So Much Energy, So Little Time
Every dog owner knows that exercise keeps a dog healthy in mind and body. The trouble is, most of us can hardly find the time to exercise ourselves, let alone our pets! Many owners have learned the hard way that they MUST find a way to burn their dog’s energy, or it will burn them. The good news is that exercising your dog can be easy if you follow our 3 tips and add plenty of imagination.
1) In or Out – Use All You Can
There is no rule stating that you have to exercise your dog outside. A flight of stairs can serve as an excellent place to intensify the energy burn on a simple game of fetch. Unless you have a Border Collie or a Siberian Husky, this exercise will knock the average dog out pretty quickly, so it’s a small time commitment. A game of tug or fetch while you sit on the couch is easy and always appreciated by housebound hounds.
2) Bring Your Dog Along
Not everyone is a runner, and a brisk walk doesn’t do a whole lot to wear out a dog. If you happen to enjoy riding a bike or roller-blading, hitch your dog up and hit the pavement! You’ll be amazed at your dog’s athletic ability, and how calm she’ll be when you get back home. Note: Before giving this a try, it’s important for your dog to have good on-leash manners. Or… get off the pavement. If your dog has a good recall, how about a walk in the woods off-leash? You’ll be amazed at how much energy your dog will burn on her own if you just get rid of that leash.
3) Take Advantage of Other Dogs and Interactive Toys
Nothing wears a dog out like another dog. Use the canine companions in your neighborhood!
- Visit the dog park
- Have a “doggie playdate” with a friend who has well-socialized dogs
- Enroll in puppy socialization classes or a local daycare
When there are no dogs to play with and you don’t have ANY time to exercise, use interactive toys. There are a huge number of food-puzzles on the market. These are designed to work a dog’s mind by engaging their instincts to search for, manipulate, and chew stuff! Check out the Busy Buddy, the Kibble Nibble, Nina Ottosson and many others. These give a dog a great opportunity to burn mental energy with problem-solving, and can make mealtimes interesting and productive.
It’s not always easy to find time to keep your dog’s mind and body well-maintained, but there are options! Through a combination of creative thinking and taking advantage of your environment, you can burn a lot of energy in a little time. Your dog will thank you, both in spirit and with good behavior.