Keeping fit is a battle every person faces not only for themselves, but also for their four-legged friends. Many pets can succumb to the same plights that affect each of us – too much time lounging around, watching TV or napping. Here are a few simple exercise tips to help keep your dog in tip-top shape at home.
Up and Down Stairs
One great option for exercising your pup is using the stairs in your home as a step exercise course, says Nicole Pajer writing for Cesar’s Way, the website of famous dog trainer Cesar Millan. This one is easy to do – standing at the top of the stairs, toss a toy down to your dog at the bottom of the steps. Call him or her to bring the toy back to you at the top of the stairs and repeat a few times until your pet starts to get winded. Perform this exercise with your dog a few days a week to keep him or her in shape.
You may think of a laser pointer as a toy more well suited to cats, but it can work for dogs too. Just the same way as your feline friend bats around to try and catch it, many dogs will also chase the little red dot. Move the pointer back and forth as your puppy chases it, but be careful with your aim – you don’t want to accidentally point the laser at their eyes as lasers can potentially cause vision damage.
Heavy Chew Toys
Another good way to give your dog a workout is to rely on heavy chew toys or bones, says Jessica Dolce on Notes from a Dog Walker. Puppies and adult dogs alike can work out a lot of their energy trying to chew into or through these toys, helping to keep them active – and often providing benefits for their dental health. Plus, as an added bonus, this can help tire out particularly vocal dogs, and perhaps encouraging them to work out their barking frustrations with the new toy or tough treat.
Lastly, you can set up a small obstacle course or agility run for your pup to give them something a bit more exciting to do indoors. This can involve household chairs as weaving obstacles or bracers for a blanket tunnel, a bucket and board as a hurdle or a hula hoop to jump through, according to Vetstreet. You should guide your puppy through the first through runs to ensure they learn the course and reward them with a treat to encourage the behavior. The course also affords you extra opportunities to help coach your dog with voice commands and obedience training, making it an exercise for both body and mind!
No matter the method, every little bit of exercise helps. Take a few minutes each day or a few days a week, at least, and encourage your four-legged friend to get up and get active to stay healthy for many years together with you!