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Tips To Keep Your Dog Active At Home And Outdoors

It doesn’t matter if your pooch is a couch paw-tato or a dynamo-dog, they need exercise. Experts say a tired dog is a happy dog, and the best way to get them there is physical and mental exercise. It keeps their weight in check, builds muscle, delays ageing and keeps them mentally agile. Active dogs are also calmer, happier, less stressed and less prone to problem behaviours. Of course, it was easy to keep them active and engaged when they were puppies, but older, more easily bored dogs need a slightly different approach. Here are our handy tips for keeping your dog active so they can live a fulfilling life that is physically and mentally rewarding:

How much exercise does your dog need?

As a pet parent, you often wonder how to make your dog happy, and the simplest route is through exercise. Your dog’s exercise requirements vary by breed, age, and physical condition. Working dog breeds are those that have been bred for a specific purpose, such as herding sheep, hunting or long-distance running, and tend to need more exercise than companion breeds. So a pug would likely get worn out with exercise that a husky would consider a warm-up!

Your vet will give you a good idea of how much exercise your dog needs, but you’ll need to fine-tune it based on your dog’s personality and activity level. They should be tired and content, but not exhausted or suffering. Further, if your dog has a health condition like hip dysplasia or heart issues, talk to your vet about exercises that won't exacerbate their health problems.

Here are some fun dog activity suggestions that you could consider.

Outdoor Activities For Dogs

Walking

Of course, every pet parent’s go-to exercise needs no introduction. But you can make walks more fun and enriching by exploring new routes, allowing your dog time to sniff interesting smells (it’s how they get the neighbourhood news, after all!), meeting dog loving friends for walks, or slowing down or speeding up your walks. This helps keep your dog engaged and snaps them out of their comfort zone.

Swimming

A lot of dogs with joint issues are advised to swim as it is a low-impact exercise, but it’s also a lot of fun for most dogs. If your dog is a water baby, ask your vet and other pet parents about swimming pools nearby which allow dogs.

Being Amidst Nature

Your dog is likely to love going on a hike with you. Exploring new sights, sounds, smells and textures will refresh their mind just as it does yours. However, some dogs do suffer from motion sickness. So if your pooch is one of them, make sure not to feed them right before the journey.

Fetch or Tug

Your dog probably loves these classic games, and they’re a great way to burn off some energy. Keep it interesting by changing up the toys you use and the area where you play.

Obedience Training

This may not seem like exercise, but it certainly can be! You can practice ‘come’, ‘fetch’, and other basic commands for physical and mental exercise. If you’ve got an easily bored dog, make it more fun by adding fun tricks like twirling and rolling over, and you’ll find you have a tired and happy dog. But don’t forget to include tasty treats like Pedigree Biscrock, Tasty Minis or Tasty Bites while training to keep your pooch motivated.

Agility

You can use things around the house to make an agility course in your home or outside in your garden or terrace. Use your creativity to make brooms, boxes, Hula-Hoops, tyres, and small tables part of your agility course.

Indoor Activities That Make The Home Fun

Stairs

Racing up and down stairs together is a fun way to get some exercise together when the weather doesn't allow you to engage in any of the conventional outdoor activities. However, it is strenuous, so make sure you don't overdo it.

Hide-and-Seek

Your dog probably seeks you out when you’re out of sight, so you can harness that urge by turning it into a game. Another person can hold your dog while you hide somewhere and let them find you. This will help them use their sense of smell and problem-solving ability, and the exercise and euphoria they get when they are seeking you out is a huge bonus! You could also play a game of hide-and-seek the treat where you hide treats in different parts of the house and put your pooch’s nose to work. This fun activity is one of the most underrated games to play with dogs.

We’re sure these suggestions will help your furry best friend get fitter and be a more active dog. Apart from creating a closer relationship with you, they’ll also be happier, calmer, better adjusted, and have a longer, happier life.

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