Creative Ways to Exercise Your Dog
4 Tips on Ways to Creatively and Effectively Exercise Your Dog
Maybe you are pressed for time, or maybe your dog has more energy than you ever will, or maybe you’ve suffered an injury which prevents you from exercising with your dog. Consider the following four tips on ways to creatively and effectively exercise your dog, without much energy input from you.
Okay, fetch isn’t very creative, but it should never be underestimated. You don’t need a ton of space, time or energy to play fetch with your dog. You can play in your back yard, the greenbelt by your house, or pretty much everywhere. There are some ways you can make fetch more difficult for your dog though. You can play it in a different medium. What do I mean? Get a ball that floats, and is cheap, and throw it into a pond. Swimming will tire your dog out faster than running. Not only that, but dogs that like to swim will LOVE this activity. You don’t have a pond, or your dog doesn’t like to swim? Do you have snow? Running your dog through snow will tire him out faster than running him over dry land. Not from a cold climate? What about sand? I know when I run on sand I get tired fast. Then again, maybe you don’t have sand, water or snow, do not despair. Do you have hills? What about varied terrain? Maybe your back yard has a hill and some bushes. Design an obstacle course for your dog. Make him jump over a bush and then run up a hill to get his ball. He will do it for as long he has the energy.
2. The Dog Park
The dog park is also a great way to exercise your dog. Once again you are no doubt thinking that this isn’t a very creative way, but don’t underestimate it. Not only can you play fetch in a dog park, but there are other dogs in a dog park. Dogs like to play with each other. They get tired from playing with each other, and you don’t have to do anything, well almost. You have be mindful that your dog isn’t getting in over his head, or harassing a dog that doesn’t want to play. You can’t bring your dog to a dog park and not watch him. Another thing that some dog parks offer are obstacle courses for dog. Some dog parks have ramps and tubes for dogs to run through, and dogs love it.
Obviously biking with your dog requires a little more effort on your part than standing at a dog park, but biking with your dog can be effective exercise for both of you. Keep in mind that it can be very dangerous for both of you too. Dogs need to be trained to run along side a bike, and they should always be on a leash. I would not recommend riding your bike and running your dog on a road. You cannot control the skill level of the drivers passing you, and more than likely some very unskilled drivers will pass you and your dog, which could be deadly. Not only does riding your bike and running your dog on the road pose a threat to you and your dog, but it also poses a threat to the cars on the road. Most people are very nervous when passing a biker on the road, and a biker with a dog can cause traffic accidents. Not only that, but drivers may not see your dog, which can also be deadly. The best way to bike with your dog is to stay off busy roads. Stick to bike paths, neighborhoods with low speed limits, and seldom used roads (like forest service roads, see #4).
4. Running your dog
My friend had a very energetic dog. My friend did not run, but his dog did. One way we exercised him was we would take him fishing with us on forest service land. One of the areas we fished was only accessible via an un-maintained dirt road. We would have Charlie, the dog, in the truck with us until we turned onto this road. Once we left the main road we would let him out of the truck and we would drive down the road and call him. He would run after the truck until we reached the river. Obviously, if we did this on a busy road this would be disastrous. Running Charlie on an un-maintained, empty road (it was only wide enough for one car, and we never saw another car on the road) was very different than running him down main street. Due to the conditions of the road, most cars didn’t turn on the road, and those that did were forced to drive at a low speed. Depending on where you live, running your dog behind your car might be a very effective and safe way to exercise him. It is important that you train your dog not to pass the truck (which some dogs are capable of) and to stop when the car stops.
Hope this gives you some ideas on ways you can exercise your dog.