Pet fitness: Fun indoor, outdoor games and exercises for your dog

Published on Jul 23, 2022 01:32 PM IST

From maintaining a healthy digestive system, to addressing behavioural issues, exercise is also a therapy for your paw-some friends. Here are some fun indoor and outdoor exercises and games for your dogs.

While walks are enjoyed by dogs a lot, there are other forms of exercises and trainings too that are crucial for the development of your pet.(Pixabay)
While walks are enjoyed by dogs a lot, there are other forms of exercises and trainings too that are crucial for the development of your pet.(Pixabay)

Want a happy and healthy dog? Exercise is the best way to keep them fit as well as boost their mental health. Dogs of all ages and all breeds need some kind of exercise or the other. Depending upon the specific requirement of your furry companion, you could choose an appropriate exercise regimen for them after consulting their trainers. (Also read: Pet health: Warning signs of cancer in dogs you shouldn't ignore)

From maintaining a healthy digestive system, to addressing behavioural issues, exercise is also a therapy for your paw-some friends. While walks are enjoyed by dogs a lot, there are other forms of exercises and trainings too that are crucial for the development of your pet.

"Dogs need to get sufficient exercise (mental & physical) to prevent anxiety disorders, laziness, and obesity, and also release all that pent-up energy. We’ve listed down a few games and exercises that you can play with your pet to give them plenty of exercise and keep them entertained and fit!" says Dr. Ajay Satbige, Senior Veterinary Officer.

If your pet child is not taking much interest in exercising, here is a fun set of exercises for them suggested by Dr. Ajay Satbige, Senior Veterinary Officer, and Kushal Chipkar, Professional Dog Trainer and Behavior Specialist, at Wiggles.

Indoor

* Good old tug of war with your pet can be used to control your dog’s aggression. You can buy a toy online or make one at home using old towels or clothes. While playing the game, if the dog’s teeth touch your hand, make sure to stop immediately to let them know that you didn’t like that.

* You can build an obstacle course with household items as well. We have all seen the Instagram dogs jumping over toilet rolls and books, crawling underneath the scotch tape, and barricades, and smartly evading an army of bottles. This game will get your dog’s mental clogs running at full power.

* Hide & seek with treats can be a very good stimulating exercise for the dogs' sniffing skills. Take out some of their favourite treats, or veggies (cut them into smaller bits) and ask your dog to remain in stay command. Keep the treat at a distance in their view and tell them to get the snack. Once they do, make sure to give them plenty of love and praise so that they understand what they have to do. You can start hiding it in trickier places and watch your smart pooch retrieve it.

* Another exercise you can try is bubble chasing. All you need is a bottle, wand, pet-safe detergent, and water. Blow 2-3 bubbles and watch whether it piques their interest. If not, the best way to explain this game is for you to go ahead and burst the bubbles yourself. Once your doggo understands the goal of this game, this will be great entertainment both for the dogs and their pet parents. Make sure to wipe their faces after playing to avoid any lingering moisture.

Outdoor Games

* You can also work on obedience skills by making them listen to you around distractions. You can begin at home and slowly increase distractions around the dog outdoors and make them work for treats when they obey your command. It is mentally challenging and helps in bonding.

* If you want to, you can elevate the indoor obstacle training by giving your dog agility training. When you work as a team to achieve difficult obstacles, both of you will feel accomplished.

* You can take them on long walks and treks besides camping trips. Do make sure that they are up to date on their tick and flea treatments and read up on safe and unsafe outdoor plants for pets.

* Another great exercise for dogs is swimming. If you have access to a dog-friendly swimming pool, make it fun by floating treats in it and asking them to fetch. You could also take them to a beach if you live near one and let them enjoy the water. Clean them thoroughly once you’re back home and make sure moisture is not locked into their fur. It is advisable to not take them out during the rainy season as the risks of infections and diseases are many so it’s best to play indoor games.

Make sure you get enough playtime with your dog as they are more likely to bond with you and listen to you.

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