Is your dog out of shape, and you’re worried that they’re going to end up suffering long-term side effects? Thankfully, there are plenty of options for recommended exercise for dogs that you can consider to keep your pup in great shape. However, make sure that you read through all of these options before you choose a routine. Doing so will help to make sure that your pup is as healthy as possible.
Exercise One: Throwing a Frisbee – A Safe Catch Game Your Local Veterinary Clinic Loves
Of all the options for recommended exercise for dogs, this option is among the most straightforward and most recommended by your local veterinary clinic. Most dogs love chasing and catching items, as it plays into their prey drive and their desire to make their owners happy. But, just as importantly, it gives them a lot of exercise by pushing them to the limits of their cardiovascular strength and helps with leg strength and much more.
As a result, it is a good idea to talk your pup to a dog park and throw a Frisbee for a while. Though just about any item is suitable for playing catch, a Frisbee provides many benefits that make it more useful for dogs looking to get into shape. It’s also an excellent choice for people from many walks of life, as it allows them to get in a bit of a workout routine with their pup. Just a few benefits of a Frisbee include:
- Softer Material – Harder materials, like baseballs and more, may be more challenging for some dogs to catch and hold and could send them to an animal hospital. Thankfully, a Frisbee often uses softer materials (such as plastic or even cloth) that make it easier for dogs to hold and less difficult to return.
- Longer Throws – This recommended exercise for dogs is excellent because a Frisbee lets you get a lot more range and distance out of each throw, which is perfect if you can’t throw well. You could even open up your patio door and throw the ball, getting the kind of long-distance that your dog will love.
- Durable Design – While it is true that a Frisbee is made out of softer and easier materials for a dog to bite, they are also surprisingly durable. Your Frisbee could last for years, even with your dog catching and hauling it regularly. They also do well on various other types of surfaces.
- Easier Two-Person Throwing – If you’re out with a romantic partner on a date with your dog at the beach, a Frisbee is a great way to keep everyone entertained. Your dog will love when you throw the Frisbee back and forth and will engage with your partner on a deeper level as well.
- Inexpensive Cost – If you’re trying to save money on your dog items so that you can afford steps like AC maintenance, buying a Frisbee is a great option. These items are usually relatively inexpensive and should last you for years as long as you’re careful about your toy maintenance steps.
Why not buy a handful of different options to get the recommended exercise for dogs that your pup needs? For example, you can get a cloth option, one that is a bit stronger, and others that will provide your dog with multiple toys. Dogs love diversity and will often pick their favorite choice for play.
Exercise Two: Tug of War – A Great Strength Exercise for Adult Dogs
Next on your list of recommended exercise for dogs is tug of war. You’ve probably already tugged a little with your pup or seen them trying this game with others. You need to encourage this kind of activity because it increases their jaw strength and provides a lot of mental stimulation. But before you start doing any tug of war, you need to make sure you consider these factors:
- Be Careful of Your Dog’s Age – Small puppies should probably not play tug of war because teeth won’t be strong enough to withstand your pulls. Instead, wait until your dog is at least a year or two old before you start. You can probably play light tugging games when they are young, though.
- Prepare a Safe Area – When tugging, your dog may end up getting confused or even in the way of others as they pull. As a result, it is vital to make a safe spot inside and outside that works for their needs. For example, you may want to put down wood chips or other protective items to make them safer for their needs.
- Provide Other Types of Protection – When you’re playing tug of war outside with your pup, you should do what you can to protect them from various pests. You should make sure you get raccoon, bee, termite, bird, and pigeon control to minimize these issues in your area.
- Practice Tugging or Show Them How to Play – Dogs are incredibly smart – more than their owners even sometimes realize – and learn by emulating their owners or family members. So if your pup is confused about tugging, practice with them or play with another dog or a family member.
- Pick Tough Material – Your dog will have an intense job and will be surprisingly tough when they start pulling on your rope or toy. You’ll need to make sure that the material is strong enough to withstand these pulls. In this way, you minimize the potential damage that may end up occurring.
- Always Put Up Your Toys When Done – Try to keep your tug of war toys out of the general reach of your pup. While it is excellent for them to have easy access, they may end up chewing on it. And many ropes and other items have fibers that may be pretty easy for your pup to swallow.
