Exercising Your Pup at Home
Exercising Your Pup at Home
How to keep your dog healthy while staying at home
There’s a good chance that your life has changed dramatically in the last month or two. While these changes are probably at the forefront of your mind—and rightfully so—the life of your dog(s) has likely been affected heavily, as well.
They are probably staying indoors more, exercising less, and have to share their kingdom with you more frequently. Those are hard adjustments for a pup to make! Even with the social responsibility of staying home as the world weathers these difficult times, it’s vital to exercise your canine companion for their mental, emotional, and physical health.
So, how do you keep your pup in shape when access to the outdoors is limited?
Fetch and Keep Away
You don't need a lot of room to get your dog moving. In fact, games that require sprinting and quick movements can be just as effective as long, leisurely walks. What better way is there to inspire this type of activity than making a game of it?
If it’s just you and your pup, fetch can take place just about anywhere. Whether it’s in the living room or using a long hallway, keeping your dog engaged in a game of fetch doesn’t have to involve the outdoors. This is especially true if you have a small dog!
Another great indoor game for dogs is keep away. For this game, you will need a partner. Simple distance yourself from your partner and toss your pup’s favorite ball or toy back and forth. As your dog attempts to get the toy, they will definitely get some exercise and tire themselves out!
Homemade Obstacle Courses
You can easily create a homemade obstacle course for your dog using common household items. Use the built-in infrastructure of your home, if possible, by including pillars and dividing walls as part of the course, then fill in the rest of the course with chairs, obstacles to jump over, and so on.
Not only will this activity keep your dog physically fit, but it will also make them use their minds. Staying engaged and sharp mentally will greatly reduce any anxiety your pup may be experiencing due to the unusual circumstances of the world right now. As a bonus, creating an exciting new obstacle course can be a challenging, fun activity for you, too!
No, you didn’t read that wrong. Hide-and-treat is a play on the classic game of hide-and-seek where treats replace the person who would be hiding. You can, of course, play a traditional game of hide-and-seek with your pup, but hide-and-treat has benefits beyond just running around.
Activities that challenge your dog’s super sniffer to the test are engaging on multiple levels and quite exhausting. If your pup isn’t a natural-born tracker or isn’t trained to sniff out treats, you may have to start small. Make the game easy at first—maybe “hide” a treat in plain sight”—and progressively get harder and more involved.
Staying at home doesn’t have to be detrimental to your dog’s health. With a little creativity, they can stay in shape and bond with you like never before. Rather than focusing on what you can’t do, focus on what you can do! Your dog will thank you, and you may have a little bit of fun along the way!