Diet and exercise are the two most important elements of your pet’s health. Exercise relieves stress and helps keep your pet healthy. Unfortunately, you may not always be able to go for a walk when you want to exercise your dog. And, to challenge and vary activities for your pet, we have come up with some creative alternative exercises. Many pets have been bred to perform tasks. This includes hunting, retrieving, and herding. To satisfy your dog’s natural urge to “work” try some of these alternative ways to exercise your dog.
There are several ways to provide your dog with the exercise and mental stimulation he or she needs. Here are some exercises to try:
Play Hide and Seek
Hide somewhere in your house. Call your dog’s name. When your pet finds you, praise her and give her a small treat or play with a toy together. When you first play this game, do not hide too well, or your dog may give up. As your pet gets better at the game, go further away and make it harder for her to find you. You can play variations of this game. Get different household members to hide. Make a big deal over your heroic search-and-rescue dog as she recovers each person from their hiding places.
Find the Toy or Treat
Put your pooch’s nose to work. Get a toy or treat that she really likes. Show it to her and get her excited about it. Have someone hold her back. Tell her to “get ready!” While she watches, hide the toy several feet away, behind a door or furniture. Tell her to “find it!” and let her go. Praise her big when she gets to it and reward with a small treat. Once your dog figures out what “get ready” and “find it” mean, and has a few successes at this easy level, you can increase the difficulty.
Fetch and Tug of War Games
There are many fun games you can play with your dog. Many of these provide exercise, too. Playing fetch and tug of war both provide moderate exercise for your dog and some light exercise for you. These games can also be used in training, which is a good form of mental stimulation for your dog. Use some caution when playing tug of war. It is a game that can bring out the predator in your dog. It can be unhealthy for your relationship if you don’t have established trust and respect. Your pet should be trained to stop play on command. You need to have control over your pet’s power and instincts before you can engage in a healthy game of tug of war with them.
Puzzle Toys that Exercise Your Dog
Check out some of the treat-dispensing toys that are available now. These toys are easy, quick, and effective ways to tire your dog out. Start your collection of puzzle toys that reward with treats. Keep them put away until playtime. The more you play, your pet will get excited to do the exercises because she knows a reward of praise and a small treat is coming. Use these nose work and puzzles to keep your dog stimulated since many types of dogs can get into trouble without enough stimulation.
Construct an obstacle course in your yard, or even in the living room. Make jumps out of broomsticks or pool noodles. Make a tunnel by draping a blanket or tarp over a line of chairs. If your pet is small, you can purchase an inexpensive kid’s play tunnel. Make a weave obstacle by setting up objects in a line, and train your pet to weave in and out of. Before testing your pet on the entire course, teach her how to perform each obstacle individually. You can do this by using lure reward training. Put a treat in front of her nose, and lure her through the obstacle a few times. Fade the lure out by removing the treat from of your hand, but make the same hand motion. Have her follow your hand through the obstacle, then reward with a treat out of your other hand.
If you have a pool, or live near a safe pet-friendly place to swim, this is an excellent exercise. Contrary to popular belief, not all dogs know how to swim. Some dogs simply don’t like to swim. But if you have a water dog, encourage your dog to swim. You can incorporate the game of fetch with swimming to make it even more fun. Just remember water safety tips.
If your dog doesn’t mind the water but also cannot swim, you can still teach her. Start with a dog lifejacket and shallow water until she gets the hang of it. If she likes the water, it won’t be long before she is fine on her own. If she doesn’t like the water, don’t push it. She may just be a land lover.
A treadmill is a great way to get your dog a dose of healthy indoor exercise. First, allow your dog to get comfortable with the sight and sound of the running treadmill. Next, place your dog on the treadmill and give her a treat. Turn the treadmill on the lowest speed. Give her treats to keep her on the machine. You can use a leash as an aid but never tie your dog to a treadmill. Also, standing in front of the treadmill and rewarding with treats for walking will help make your dog feel more comfortable. Once your dog is comfortable, you can gradually increase speed to provide a more challenging workout.
If you have a staircase in your home, using the stairs is a great way to tire out your dog. Steps add an additional challenge to a dog’s workout. On the stairs, dogs engage different muscles than those used on a regular walk or run. Stair climbing adds an extra level of difficulty with change in elevation. Stand at the top of the stairs and throw a toy down to your dog. When your dog grabs the toy, call his name and have him bring the toy to you. After several rounds of this your pet will be winded.
Exercising Your Dog
It is vital to keep your pet active with exercise. Every dog needs exercise to stay healthy. As your dog ages it is important to keep a routine. Joint care is very important. If you want your aging dog to have a long and happy life, make sure you pay close attention to their joints. In order to prevent future joint problems, supplements can also help improve joint health in dogs.
Flexpet Joint Supplements for Dogs
Flexpet is a highly effective supplement that supports joint health, fights inflammation, and boosts the immune system. There are powerful all-natural ingredients in Flexpet. Flexpet supplements are made in the USA with human-grade ingredients. They also contain a digestive enzyme to help your pet process the anti-inflammatory ingredients without side effects.
At Flexpet, we care about you and your pets. We want to help you keep them as healthy as possible. We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our joint supplement products and how they may help your dog or cat. If your dog has joint pain issues, we invite you to try Flexpet today and start your dog on the journey to playing like a pup again. Flexpet is so confident it is the best joint supplement for dogs and cats it comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. Our Flexpet joint care supplements have excellent reviews on social media. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.