6 Ways To Help Your Chubby Dog Get More Exercise
Obesity is a growing problem in the pet population. As in humans, that extra weight can mean a higher risk for a number of health problems. Pet owners can help by taking an active part in restricting the number of calories their dog consumes in the form of meals and treat. Exercise is another component that can help your dog lose weight. Here are six tips for increasing your dog’s exercise levels to help manage weight.
1 – Hiking with Your Dog
You can help your dog manage weight more effectively by increasing the amount of walking he or she does during the week. Choose a different environment that will spark new smelling opportunities and greater interest. Explore a neighborhood park or one of the paths of your local forest preserves for a new walking route. This will help exercise your dog’s brain, as well as his body. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water to share and a portable dog dish to allow your pet to replenish fluids.
2 – Resistance Walking
You can maximize the exercise from walking by adding a resistance component. The additional effort from walking in the snow, on sand, or in shallow water will help to increase the expenditure of energy and improve calorie burning. Your dog will get even more benefits from a walk-in these conditions.
3 – Indoor Play Times
Rainy days shouldn’t mean your dog doesn’t get an exercise session. Take the time to give your best buddy a workout with a tug-of-war session, indoor ball fetching, or a chase-me run around the house. Your dog will look forward to these indoor periods of fun and special attention.
4 – Doggie Day Care
If you’ve never tried doggie daycare for your pet, the idea may seem a bit strange. At these facilities, your dog can enjoy the company of other canines, along with focused attention and supervision by human caregivers. A couple of doggie daycare sessions per week can be a great way to keep your dog from snoozing the day away, which can increase the tendency to gain weight. Dog toys are provided, and the animals have a great time playing together. Be aware that there are strict “doggie etiquette” requirements at these facilities, and not every dog will be temperamentally suited to attend.
5 – Visit the Dog Park
Most communities around the country have set aside public park areas designated as “dog parks.” These enclosed areas can provide opportunities for socialization with other canines, play and exercise, as well as mental stimulation for your dog. However, not all dogs are suited for dog parks. Those animals that have been well socialized with other dogs and those of calm temperament will do well in this kind of environment. In addition, you should make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations to prevent infection from communicable diseases.
6 – Agility Courses
Active dogs can enjoy the mental and physical challenge of an at-home agility course. You can easily make a few course activities out of materials from your local home improvement store. The “obstacles” should be flexible enough to break down easily and avoid causing a hazard for your dog. Pieces of PVC piping makes a good material for creating a “jump” of graduated heights for your dog to master.
Cones or decorative Christmas candy canes made of flexible plastic make a good marker for “weaving” challenges. An expandable children’s play tunnel is a good crawling exercise. Walk your dog through the course slowly and gently introduce him to the actions he should perform. You can even set up a small agility course indoors to continue the training during inclement weather.
Helping your dog to lose weight generally means devoting a little more time and attention toward keeping him healthy. These six tips will ensure that your dog is engaged in active movement that helps to burn calories, improve muscle tone, and increase circulation for better health.