Cold temperatures, snow and ice storms are just a few of the reasons to stay cooped up at home living a sedentary lifestyle during the winter months. This usually results in too much sitting, lack of mental stimulation and too many treats, for both you and your furry friend, which can all lead to health issues and destructive behavior. With the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures, pet parents are heading outdoors to get their exercise. It’s the perfect time to build healthy fitness habits for you and your pup that you can continue all year long. And since April is Canine Fitness Month, there is no better time than now to get started! Be sure to consult your vet to make sure your pup gets a clean bill of health before you make changes to their activity level. Here are just a few ways you can get moving with your dog:
These are fun activities that can involve the whole family! Playing fetch, throwing a frisbee or playing tug of war are a great place to start. Trick training not only builds your dog’s muscle tone and coordination, but it also requires mental focus. During your next session of active play, teach your pup how to spin, bow or dance and reward their learning with a healthy treat. Obedience skills are another way to impact their muscle tone. Have your dog go through a series of sit, lay down, stand, and even doggie pushups.
Keep your dog on their toes with homemade obstacle courses. Building these courses with items found around your house will have your pup crawling through a row of dining room chairs, jumping over a broom and walking around a maze of pillows. Be sure they aren’t too high up and appropriate for your dog’s ability. Not only does this activity finesse your pup’s movements, but it engages their mental focus as they learn to obey your commands and navigate a new space.
Did you know that one minute of swimming equals four minutes of running? Many dogs live for a day of water play, whether it be in your backyard pool, running through the sprinklers or at the local lake. The open water provides endless exercise from jumping in, fetching a water toy or swimming laps with you. Just be sure to keep an eye out and notice when your pup is showing signs of being tired. Sometimes they get so excited that they don’t remember to take a rest.
Walks + Hikes
Neighborhood walks are the easiest way to get your dog moving, especially if they’re not used to a lot of physical activity. Start with short strolls and keep the same route as you build their confidence. Once your pup gets the hang of it, change up your routes and make them a little longer. Shaking up the routine exposes your pup to new environments, smells and sounds which engages them mentally. Elevate your furry friend’s activity by taking them on day hikes for longer distances than a walk around the block. Just be sure you’ve done your research to ensure they are dog-friendly and pack everything you’ll need for a day outdoors.
Looking for a safe and fun place for your dog to get exercise on a regular basis? Dogtopia provides an open-play environment for dogs to socialize and participate in healthy exercise – both physical and mental – for 8-10 hours a day. Under the watchful eyes of our certified Canine Coaches, your dog will learn positive behavior from engaging with the other dogs and humans, participating in brain activities and burning off their energy with endless play. You never have to miss out on their Most Exciting Day Ever because you can watch your dog on our live webcams available on our mobile app and website. And the best part, is that you’ll pick up a tired, but well-exercised pup, which means you can enjoy calmness when you get home. Book your dog for some exercise and socialization at a Dogtopia daycare today.