And while it might seem strange to consider steps like parking lot maintenance, it is often a good idea if your pup gets a little too excited. For example, crumbling asphalt and other elements may be available in an area where you tug, and your canine may go for them. The same thing is true if you play with a flirt stick – a long pole with a lure that provides many of the same benefits of tug and war.
Exercise Three: Walks and Hikes – Great for Mental and Physical Stimulation
Few activities will engage you and your pup like a good walk or a hike. Of all the recommended exercise for dogs on this list, it is the easiest to get started right away and is something most dogs and people should feel comfortable handling. You can set your pace when you go out, gauging how well your dog adapts and what kind of approach seems to make the most sense for them as you walk.
Just as importantly, you can try to find an environment that feels comfortable for them and you. For instance, some dogs may love running up and down hills without a leash. On the other hand, others may prefer a flat walk and a leash to stay controlled and minimize their poor behavior. Whatever the situation, it is critical to make sure that you and your dog feel comfortable when on your long trips by:
- Bringing Food and Water – Put on a small backpack whenever you go for a hike and add several treats and water for both you and your pup. Make sure to bring a bowl for both the water and the goodies to ensure that your canine pal has an easier time eating or drinking them.
- Taking Rests When Needed – Does your dog seem to get tired when you’re walking? Try to keep them focused but don’t push them so hard that they end up getting hurt. Instead, make sure that you take rests for both them and yourself, catching your breath and stretching before you move on with the walk.
- Pushing a Little Further Each Time You Go Out – Every time you go out with your pup, you should try to challenge yourself to go a little further and a bit harder. Don’t exhaust yourself going one way, though, as you’ll need the energy to get back home during your walk.
If you plan on hiking near you to get the recommended exercise for dogs, you should seriously consider taking care of the debris or items around your area. Dogs are often relatively easy to distract, especially if you’re walking, and they suddenly see a squirrel or another critter run past them. You might end up having to restrain your dog and may even end up hurting yourself in the attempt.
For example, you could consider tree care to manage this problem and ensure that it goes smoothly. Consideration of this type is crucial because it helps make it easier for your pup to avoid sticks, squirrels, or any other distractions that come their way when they’re having fun. And it also helps to keep you from getting injured trying to corral your pup and keep them from getting too far away.
Exercise Four: Swimming – A Great and Low-Impact Exercise
Lastly, you may want to consider teaching your pup how to swim to challenge their bodies and their minds in many ways. Swimming doesn’t always come naturally to some dogs but is a great way to provide a myriad of unique benefits, including:
- A low-impact way to work the body’s muscles
- Stronger lungs and cardiovascular health
- Better survival skills if they do get in the water
- Orientation practice for various unique scenarios
Of all the recommended exercise for dogs on this list, you may have the hardest time convincing your dog to enjoy this option. However, you can try to transition your dog into this experience to make it easier and more enjoyable for them. Doing so will provide the benefits of swimming without agitating your pup and making it more frustrating for you. Just a few steps to take include how you can:
- Introduce Your Pup to Swimming – Take your dog down to the beach on a hot day and let them wander around in the water a little bit. You typically want them to get used to the temperature change of the water and never take them in over their head until they feel comfortable swimming.
- Transition to Swimming – Bring your pup in over their head a little and dip them into the water. Most dogs will naturally start kicking as you lower them down. Instinct is strong here and will help your dog master their doggy paddle in no time. Lower them down and let them down their thing.
- Find a Good Pace – Swimming is not easy for some dog breeds, even if most naturally master the doggy paddle in no time. Try to avoid pushing your canine pal too hard if they feel uncomfortable with their swimming or if they seem to be confused or agitated when you put them in the water.
- Consider Adding a Pool – Talk to a pool builder near you to consider adding a pool to your yard. Many dogs will feel more comfortable going into a pool because they may touch the bottom easier. And since the pool is in their yard, they’ll feel as if they own it and will feel better exploring it.
You may also want to throw a toy into your pool, like a Kong or any other sturdy item that your dog loves. Doing so helps to make it easier for them to feel comfortable jumping into the water and creates even more exercise benefits for both you and them, as you can practice your throws with ease.
As you can see, there are many recommended exercise for dogs that will keep them busy, active, and healthier. Ensure that you experiment a little with your pup to see what options appeal to them the most. All dogs are different – just like people – and fetch may appeal to one dog but not another. Once you find some exercise that you both like, try to do it every day to keep your health strong.