’t have a studio near you.
Get Fit Have Fun
Exercising your dog should be an enjoyable time. Whether you follow these 7 fun ways to exercise your dog or come up with your own ideas, spending time with your canine companion is, not only fun, but it’s good for our health.
About the Author: Sandie lee is a regular contributor to the ThePetGod.com. She enjoys writing informational articles to help pet parents everywhere. She hails from a small town in Ontario Canada, with her three rescue cats, two goldfish and a hubby of 20 years.