If you are stricken with cabin fever during those blustery winter months or rainy days of April, imagine how your dog feels with all of his or her unexpended energy. Just as we tend to slack on our own physical activity, our dogs may not have very many outdoor opportunities to romp and stay active. There are a few fun ways, however, to get your furry couch potato moving and engage your dog in some dog exercise routines.
Games for Dogs Indoors
- The Stair Master Encouraging your dog to run up and down a flight of stairs is an ideal source of physical dog fitness. In addition to the muscles normally exercised when running, the incline of the stairway will give extra muscles an additional workout. Begin at the top of the stairs with your dog. Toss a favorite toy to the bottom of the staircase and encourage him or her to run down after it, and then to bring the toy back upstairs.
- Hide and Seek: Where’s the Treat? Dog games such as this one will have your canine companion moving about the cabin as his or her nose leads the way. Sequester your dog in one room. Hide a few favorite dog treats throughout the rest of your home in various places that he or she can access. If your portly pooch is on a quest to drop a few pounds, simply break one large treat into several smaller pieces to hide. Release the hound and he or she will be in hot pursuit of the aromatic and tasty prizes.
- Hoops and Tunnels and Hurdles, Oh My! Whether you purchase the components from the canine agility section of a pet supply warehouse or scavenge your home and garden for similar items, an obstacle course will provide both mental and physical stimulation. Use treats as teaching aids to coax your dog through the maze of tunnels and hurdles. Once he or she has mastered one arrangement, change the layout to keep your pet challenged.
- Back to School If your young puppy could stand to learn some manners in the way of basic commands, consider these housebound months an ideal time to enroll him or her in an indoor group dog training class. Even your adult canine who has long ago graduated from basic obedience classes will enjoy other dog training classes such as agility coursing or group dog games.
Keeping dogs active throughout the year will help to maintain cardiovascular health and prevent obesity, thus decreasing the chances of developing diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease and liver disease. These interactive techniques will provide fun quality time for you and your pet and keep the two if you moving all year long for years to come.