Mat Coulton, Negosentro | Having trouble getting enough activity packed into your schedule? It turns out that your dog may be having the same problem.
Obesity affects about 54% of our pets according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Just like in humans, pet obesity is strongly correlated with an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, injury and an overall decrease in quality of life.
Are you and your pet in the same boat? Maybe you can help each other reach your fitness goals. Research has shown that dogs offer a wide variety of health benefits to their human companions. One of the most important is that they can motivate us to get more active.
Sure, we all know we can go for more walks. But let’s get real – your dog may enjoy the smells along their traditional route but it probably is not vigorous enough to meet their daily exercise needs. It can also feel like a chore. The reason? It just isn’t that fun.
Here are some creative ideas to get you and your dog more physically active that pile on the fun. You and Fido will look forward to these games and activities, making them more likely to get worked into your busy schedule.
Frisbee for Three
A human partner, a frisbee, and your dog are all you need for a game that everyone will enjoy. Of course, the best way to play is monkey-in-the-middle style – guess who gets to be the monkey! This game is sure to wear them out and stimulate their mind.
Just make sure your furry friend gets to catch the frisbee from time to time to keep them excited and engaged in the game. If your pooch loves to chew on things, consider getting an indestructible frisbee designed just for K9s.
If you have a large indoor space or a fenced in yard, consider how much fun it would be to build an obstacle course to run with your dog! You don’t have to invest tons of time and money into becoming Agility champions to tap into the joy of running a course together.
You can buy obstacle kits online, or just be creative and use odds and ends around the garage to put something together. Your dog won’t know the difference! This is a great idea to get the kids involved with too.
If you have a limited private area to work with, check out Dog Parkour for ways to seek out obstacles to conquer in public spaces on the go. You and your partner may be the next internet sensation!
If you have not seen it yet, Dog Dancing (a.k.a. Canine Freestyle) is a fast-growing dog sport. Warning: Looking into it may turn into a few hours of binge watching adorable videos before you get to stepping.
You don’t have to dance competitively to be inspired to train your dog some fun moves that get you both off of the couch. The basic dance steps are easy to train if you break them down into individual components.
Once you have even a few moves on cue, you can chain them together for a fun aerobic routine.
There are a lot of great ways to get moving with your pet! We hope this article has inspired you to break out of the boring walk routine by adding some more vigorous and stimulating activities to your repertoire.
You will both benefit from the additional exercise as well as strengthen the bond that comes from working closely with your canine companion. Just remember: keep it fun and playful so that you both look forward to the time spent together. Your dog will thank you for it!
Mat Coulton has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of www.wileypup.com a doggy lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for paw parents everywhere.