The saying goes that “A tired dog is a good dog” and it is true that a tired dog is less likely to get up to mischief. Also obesity is becoming just as common in our pets as it is in people. Excess weight can lead to health problems such as diabetes and liver disease and has been shown to shorten a dog’s lifespan. Extra pounds can also cause stress on the joints, aggravating conditions like arthritis and back pain.
Besides the usual walk around the block, hike or game of fetch, there are myriad ways your dog can get extra exercise without even leaving the house.
1. Have a doggy play date
With the number of pet owners increasing every day, chances are you know someone that has a dog. Why not invite them over for puppy playtime? You can catch up with your friend over coffee while your pups play the day away. You can get caught up on all the latest gossip, and your dogs can burn off all their extra energy.
We all know that climbing stairs can be great for your legs, but what about your dog? Entice your dog to do a few laps up and down the stairs. Throw his favorite toy or a ball up to the top and watch your pooch burn calories as he dashes up and down.
3. Teach your dog a new trick
Not only is this exercise for the body, learning a new skill is like a workout for your dog’s brain. Training sessions of just 15 minutes once or twice a day are enough to teach your dog something new. If he hasn’t gotten down the basics, this would be a great opportunity to make sure he has mastered commands like “sit”, “stay”, come when called, “leave it”, and “lie down”. If your dog is a seasoned pro, go ahead and teach him to roll over, touch a target, or do take a bow. If you need more of a hand to get started and you are in Melbourne, be sure to check out the classes run by PlanetK9 - they are fantastic.
Your favorite song just came on the radio. You start swinging your hips and moving your arms; singing in your loudest voice. Why not get your pooch involved? This can be done easily if your pet already likes to stand up on his rear legs. If he prefers to stay on all fours, this may be hard to do on your own, but there are classes that you can take to get him up to speed before you start. If you are in Melbourne, Sue Cordwell, from Melbourne Canine Freestyle runs classes and workshops in both. For information on classes in other locations head to Dances With Dogs Australia www.danceswithdogsaustralia.com.
These are just some simple ideas for getting your dog to move more around the house. Why not try one or two to find out which ones your dog likes best. The bond between you will grow stronger, and you may even help keep your pup around for a few more years. Do you have any great ideas that you use with your dog to get them out and moving? Share them with us.