Whether your dog is young or old, he or she will benefit greatly from some level of exercise. While it’s always wise to consult with a veterinarian and make sure your dog is healthy prior to beginning any program of exercise, here are a few fun exercise options that you might want to consider.
There are many issues to consider when choosing an activity for exercise, and every dog has limitations or activities they enjoy more than others. Older dogs or dogs with breathing issues and other health issues might not have a high amount of stamina, so exercises need to be adjusted to suit their body type, age and health. For a dog of a more sedentary nature or one with arthritis or another ailment, a gentle walk once or twice a day might be just what the doctor ordered. Exercise actually can be of benefit to a dog with arthritis and exercise reduces stiffness and sometimes soreness. Just keep it simple, and if the weather is particularly hot or cold, consider exercise inside rather than outside. You could just lead your dog around the house for a few minutes or invest in a dog treadmill.
If you have a healthy, high-energy pet, then there is a wide range of activities to ponder, including running or perhaps jogging. Your dog might love running alongside you as you bike, as well, as some well-trained dogs certainly enjoy this activity, especially a larger dog. Just remember that you might have to work up to running, jogging or biking longer distances. Dogs need to train, just like humans. For a dog with shorter legs, these activities probably aren’t a great idea, but a good brisk walk might be fine. With all pets, look for cues that he or she is getting tired or over-heated and take a rest and water break. Some dogs can overexert themselves, so have a talk with your vet about how much exercise is suitable for your pet.
Walking and running are obvious exercise choices, but dogs often appreciate more cerebral types of activities. Certainly a good regimen of exercise can keep a pet happy and relieve boredom, but you also can have some fun, structured play time or even independent play activities set up for your pet. For instance, throwing a toy and having your dog fetch is fun for them. You also can play with tug toys or provide toys upon which your dog can chew. Most dogs need to chew, so providing this option is a way to keep them from chewing on your furnishings. In addition, there are fun toys that hold treats and dogs must work to get the treats out, and this can keep them busy for quite awhile.
Dogs love running on agility courses and dog agility provides plenty of interesting exercise for your pet. Not only will your dog have a great time, owners enjoy it as well. You might think it’s just for larger dogs such as shepherds, but most breeds will enjoy some level of agility training. For a small-sized animal, simply use mini agility equipment so that they are safe and obstacles are manageable. Competitions are fun, as well, but you don’t have to compete in order to get a lot out of dog agility training.
Dogs who work on agility equipment not only have a great time, they also tend to improve their overall behavior. This is because with challenging, interesting exercise, dogs are less like to dig, bark, scratch or exhibit other irksome behavior, and they will be learning how to follow directions and this also increases their level of obedience. To get started with agility, check out the agility equipment available from Carlson Agility. They have all the agility equipment you will need, both full-size and miniature as well as offering helpful tips and advice.