Article written by: Guest blogger: Angela Sawyer
Young or old, big or small, it is crucial that dogs get regular exercise. Without daily dog training physical activity, your pooch may become frustrated, bored and unhealthy. Even the simplest regular exercise like walking up and down dog steps will prevent them from being hyperactive before bedtime, minimize unwanted behavior, boost their immune system, and keep them away from obesity. Further to that, dog exercise is also important to your dog’s mental health as it engages their mind, minimizes anxiety issues and provides them with healthy brain stimulations.
Although exercise requirements are typically based on the age, size, breed and overall health of your dog, it is best to spend 30 minutes to two hours exercising them each day. It’s best to select activities that suit your dog’s natural interests and unique personality. Try out some of the following ideas to see what’s most enjoyable and practical for your dog.
- Take Them to the Stairs
An excellent way to work out your dog is by using the stairs in your home. The steps target an array of different muscles that aren’t typically engaged on a regular run or walk. It also incorporates an extra level of difficulty for maximum results.
Simply stand at the top of the stairs and toss a toy down to your dog. When they grab the toy, call their name and encourage them to bring it up. After several rounds of “extreme fetch” they will be their muscles and joints will be well exercised; your dog will be winded and ready for a good nap.
- Put Your Dog on the Treadmill
One of the best ways to provide your dog with their daily dose of dog exercise is using a treadmill. Start off by choosing a good treading program. Before placing them on the machine, it is essential that you allow them to get used to the sound and sight of the running treadmill. Next, gently allow them onto the treadmill and provide a treat as a reward.
Set the treadmill on the lowest speed and continue giving them treats to help keep them on the machine. You can use a leash to help guide your pooch, but never tie them to the treadmill! Once they become adjusted, you can gradually decrease the amount of treats that you are giving them and begin to increase the speed to provide a more challenging and effective workout. For the most optimal results, dog owners must familiarize themselves with all the necessary data in regard to using treadmills with canines. For MORE on dog training on treadmills see THIS.
- Do-It-Yourself Doggy Obstacle Courses
In addition to the above, there are some other choices to provide variety for your pooch. It’s very likely that you’ll have plenty of items around your home that can be used to create an obstacle course for your dog. For example, use an old hula-hoop for them to leap through or create a navigation tunnel with couch cushions. Also, try leading your dog through the various obstacles while giving commands. That type of exercise will provide both physical and mental health benefits. For MORE on dog agility see THIS.
Tips for Beginning an Exercise Program
Before beginning an exercise program with your dog, you should always visit your veterinarian for a basic exam to make sure they are healthy enough for a regular exercise regime. Start out slowly and proceed to work your way up to longer playing or treadmill walking routines as they seem appropriate. Remember that a cool-down period should follow each session. Very easy treading walk, or leisurely stroll around the block or to the park should be enough to relax their muscles after a serious game of fetch or a more intense round on the dog treadmill.
Since 2005, Mark Siebel has trained over 6000 satisfied K’9’s and customers alike. The goal has always been to show owners how to properly integrate their dog into the home setting. Consulting on what breed of dog to buy, where to buy/rescue from, preparing your home for your new puppy and health/nutrition are just a few ways DOGGIE STEPS helps its customers.