As we all know, it’s very important to keep your dog active! It keeps their weight down, their body healthy and their mind stimulated. It can also help them vent excess energy and prevent them taking it out on your home furnishings or yard.
However, walking can sometimes become a little repetitive (for both pooch and their human!) and so it’s always good to find new and interesting ways to exercise with your dog. As well as making exercise more fun for you, it can help strengthen different muscle groups in your pup too!
So, here are a few ways to make exercising with your dog fun...
Yep, you heard that right! Dog yoga or ‘Doga’ has great health benefits for both you and your pup! Your pup wouldn't use the same yoga moves as you do in human yoga (they’re going to be a natural at downward dog, huh?) but instead, you involve your furry friend in your positions, which can have a relaxing and calming effect on your dog, promoting the function of their central nervous system!
Hydrotherapy is often used to help dogs recover from surgery or a traumatic injury, but it’s beneficial for all pups! Swimming, in the same way it does for humans, can improve muscle tone, cardio stamina, and the movement in their joints without any excessive pressure on their bones!
It’s also great for overweight dogs or dogs with arthritis, as it will help them burn calories without stressing their joints as running and walking does. If you’re concerned about your dog’s mobility, joint health, or weight, ask your vet about hydrotherapy, or other methods that might help them stay safe whilst active.
If you want to find new ways to help your dog get the exercise they need, you could also set up your yard/apartment so that it’s full of activities and challenges for both their mind and body. You can buy tennis ball machines or obstacle courses to entertain them throughout the day!
Try using buckets, boxes, pillow, and anything else you can find around the house! Some neighborhoods even have obstacle courses designed for dogs, so you could research the ones around your area to try!
Mental stimulation is super important for your dog’s health. The aging process attacks all body systems and organs in a dog, including their brain. As your dog gets older, they can experience a loss of brain function and their behavior can drastically change - some even develop dementia!
Brain training games are a great and natural way to keep a maturing dog’s mind active and help prolong their cognitive functioning… They can also be fun for their pet parent too!
Scent games are simple, easy, and fun! All you need to do is hide your pup's treats and teach them to find them. As long as they have a good sense of smell, your dog will benefit from scent games regardless of their age. It’s a great way to keep not only their body healthy but also their brain!
Introducing new toys and activities offers your dog mental stimulation whilst encouraging more interaction which is great for promoting their cognitive condition!
If your dog’s cognitive function is good, walking a completely new route is a novel experience for both you and your furry friend. A different location can help provide your dog with fresh and needed mental stimulation.
The chance to interact with other dogs will help keep them socially active which is important for cognitive health and functioning.
It is vital that their brain is receiving the right nutrition too to keep it well stocked with the appropriate vitamins, minerals, essential fats, proteins, and energy and all from high-quality sources too.
You can be sure your dog is receiving their needs daily via a dog-specific multivitamin supplement. If sourced from a reputable pet brand, these can contain a selected blend of vitamins and minerals, each designed to promote optimum health and wellness, helping your dog lead a happy and healthy life. Look for immunity-boosting vitamins such as E, D, A, and B which can provide the ideal protection against disease. Doggy multivitamins can make a great addition to your dog’s diet as well as adding strength to your pet’s natural defenses.
Different breeds require different amounts and styles of exercise. So, how often should you be walking your beloved pooch?
Although daily walks are always vital to keep your dog healthy and keep their fitness levels up, it’s also good to try different ways. This will help entertain them and strengthen other parts of their body, especially if they’re particularly energetic!
But be careful not to over-exercise them, as this can take its toll on their joints. If you feel your dog is doing too much, don’t feel guilty about putting them back on the leash. Just because they want to sprint for hours after a ball doesn’t mean they should!