12 Ways to Exercise Your Dog Indoors & Outdoors
Exercising your dog is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that they stay healthy and active. It’s not just about keeping them in shape, either; it’s also about building their bond with you and giving them an outlet for their natural energy. With the right activities, you can keep your pup entertained and engaged both indoors and outdoors. Here are 12 different indoor and outdoor exercises your dog:
1. Play Fetch or Frisbee
Playing fetch or frisbee with your dog is an excellent way to provide them with both physical and mental stimulation. Not only does it help to keep your pup fit and healthy, but it can also help reduce anxiety in dogs who may otherwise be prone to destructive behaviors. It’s an opportunity for them to use their natural instincts of chasing and retrieving.
To play, simply throw a toy for them to bring back. It can be a frisbee, a ball, or even a stick. Most dogs will get excited and run after the object to catch it. Some dogs have the instinct to return the object for another round, while others might find joy in just chasing after it.
2. Play Tug-of-War or Rope Pull
Playing tug-of-war with a dog can be an enjoyable and stimulating way to exercise your pup. It is important, however, to ensure that it is done safely and appropriately in order to maintain dog obedience and make sure that no one gets hurt. First and foremost, it is important to establish the rules of play before you begin. Make sure that your dog knows the difference between tugging when playing and tugging when they don’t want to obey a command.
Invite your dog to play by holding the rope or toy in your hand and offer a few tugs to get them excited. Hold one end of the rope and pull back and forth. When you’re finished playing, release the toy and let your pup win! This is a fun exercise for both inside the home and outside the home.
3. Go for a Walk, Hike, or Jog
A great way to exercise your pup is to take them out on a walk, hike, or jog. Depending on the breed and physical condition of your pup, these activities can be tailored to their needs. Walking and hiking are low-intensity exercises that can help keep your dog healthy and provide them with an opportunity to explore new places while getting some exercise. Jogging, on the other hand, is a bit more intense and can help your pup stay fit and ready to explore.
Look for areas around your neighbor that permit dogs, and remember to always keep your pup on a leash. If you’re jogging, make sure that you are running at a pace that is appropriate for your pup.
4. Use a Flirt Stick
A flirt stick is an excellent tool for exercising your pup both indoors and outdoors. It’s a long, thin pole with a strip of fabric attached to the end, which is used to playfully tease and excite your pup. The fabric can be anything from fleece, ribbon, or a toy. Whatever you choose will depend on the breed and size of your pup.
The flirt stick can provide mental and physical stimulation for your pup and can help to release pent-up energy in a healthy way.
5. Play Hide and Seek
Playing hide and seek with dog treats is an engaging and exciting way to provide your pup with mental stimulation, as well as physical benefits. It provides them with an opportunity to use their natural instincts of sniffing, searching, and problem-solving. You will need some type of treat that your pup loves and a few hiding spots around the house. Start by simply placing the treat in one of the hiding spots, encouraging your pup to “find it”. With each successful find, add a few more treats or move them to different locations.
In addition to playing Hide and Seek with treats, you can also play it yourself. Start by commanding your dog to stay then find a hiding spot. Call your pup’s name and encourage them to “find you”. Once they do, reward them with lots of praise! This game can help strengthen the bond between you and your pup and it’s a great game for both inside the house and outside the house.
6. Go Swimming
Swimming is an excellent way to provide your pup with a full body workout and can help keep them fit and healthy. Teaching your pup to swim is also a great way to help reduce anxiety and provide them with mental stimulation. It can be done in a lake, a river, the ocean, or even in a swimming pool. If your pup is a little hesitant to get in the water, start out by having them stand on the edge of the water and gradually introduce them to swimming. With time and patience, you can help your pup become confident in the water.
If your pup is already a water lover, there are several activities you can do to provide them with even more exercise in the water. Have them fetch toys or floating objects or set up a doggy paddle race with your pup to see who can make it to the finish line first!
7. Give Your Dog a Toy Puzzle or Food-Dispensing Toys
Toy puzzles are interactive toys that are designed to challenge your pup’s problem-solving skills. These puzzles come in all shapes, sizes, and difficulty levels, so you can find one that suits your pup’s individual needs. Food-dispensing toys, such as KONGs are usually made from durable rubber or vinyl and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They can be filled with treats or food that incentivizes your pup to use their problem-solving skills to get the treats.
These toys are an excellent way to keep your pup occupied and help them to stay active, both mentally and physically. Plus, they’re a great way to provide enrichment when you can’t be there with them!
8. Teach and Practice Simple Commands
Teaching and practicing simple commands is an excellent way to provide your pup with a mental workout. Not only will this help increase their overall intelligence, but it will also help sharpen their focus and obedience. Reviewing basic commands can be especially beneficial for puppies or dogs that are new to training.
To help make the practice more interesting, try incorporating simple tricks like shaking hands or rolling over. This will provide your pup with mental stimulation and help to keep them active. You can also use small treats as a reward for successful commands, which will help motivate your pup during training sessions.
9. Find a Friend to Play With
Playing with a friend is an excellent way to help your pup get the exercise they need. Not only will it provide them with physical benefits, but it can also help to improve their social and mental development. When two or more pups are playing together, they engage in activities that require them to use problem-solving skills, develop strategies, and take turns. All of these things can help to improve your pup’s intelligence, nature, and overall well-being.
A great way to find a friend for your dog is to take your dog out for walks around your neighborhood. Many owners alike will be doing the same, and this is a great opportunity to introduce yourself. Another great way is to join a dog obedience class or go to a local dog park.
10. Go to a Dog Park
Dog parks are an excellent way to provide your pup with socialization and physical exercise as well as a great place for them to make friends. Dog parks provide plenty of space for your pup to run around and play, and the variety of terrain available can help them stay physically active.
The social interaction that takes place at dog parks also helps to give your pup a mental workout. When pups play together, they must use problem-solving skills and practice communication in order to understand one another. This can help to improve their overall intelligence and provide them with an enjoyable way to stay active.
11. Make an Agility Course
Building a homemade agility course can be an entertaining and rewarding way to provide your pup with physical exercise and mental challenges. You don’t need much in the way of supplies to create a fun and stimulating course for your pup. All you need is some space, some basic materials, and a bit of creativity!
When setting up an agility course, you will want to make sure that it is challenging enough for your pup while also being safe. Before you get started, consider what kind of obstacles you will use and how they should be arranged. Once your course is complete, you can take turns running it with your pup for a fun and interactive experience. This is a fun activity for outside as well as inside if you have a bit of extra space in your home.
12. Play with Toys
Playing with toys is one of the best ways to keep your pup mentally and physically active. Not only does it give them something fun to do, but it also provides them with mental stimulation and helps to increase their problem-solving skills. A great way to include yourself in the game is to play ‘Name the Toy’. If you have 2 or more toys at home, call out one of the toy names and see if your pup can find it.
Toys also provide great stimulation when you’re not home or too busy to play. Be sure to have a few toys at home so your dog can still get some playtime when you’re away. Rotating out the toys every so often will keep the game interesting and help to prevent your pup from becoming bored with the same old toys.
From taking your dog to the dog park to playing with toys, there are many ways that you can help your pup stay active and mentally stimulated. By providing your pup with physical exercise as well as mental challenges, you can help increase their overall intelligence and keep them entertained at the same time. Incorporating activities like agility courses or trick training into their routine will also provide additional opportunities for interaction and stimulation. With a little bit of creativity, you can create an enjoyable environment for both yourself and your pup while helping them reach their full potential!