How To Keep Your Dog Active
Your dog is having some trouble getting off the couch, right? If they’re anything like me, they might just be waiting for inspiration to strike before they start exercising again. Unfortunately, if they’re also like me, that inspiration may never come. Luckily, your dog has you.
If your dog doesn’t seem interested in going for walks or playing with their favorite toy like they used to – I found some helpful ways to get them back on all fours.
A Balanced Diet
A very common cause for low energy and inactivity in dogs can be caused by a poor diet. If the dog is eating too much, eating too little, or not eating the right food – you might see them become lethargic and extra sleepy.
Here are two ways to help with that:
- The Right Food
- Proper Balance
- When feeding your dog, it’s also important to think about their weight, breed, and age. Each one of these plays a factor into how much or how little food your dog needs. If they’re overfed or underfed, you’re going to see a major decline in your dog’s energy-level and personality.
Take Them Someplace New
Your dog could be wound up from being inside! To stimulate their nose and get them exhausted, take your dog to a new park every once in a while. If you haven’t tried yet, see if your companion loves the water or wants to go to a dog park. New dogs and new environments help your dog learn and be more comfortable with their surroundings no matter where they are.
Traveling with your dog is another excellent way to get your dog active. Whether it be roaming the streets of a new city or hiking a long trail in the mountains, taking your dog with you on a trip will be sure to get them all tired out by the end of the day. Just don’t leave them cooped up!
Dogs Mimic Their Owners
Research and studies have proven time and again that dogs have a tendency to mimic the personality and behavior of their owners. This means, that if you’re someone, like me, who prefers the couch over a run after a long day’s work – your dog might start to prefer that as well. Unfortunately, that lifestyle isn’t healthy for your dog.
Remember that inspiration I told you about? No one says your relationship with your dog has to be a one-way street. If you’re waiting for a sign from the universe that it’s time to start exercising again, look no further than your four-legged friend. However, we all know that’s easier said than done, so here are some helpful tips to get you started:
- Keep the Momentum Going
- When you come home from work, get the leash on and get your dog out the door right away. The minute you sit down and rest it’ll be so much harder to get back up again. The first day just try going around the block. The next day, maybe down the street. If you can get into the habit – every day will be a little easier.
- Play Time
- Don’t have time for a long walk? Don’t worry! Even just playing with your dog for a few minutes can be very helpful. Playing fetch down the hallway or even a fun game of tug-o-war can help you and your dog be more active.
- Short Training Sessions
- Try finding some exciting treats and train with your dog for a little bit. Whether it’s something simple like “Sit” or something more advanced, like holding a treat on their nose – training can be a great way to get your dog engaged and energized pushing them towards getting active.
Finding the Right Toy for the Job
What if my dog doesn’t like to play with their toys?
If your dog is showing a disinterest in playing, it might not always be about energy-level. Often times, I’ve found that a dog doesn’t play with their toys because they don’t like their toys (Yes! You read that right!)
Believe it or not, dogs, just like humans, have a range of preferences when it comes to a lot of things – especially their toys.
For example, my bichon-poodle mix, Ted, loves to play fetch! More specifically though, he only loves to play fetch with tennis balls. One day, I purchased a rubber ball for him that had a hole in the center for peanut butter, and small sections on the sides to hold treats. I thought it he would go crazy for it!
However, when I introduced the toy to him, I learned something very important about my dog: some toys are uncomfortable for him to hold in his mouth. He tried to play with it, but once he picked up the toy, he immediately spit it out and wanted nothing to do with it.
This isn’t uncommon behavior in dogs, and it could be something your dog is experiencing as well. A fun way to figure out what toys your dog likes is to bring them with you to the pet store. Let them sniff around at the different toys in the aisle and see what they like. Whether it’s their excited tail or them physically interacting with the toy – they’ll let you know when they find one they truly love!
All of these tips can help you and your dog get off that couch and start getting active. Just remember to use the right food, get into the right habits and your dog will be moving and grooving in no time at all.