Just like you, your dog needs to exercise. How much depends on several factors like age, breed and health.
Giving your dog access to run around and play in your back yard doesn’t necessarily mean they are getting enough exercise. They need interaction and motivation the same as us humans.
You may have a treadmill or a bike in you home, that doesn’t mean you’re motivated to use it every day. Your dog may have much the same attitude.
Let’s start by looking how the age of your dog will affect the amount of exercise your dog needs.
How Much Exercise Does a Puppy Need?
How Much Should Your Adult Dog Exercise?
How Much Exercise for a Senior Dog?
Your older dog may not have the energy or physical ability they once had but exercise is still essential for good health. You may have to shorten those walks or exercise sessions.
However, exercise not only keeps your dog physically fit but also helps with mental stimulation. All of this can help improve the quality of their lives as well as prolong their lives.
Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Dog
This is an activity you can do just about anywhere. It’s fairly easy to train your dog to play fetch. Grab a stick or a ball, throw it and ask your dog to go get it for you.
When they are little, it will take some training to get them to bring it back. Once they learn this skill and your commands, this can be a fun game for you both.
Going for a Hike
Going for a walk, jog or run on a hiking trail is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. Your dog will love it too.
Explore new parks and trails and have an adventure with your dog. Just be sure that the trails you choose are pet friendly and know the rules on leashing.
A bike ride can be a great way for both you and your dog to get out and get some exercise. This won’t be appropriate for all dogs but many will love running while their owner rides.
Be sure to find a safe place to cycle with your dog. The roadways can be dangerous for you and your pet. Most communities have bike paths where you and your dog can cycle and run safely.
Many dogs love being in the water. Whether it’s a pool or a lake be sure to find a safe place for your dog to swim. Be sure to help your dog if it’s their first time swimming. They usually take to it very quickly but might need a little help when they first try it.
Swimming is also a weightless exercise so it’s great for older dogs who may have joint issues.
Tug of War
Most dogs enjoy playing tug of war. There are a bunch of different toys that you can use for this game. Tugging can help build muscle, promote impulse control, build confidence and it gives you a great way to bond with your dog.
Don’t be too rough or play for too long. Keep each play session to just a couple tugs.
Regardless of how you exercise with your dog, know that it is essential for their health and longevity. It can also keep you moving and healthy so make it a priority for you and your dog.