If you own a pet, especially a dog, then there is no doubt that you want your beloved canine to be healthy, sound, and very fit. Dogs may not make up the entire life of their owners, but they sure make the lives of their owners complete or whole.
Several exercises and games will contribute to the fitness of your canine companion. The activities will not only make them fit but are exciting and enriching, especially if you are directly involved.
Factors that you should consider before you start physical activities with your dog
But before you commence any exercise, there are some factors that you must bear in mind. Evaluating these factors will ensure how physical activities will be conducted and how often.
One of the leading factors that you must consider has to do with the age of your canine. The type of physical activity given to dogs generally depends significantly on their ages.
For instance, if the dog you want to train is a puppy, the best physical activities to start with are easy obstacles along with basic commands. Strenuous jumps or multiple turns should be excluded and exclusive to more matured pooches.
You also need to examine an older dog even before you commence any physical activity. Look for signs of arthritis or any other symptoms that may endanger the overall health of your canine friend.
The next thing you should consider before engaging your canine in physical activities is your dog’s personality. Yes, it is highly crucial for you to take note of this feature because dogs also have different personalities like human beings. Some dogs are daring and can take on complex or narrow obstacles without hesitation whatsoever while others may falter or hesitate at the prospect of jumping the same hurdles.
So you need to determine whether or not your pooch has an active or passive personality; this will enable you to adjust or modify your physical activities or training techniques. Valiant and self-assertive dogs can face any challenge compared to submissive dogs.
It is also essential for you as the master to be very patient with your canine friend. In the course of any physical activity that requires jumping or maneuvering around obstacles, you should introduce new barriers slowly while steadily increasing the frequency of the training so that your canine can feel more at ease.
And with that out of the way, here are some exercises or drills that your dog should participate in:
Teach fun behaviors
This is the most crucial of all the various forms of physical activities that your pooch will engage in. This is because mental exercises are essential and the best of them all.
You can start by teaching your domesticated friend numerous exercises such as bowing and high-fiving. Obedience commands can also be taught accordingly. Control by hand is also necessary as it also enhances the cognitive functions of your beloved pet.
Walk with your dog
You probably walk your dog every day, but have you considered letting your dog walk you? Just go where your pooch leads you, and you will be pleasantly surprised when it turns out to be an excellent exercise even for you as well.
Of course, you can also go for runs along with your dog as this will not only increase your pet’s stamina but yours as well. Talk about mutual benefits, and you will be right on this one.
Create a tracking game
Not every dog out there is good at tracking or belongs to tracking breeds, but then just about any canine can take part in a tracking game or sport. This is a highly competitive event for both dogs and their handlers.
The game goes this way: a scent trail is laid out several hours before the onset of the competition. Many clues are strategically positioned or left for the pooch to follow through with a reward set at the end of the trails.
Engage in an indoor agility course
Engaging in an indoor agility course can also help your dog to be physically active and can be a lot of fun. You can start by setting up a rough-and-ready agility course within your home with stuff like broom poles and chairs (jumps), boxes or cones (weave poles), coffee table (tunnel), a mat (makeshift pause table) along with blankets over the space between the coffee table and the couch.
You can also go for an indoor agility set if you have the funds to do so. Either way, agility sets can be incredibly useful.
Dance with your canine friend
A dance routine can cheer you and your canine friend up. The exercise can motivate you and your pet as both of you dance to your favorite songs or tunes.
Hide and seek
Playing hide and seek with your canine companion can be a lot of fun. If you have kids, the more, the merrier. Make sure you put your pooch in stay until you can conceal yourself.
Then call out to your canine to find you or the kids. The hide-and-seek game can also help in developing your dog’s mental abilities.
Allow your dog to play with other dogs
This is another activity and the best that your dog will love tremendously. Permit your dog to play with other dogs as this allows your beloved pet to move his body naturally. This is not just an exercise for your pooch but an enjoyable one at that.
Use your staircase
This is one of the most effective physical exercises that you and your dog can set about indoors. You can do it in two ways: you can either run up and down the stairs with your pet trailing lovingly after you or make your pooch go up and down the stairs on his own.
Running up and down the stairs will also help your dog to burn those unneeded calories.
These are just a few physical activities that your dog can embark upon. Have fun and quality time with your pet, and you will be glad you did!