When it comes to taking care of your dog, many people wonder about how much exercise and activity their pup should be getting every day. With society’s current focus on healthy daily routines for humans, why not create the perfect routine for your pet as well?
Shockingly, more than half of the 90 million dogs in the U.S. are estimated to be overweight or obese. This is a serious health concern for our furry family members because a healthy dog must be fit mentally, emotionally, and physically. Socialization and exercise need to be a part of every dog’s daily routine, and you can help your dog lead a happy and fulfilled life just by taking them for more walks.
How to Increase Exercise for Your Dog with One Easy Step
Without a regular exercise routine, dogs become overweight, which leads to other health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, a shorter life span, and an overall lower quality of life.
The easiest way to add more daily exercise to your routine? Walk more with your pup. It’s as easy as that! Not only is this good for them, but you’ll also burn up to 240 calories per hour. Don’t always have time for long walks? Try sending your pup to doggy daycare at least three days a week. They’ll get an average of 30,000 steps per day there compared to 4,000 to 6,000 at home.
For more adventurous families, there are countless other ways to add more activity to your dog’s day:
- Go up and down the stairs a few extra times
- Play hide and seek with treats
- Take your pup with you to get the mail
- Play tug-of-war
- Go for a swim
- Let them walk on a treadmill (under supervision)
- Throw a frisbee or play fetch
Choosing Breed-Specific Activities for Your Pup
Knowing your dog’s breed background can also provide insight as to which games or activities to include in their routine. Herders may love to play with a flirt pole (a long-handled wand attached to a cord and toy), hounds will love scent games or snuffle mats, and diggers could benefit from a dig toy or designated “dig pool.”
Keeping Your Dog Stimulated Mentally
Interactive toys are mentally stimulating for dogs. They encourage problem-solving, thinking, socializing, and natural stress-relieving behaviors. When bored and unstimulated, dogs might bark excessively, self-injure through chewing, or destroy things. A mentally fit pup is a happy pup, so here are some ideas to reduce stress and boredom through stimulation:
- Puzzle toys such as tumble puzzles in varying levels of difficulty
- Snuffle mats that encourage nose work
- Provide basic obedience cues before enjoying food
- Use puzzle toys to feed your pup meals
- Enroll your dog in agility training, dock diving courses, trick classes, or advanced obedience school
At Dogtopia daycare, we incorporate enrichment activities that benefit dogs both mentally and physically. Dogtopia has more than 200 locations across North America and is committed to providing the wellness all dogs need to live their best lives.