Have you noticed your dog's belly is hanging a little lower? Maybe that your dog's more interested in exploring the fabric of the couch than the backyard? Or that there's a little more wiggling going on than just in his tail?
Like a lot of humans, as a dog's age moves up in numbers, so often does the scale. Exercising may not sound as fun as playing to your dog, but in actuality it can be the same thing! There are lots of good ways for your dog to burn some calories and have a good time doing it.
This may sound like an obvious one, but so often “potty breaks” can be thought of as walks. A quick walk down the block so your dog can use the restroom doesn’t count as exercise. A decent walk should last a good 15-20 minutes, if not longer. The amount of exercise a dog needs really depends on the type of dog they are. A bigger dog will need more exercise then a little one.
Fetch is a favorite in most dogs’ book. Fetch offers dogs a good amount of exercise and for some gives them an opportunity to practice something they were bred for. In a lot of dogs it is in their nature to retrieve. Let’s be honest though, most dogs love a good game of fetch. Fetch also gives you and your dog great bonding time.
A good way to give your dog even more exercise when playing fetch is the run him up and down the stairs. This will engage more muscles than regular fetch because of the elevation. Just stand at the top of the stairs and throw a toy down and have your dog bring it back up to you. This could wear him out after a few throws. This exercise may not be appropriate for every dog, such as a Dachshund, because it could put too much strain on its back.
Not all dogs find the little red dot intriguing enough to pursue, but some dogs do. You can test it out and see if your dog shows interest, if he does it is great exercise. You can run the laser back and forth across the room and enjoy the show. The only thing to be cautious of is to never point the laser directly in your dog’s eyes.
If your town has a local dog park, it will offer excellent exercise. Dog parks aren’t appropriate for every dog, but if your dog does well with other dogs, it can be really fun. It gives your dog great opportunities to socialize with other dogs and people in a safe environment. A dog park gives your dog the chance to run leash free and leave his inhibitions at the fence.
Some dogs love playing with a Frisbee, but some are not too sure about it. Make sure the Frisbee you’re playing with is a dog disc; a human disc can hurt a dog. Teaching a dog to play Frisbee can be a great bonding experience for you and your dog, as you work together. There are even disc dog competitions where dogs do some pretty awesome stuff. There are things like distance catching and choreographed freestyle catching.
That’s right, dancing. Maybe you’re not the best dancer; maybe your musically inclined canine might teach you a few things. That’s okay no one has to know you learned your best skills from Fido. People take dancing with their dog to a whole new level. This doesn’t mean you doing the disco or robot while your dog circles you excitedly. These people and dogs know how to get down with the get down, while getting some great exercise!
Here’s Ashleigh and Pudsey on Britain’s Got Talent 2012 Semi-Finals.
So, if you have noticed Fido’s been tipping the scales at the veterinarian you may want to consider these easy exercising routines. Not only will it prevent your dog from getting some scary health problems related to weight gain but it will give you and him great bonding time. So put down those biscuits and pick up a ball and have some fun!