Different ways to exercise your dog
As everyone knows, it is very important to keep your dog active! It keeps his weight up naturally, his body healthy and his mind stimulated. Not to mention that it can also help him get rid of his excess energy and prevent him from taking it out on your furniture or garden, which is not bad ;)
However, walks can sometimes get a little repetitive (for both you and your doggie) so it's always good to find new ways to exercise your dog.
How can I get my dog to exercise in a fun way?
1/ The Doga
Yes, you heard me right; Doga. Dog yoga is very beneficial for your health and your dog's! Your pup won't be doing the same yoga moves as you, obviously, but you'll be engaging him in your poses, which can have a relaxing and calming effect on your dog and help his central nervous system function while strengthening your bond. Not to mention that the first sessions can be a source of laughter and create good memories.
Hydrotherapy is often used to help dogs recover from surgery or traumatic injury, but it's beneficial for all furries!
Swimming, just as it does for humans, can improve muscle tone, cardiovascular endurance and joint movement without putting undue pressure on your dog's bones. It is also ideal for overweight or obese dogs, or those with arthritis, as swimming allows them to burn calories without putting excessive or traumatic strain on their joints.
If you are concerned about your dog's mobility, joint health or weight, don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian about canine hydrotherapy or other methods that may help your dog stay safely active.
Different ways to exercise your dog: Home obstacle course!
First and foremost, while this is one of the most fun methods for your dog, it requires space and time. If you're lucky enough to have both available and willing, you can also set up your yard/apartment so that there are plenty of activities and challenges for his mind and body. You can purchase tennis ball machines or obstacle courses to keep them entertained throughout the day!
Try using buckets, boxes, pillows or anything else you can find around your house! Some neighborhoods even have obstacle courses designed for dogs, so you can look for ones in your area to try and let your dog run wild without turning your home into a battlefield!
How do I mentally stimulate my dog?
Mental stimulation is very important for your dog's health. The aging process attacks every system and organ in a dog's body, including the brain. As your dog ages, his brain function can be lost and his behavior can change dramatically - some even develop dementia!
Brain training games are a great, natural way to keep a dog's mind active and extend his cognitive functions... And they can be fun for parents too!
1/ Scent games
Scent games are simple, easy and fun! All you have to do is hide your puppy's treats and teach him to find them. As long as he has a good sense of smell, your dog will benefit from scent play, no matter what his age. It's a great way to keep not only his body healthy, but also his brain!
2/ New toys
Introducing new toys and activities provides your dog with mental stimulation while encouraging more interaction, which is great for promoting cognitive fitness!
3/ Brain exercises for dogs
If your dog's cognitive function is good, taking a new route is a new experience for you and your furry friend. A different place can help provide your dog with new and needed mental stimulation.
4/ Meet new dogs
The opportunity to interact with other dogs helps maintain their social activity, which is important for cognitive health and function.
Will these exercises be enough to keep my dog healthy?
While they are a great help, they are not the most important part. It is also essential that his brain receives proper nutrition so that it is well supplied with vitamins, minerals, essential fats, protein and energy, all from high quality sources. Just like in humans, good nutrition is essential and even nutritionists will tell you that it's not easy to create meals that contain everything your body needs. We know that, which is why the market for food supplements has been flourishing all over the world for the past few years. Well, it's exactly the same for our dogs! Even the best kibbles and pates are not enough to give your dog everything he needs, that's why giving your dog food supplements is important to complete his needs. You could be sure that your dog is getting his daily needs with Hello Jack's Move for example ;)
While daily walks are still essential to keep your dog healthy and fit, it is also important to try different methods from time to time. This will help keep him entertained and strengthen other parts of his body, especially if he is particularly energetic! Not to mention that it would give you a break from the daily walk in the rain ;)
But above all, be careful not to overwork him! This could have consequences on his joints. If you think your dog is overdoing it, don't feel guilty about putting him back on the leash. Just because he wants to chase a ball or a squirrel around for hours doesn't mean it's good for him or his body!