If your dog could lose a few of the old L-Bs, it’s time to think about doing more for your pal than taking him on a slightly longer walk a few times a week. If you’re looking for better ideas for getting your dog to run around some more, check out these helpful tips.
Go for a Run
This seems pretty obvious—because it kind of is—but if you enjoy running (and your dog is not a flat-faced breed), running short distances with your dog can be a great way to burn calories—for both of you. Keep in mind though that if you go for a jog with your dog, it’s not your running time, so if the dog wants or needs to stop, you should let him.
Try Out Agility Courses
If you have a high-energy dog—or at least one with longer legs than a Dachshund—agility courses can be fun for them. Not only is it great exercise, but it helps your dog develop new skills as well as confidence.
Group Exercise or Play Dates
If your dog seems bored in your yard, you might think they’d behave the same way at a dog park and write it off as a waste of time. However, some dogs simply need the stimulus of other dogs to get them riled up and ready to play. For that reason, scheduling play dates with other people you know who have dogs, or taking your pet to the local dog park, can be great ways to get your dog to run around a bit more. As an added bonus, this will also help your dog learn socialization skills.
How much do you hate the Stairmaster? A lot, probably, thanks to how tough of a workout it can be. The same can be said for your dog—running up and down stairs can be a great workout. After just a few trips up and down the steps, your dog will be pooped. Note: it may be advisable to check with your vet to see if your dog’s hips are healthy enough for running stairs; dogs with bad hips may not benefit from this exercise.
Use a Laser Pointer
We’ve all seen them used with cats, but laser pointers can be great for dogs for the same reasons. Point it on the floor, on your dog’s paws, really anywhere except in your dog’s eyes, and watch them chase it around like mad.
Schedule in Even More Walks
If you don’t already have a dog walking service, you might want to consider adding one to your dog’s schedule. Going on more walks throughout the week is a good way to gently add more exercise into their routine. No matter what your schedule and needs are, you’ll be able to find a walker that can accommodate your situation.
Use a Treadmill or Visit Pet-Friendly Stores
You can use treats (though it seems counterintuitive, it’s not) to get your dog to walk slow speeds on the treadmill. Never tie or leash your dog to the treadmill, if you do try this method, as it can be dangerous. However, you can hold your dog’s leash to guide him. Use training treats to help your dog learn how to walk on the treadmill, and once he is comfortable, you can very slowly increase the speeds.
Getting your dog to exercise more is your responsibility. After all, pudgy pets may be funny and cute looking, but they’re not healthy, and they deserve to live their best lives—and that means one where they don’t have to carry around excess weight.