written by: The Pet Guy
Whether you are working from home or are just spending time with your dog around the house, it is always a great time for play time! When you are at home with your dog and they aren't able to join in on any group play activities, such as dog daycares or dog parks, they will look to YOU for their exercise and entertainment! Every dog needs some level of exercise and sensory stimulation based on their age, breed and overall level of activity.
Try these 5 home workouts your dog can do to stay in shape while hanging out at home!
This is the most obvious form of exercise that will help maintain overall good health in your dog. Walking your dog for 30-60 minutes every day will cater to both their physical and sensory needs. Dogs need to stay active to stay healthy and going for a walk is a low impact exercise that will allow them to stretch their legs while being entertained by the outside world that they may not get to experience often. It is very exciting for them!
Physical: Great for cardiovascular endurance and joint mobility. Also relaxing walks are the easiest way to lose weight!
Sensory: Dogs can see new people and animals outside, smell new plants, familiarize with sounds, and even experience new textures out on a walk outside!
2. Stair Runs
Can't get outside? Just imagine your dog is an athlete in training, and your house stairs are the bleacher seats of an empty football stadium. The most important work is the work you do when no one else is watching. That's how champions are made!
It can be as simple as standing on one side of the stairs and calling your dog up and down until they are exhausted! Tossing treats or toys to the top and having them return back down to you is a good way to encourage repeated trips. (Laser pointers are not recommended)*
Physical: Great for cardiovascular endurance and the incline requires more muscular energy output! This can be more exhausting than running sprints!
Sensory: Dogs get excited when they get to play in a new form! How often can dogs scale/climb anything at home? A carpeted staircase could be so exciting for a physically able dog!
3. Cone Drills
Hide & Seek Snack Edition! All you need is a handful of treats (bits of their food, fruits, or veggies) and plastic cups, or anything safe to hide treats under.
Spread out the treats across your room/home and cover them. Then, let your dog loose to sniff out each one and sprint around until they've collected them all! This is inspired by the Cone Drills that you see athletes do, most notably seen in the annual NFL Combine.
Physical: Great for speed and agility training.
Sensory: Sniffing out hidden treats is a great Olfactory test. Your dog will have to use all of their 100 million sensory receptors in their nose to track down each treat!
From Retrievers to Newfies, dogs of all shapes and sizes love to splash around in the family pool! This can be a refreshing break from going for the usual walk in the warmer weather. Swimming is especially enjoyable for older dogs with mobility issues.
Keeping a short, healthy nail length and avoiding any pool liners is highly recommended, as well as cleaning your dog's ears after each swim. Consult your vet before swimming. Not all breeds are suitable.
Physical: Low impact on joints and is great for improving physical endurance.
Sensory: Cools your dog down in warm weather and gives them new textures & smells to explore during their workout.
Stretching is important for everyone! Every day your dog will do their best to stretch out on their own but a few extra stretches can go a long way. Light stretching of the paws, legs, and hips combined with some light massaging is great maintenance for your dogs physical well-being.
Physical: Great for muscle elasticity and improves overall range of motion.
Sensory: The euphoric sensation of stretching and relaxing tension can fine tune the entire body
I hope you enjoy these 5 home workouts! Stay healthy and have fun!