Dog Exercise – How often do you need to take your dog out?
Most dogs require quite a bit of exercise and mental stimulation and they don’t really mind if it’s the sweating summertime or the freezing wintertime. But Pepe does, and so do I! If you struggle to get your dog out in the rain, I know our friends Alfie Bear & Emma don’t have that problem. But even kicking (not literally) Pepe out in the garden in the rain is a pointless task, she just sits by the door crying.
I watch Alfie Bear‘s stories on Instagram and i’ve even gone so far as to ask Emma how many times a day Alfie gets his exercise… Out of guilt? Probably… but more importantly, Pepe will never be a Springer Spaniel! She doesn’t love water, She hates stinging nettles and frankly, she’d rather be inside if its raining, under the blanket watching Bridget Jones with me. But thats great! Because Emma & Alfie wouldn’t be able to get the incredible photos just sat on the sofa (like us).
We teamed up with the experts from Breeding Business and came up with three very different indoor activities you can exercise with your dog in your home or apartment when the weather isn’t up to scratch. They will tire any dog, even the most active out there!
Little warning though, exercising your dog indoors is definitely a great thing to do, but it cannot completely substitute all outings! (We recommend taking your dog out for exercise in the fresh air at all times). When walking outdoors, your dog is positively submerged by various stimuli such as noises, scents and other animals. And it’s hard to mimic that indoors.
The three indoor activities are great cheats and your dog might become addicted so make sure you don’t give in too easily, ha! There are many more activities possible and you’re free to come up with your very own!
1 — Nose Work and Sniffing Exercises Are Draining For Dogs!
Believe it or not, nose work is one of the most tiring exercise for dogs — it requires their full attention and highest focus! Therefore, sniffing games become an obvious choice when thinking about exercising your dog at home. They won’t make him burn hundreds of calories, but your pooch will go to bed as soon as the game is over… trust me!
Of course, your dog doesn’t really understand what the game entails at first but you can train him through positive reinforcement while starting with easy games.
Use three cardboard boxes or mugs and hide a piece of smelly cheese (or else) and ask your dog to paw-touch the correct one. Open the box or mug and offer a treat if it’s correct (don’t let the dog eat the cheese, keep on reusing it!)
Make sure you gradually increase the level of difficulty at each and every time. After a while, you’ll be able to hide a smaller piece of cheese in a two socks, hide it in a drawer, and your dog will sniff around until he or she finds it.
This great article on PuppyLeaks shows you how to train your dog at nose works. Probably not going to make it a drug sniffing police dog, but definitely a good cheese sniffing superstar!
A variation of this fun game is for you to become the cheese (no, don’t dress up…) so you can play hide and seek. How fun is that? Pepe loves it.
2 — Dog Treadmills Exist and They’re Awesome!
Some dogs don’t really necessarily enjoy fancy games such as sniffing and would rather do some good old running. But we said indoors, right? So unless you live in a castle, you will have to invest in a quality dog treadmill for your pet.
Not only dog treadmills allow for a high energy workout, they can also be used throughout the year for some conditioning and customized training. Most of these treadmills offer several settings for both the running speed and the inclination.
While going on daily walks is definitely great and sufficient for many dogs, you could also start getting your pooch on an inclined running training programs at home.
There are huge benefits for your dog’s health: such exercises improve your dog’s cardiovascular system and breathing reflexes, but also help reinforcing joints and bones for a better posture and overall structure.
Now, the problem is that good treadmills such as the Dog Pacer are priced around the £300-mark. But if you ask me, it’s totally worth it and it’s great for all breeds (yes, Pugs too!)
3 — Invest In a Couple of Dog Interactive Toys!
Fun, cheap and definitely exciting for your dogs, dog interactive toys are an awesome way to keep dogs busy while you’re out. Also called puzzle toys, they commonly have one or several treats locked in them and require your dog to dog the right thing to release a treat.
There are so many smart toys available nowadays that the right choice mainly depends on the level of difficulty you want your dog to face. Easy ones are simple balls with treats inside and a small hole releasing treats slowly but easily while it’s rolling. Hard puzzles such as Nina Ottosson toys require a lot more interactions from your dog in order to unlock the yummy treats.
However, you don’t want to get your pet started with the hardest smart toys because you’ll probably get him or her frustrated which then will turn into complete disinterest. Gradually increase the difficulty and obviously, the harder it is, the yummier the reward!
Amazon obviously has a wide selection of these smart toys.
The low down…
There is no one indoor activity fits all because all dogs favour one type of action over the others. However, these are going to be loved by most dogs and owners.
Make sure you explore and make some DIY games based on these ideas and get started right now!
Hint: you surely have an empty bottle of water at home, pierce a couple of hole in it and add some treats. This is it, you just got your dog busy for the next half an hour!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post – please comment below, it would mean a lot to me! Don’t forget, this advice is opinion and may not suit your dog and lifestyle.
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Roseanna & Pepe x
(Thank you Breeding Business for your expert help and advice in creating this article)