Just like humans, dogs need exercise to remain physically and mentally fit. Dog walking is one of the most common exercises for your pup. However, some obstacles may prevent you from taking them for a walk, regardless of how important they may be.
But does this mean you should allow them to lie on the couch the whole day? By no means!
In a recent survey conducted by a pet nutrition and obesity prevention organization, 39% of American dogs are obese or overweight.
To prevent your dog from becoming overweight, you must find a way to exercise them regardless of outdoor conditions. This article discusses some indoor dog exercise ideas to ensure your dog is physically and mentally fit.
Why is dog exercise important?
Regular exercise has multiple benefits for your dog. If you make it a habit, you'll probably reduce your appointments with your dog's vet.
Keeping your pup physically healthy is one of the reasons you should set aside time for exercise. Obesity in pets can be a real challenge, giving room for many other health risks. Combining exercise with a healthy diet will keep your dog from gaining unnecessary weight.
Exercise also prevents behavioral problems in your pup. Unnecessary barking, chewing of household items, or digging holes result from boredom and frustration. If you find enough time to exercise, you'll have less trouble with them.
Just like humans, pups also appreciate companionship. Exercise is one way to show them love and prevent depression, which might usher in many other problems.
Dogs gain just so much by merely exercising; therefore, ensure you give them the right amount of exercise.
How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?
Having seen the benefits regular exercise offers your dog, you should know how much your pup should get daily. The amount to give them is determined by factors such as our pup's age, breed, personality, health, and environment.
Some dogs are usually hyperactive and may need more exercise than others. Also, smaller breeds need less exercise time than bigger ones.
On the other hand, you need to consider your pup's health to determine the type and amount of exercise you should give them.
According to PetMeds, dogs need between 30 minutes and 2 hours of exercise daily. As we mentioned earlier, this depends on your pup's health, breed, age, and personality.
What Are the Ideas to Exercise Your Dog Indoors?
Exercise involves anything that makes your dog active, from walking to playing and anything in between. It can be as simple as arranging toys or running around the house. Below are 7 ideas that help you give your dog the best exercise even when you can't go out with them.
Make Use of the Stairs
Walking or running up and down the stairs is a perfect way to get your pup exercising. With the change in elevation, stairs offer them more than a regular walk or run would, as it engages more muscles.
It strengthens your dog's legs, shoulders, lower back muscles, as well as hips. As the dog walks up the stairs, it has to carry its entire weight to the next step and take charge of the descending process by controlling the contraction of the muscles.
However, it's good to train them to walk instead of running up and down, as this may cause injury.
Use the Treadmill
Getting your dog on the treadmill is another way to let them get sufficient exercise indoors. However, you need to use the treadmill specifically designed for dogs, as the human ones might injure your pup.
If you're trying this for the first time, let your dog become familiar with the sound of the treadmill first. Start the mill at the lowest speed and place your pup on it. It would be good to place some treats to motivate the pup to keep walking.
Standing in front of the treadmill and rewarding the dog with treats gives them some comfort and will help them keep walking.
Tug of War
Although many dog owners believe that tug of war promotes aggressive behaviors in dogs, qualified dog trainers say it's one of the best ways to exercise, alongside other benefits. If you have sufficient space indoors, playing a well-managed tug of war with your pup helps them gain self-control, eliminate loneliness, and many more things.
However, you must keep the sessions short–10-15 seconds each. Also, choose the right toy with a reasonable length to prevent the dog from accidentally biting your hand.
Hide and Seek With Treats
Hide and seek is a fun game to engage your pup. It's a perfect game for training hunting dogs, but any dog can play it for exercising on those chilly days when walking outdoors is impossible.
It might take some time to train your pup if you've never played it before. To do this, take some treats, hide them under the rags in different spots, and let your pup find them. It's a great way to train their noses as well as their bodies.
You can change the hiding spots daily to make the game more interesting. It's a perfect indoor exercise option, especially if you have a spacious house.
If you have a pool or a sizable tub indoors, swimming can be a great way to help your pup with exercise. You can get a pet swimming training expert to train your pet to swim.
The water resistance forces your pup to use more energy than s/he needs when walking or running on land. It improves the dog's muscular strength without the fear of injury they might sustain while running or walking on dry land.
Set Training Sessions
Setting training sessions for your pup can be a great way to keep them fit indoors. Some training sessions may include walking around the house with a leash if you are in a big building, letting them come to you when called, spinning, and many more.
Working at a pace your dog is comfortable with still gets the job done. No matter how small the training seems, your pup will shed some energy and remain mentally and physically fit.
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Dogs need regular exercise to remain physically and mentally fit. Exercising helps them overcome many health problems, such as obesity, which gives rise to multiple conditions.
Although walking is the main way dogs exercise, you can still help them get sufficient exercise indoors. The above are some tips for your dog's indoor exercise.
Visit the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com for more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips.
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