It isn’t the mere risk of obesity that should encourage pet parent’s to engage their pets in an active lifestyle, but dogs as such, are meant to be active - be it herding, hunting or protecting. It is the pet parent’s responsibility to help their pooch reach their full potential and also to be their motivator. Lack of supplementary muscle training can lead to deficiencies and weakness in the long run. A well-balanced exercise routine for your dog is essential to ensure a better quality of life for your dog. Be it puppies who can’t sit still or senior dogs who have arthritis, exercising is a pet necessity.
A common misconception amongst pet parents is that having outdoor space ensures a pet’s workout. Similarly people believe that walks are sufficient for dogs. While it is true that walking is a great way to both bond and work out with your pooch, it is by no means enough, especially in the case of high-energy breeds. Most dogs benefit from a combination of daily aerobic exercises and a thirty minute walk.
Now that you understand your dog’s requirements, we can move on to make an exercise routine. Look at the accessibility and space and work a practical routine. While there is nothing better than open fields, long treks and upstream swims, present day lifestyle makes way for more indoor innovation. Furthermore, inclement weather can throw a wrench in your dog’s exercise routine. Hot days, cold days, and rainy days make it difficult to get outside for long periods of time, and may even pose health risks. So, here are some indoor workout antics for your pupper!
Burning off the calories indoors:
Stair Dashes are equal parts fun and equal parts effective.Running up and down the stairs is great for muscle building, plus you don’t require a set up, just find a safe staircase and lead your pooch.
Process: Requires you and another friend/family member to stand at two different rungs of the staircase, the exercise can be done with treats as well in case of a reluctant pooch.
Caution: Make sure not to overdo the dashes as this is a high energy exercise.
One would stereotypically associate agility with a large course, but you couldn’t be more surprised!
Process: Agility training can start at home using household supplies. Bring out your ottomans, pillows and boxes, and make a workable path with low calorie treats. Place the treats on top of sturdy surfaces that your dog can reach with effort, key is moderation- it shouldn’t be too easy and at the same time, it shouldn’t be too out of reach. Want to add extra zest? Make hurdles using ropes tied in between two chairs or adding a diversion using any piece of furniture or a cardboard box goes a long way.
Caution: Make sure that there aren’t any breakable objects near the course.
Can't get your pet to walk in the busy streets? In case you have a treadmill nestled in your home, just remember, the treadmill can be equally useful for your pet as it can be for you!
Process: Get your pet acquainted with the treadmill before operation so that your pooch doesn't freak out when made to walk. Start small, and gradually increase the pace to what your pet finds comfortable.
Caution: Ensure the mat is clear to prevent any injury to their paws.
This is a great brain and body workout for your pooch. Bring their nose, paws and brains to a test as they search high and low for their treats.
Process: Hide low calorie treats throughout the house and throw in some clues using their favourite toys. Similar to the agility course the key is to hide the treat, not to completely conceal it.
Caution: Make sure there isn’t anything breakable near the hiding spot.
Dog workouts are fun for both the pet parent and the pet. Your dog’s workout can range from effortless and convenient to “Come on Copper, just one more jump”. It is also worthwhile to have a panting pupper who just can’t seem to keep their eyes open at the end of the day. After all, “ A tired dog is a happy dog.”