Just like humans, it’s important that our furry friends exercise to maintain their weight. Obesity in dogs can cause a wide range of medical issues, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and an overall shorter lifespan.
Finding ways to motivate your pup to stay active can be challenging. Some won’t take the initiative on their own and will instead need you to accompany them on their fitness journey.
Below we are going to take a look at 10 fun activities to help your dog lose weight.
Let’s get started!
Many dogs love to swim, which makes it a great activity to help them burn off some of that excess weight. Not only is it fun, but it allows them to use their pent-up energy, potentially reducing behavioural problems. Since they also get to cool down on those hot summer days, it’s understandable why they enjoy it so much.
Just remember to be careful when selecting an appropriate swimming place. You need to make sure that the area is safe. Some bodies of water can be polluted or contain harmful critters that can hurt your pet.
Putting together an obstacle course for your dog is another fun activity that comes with a range of benefits. Agility training helps with self-control and allows them to stay focused when certain distractions are present. You’ll also establish a closer bond as you build trust and confidence with each other.
Alongside physical activity, it’s also important to remember that you may need to make some changes to your dog’s diet. Dogs still need the proper nutrients to stay happy and healthy, so you may want to talk this over with your vet. Check out this air dried dog food to get started. They can personalise a menu specifically for your furry friend.
Have you ever seen those videos online of dogs dancing? Why not take the opportunity and train your own pet? It’s a great way to help them lose weight and is fun for both of you. You’ll be able to increase your coordination, build muscle tone, and it’s terrific for your mental health too. You can find some tips to help you get started here.
Getting exercise on rainy days can be challenging for you and your pup, but it is possible. Hide-and-seek is a great game to play together and allows them to use their different senses. Remember, to get started you need to make sure you reward them. It’s best to do this with a toy or small treats that won’t contribute to their weight problem. Green peas, watermelon, bananas, and apples are all yummy natural alternatives full of delicious nutrients.
There’s a good reason why fetch is one of the most popular games to play with your pet. They love it! Sometimes the best activities are the ones that are the most simple. Head down to the local park with a ball and spend some quality time together. They will get some great exercise, and you can enjoy the beautiful sunshine.
Not sure how to train your pet to fetch? Try following these simple steps.
- Start with encouraging them to chase a toy.
- Use verbal encouragement to get them to return to you.
- If they don’t drop the item, use a second toy to encourage them to release the other one. They will soon learn that once they let go, you will throw it again.
- Reward them each time they respond to the ‘Fetch’ command.
Another activity to help your pup lose weight is to consider going on hikes together. You’ll see wildlife, discover interesting plants, and will explore unseen destinations. It really is a great way to get fit with your dog, as you will benefit from all the walking too. Just remember to take things slowly. You don’t want to go too far and struggle to get back. Plan your trip in advance and always carry the essentials, just in case of an emergency.
Another way to spice up your regular walk is to try geocaching. This is a high-tech treasure hunt in which individuals follow GPS coordinates to search for a hidden box. Inside is generally a selection of items to trade, sometimes even toys for your furry friend.
To get started, take a look at the Geocaching app or website to find any locations near you. Don’t forget to bring something to trade as well! It’s exciting and great exercise.
Much like fetch, tug-of-war is another classic game to play with your dog that they always enjoy. It’s a great way to build up their confidence, provides an intensive workout, and redirects destructive chewing. Just remember that there are a few rules to follow to avoid any accidents, which include:
- Toys should be long enough so the dogs’ teeth can’t reach your hand.
- Your dog should be taught a drop or release command.
- You should only tug side to side. Up and down may hurt your dog.
- The toy should be put away when not in use. This should only be a game that is played when you are present.
Many dogs are incredibly social, and sometimes the motivation they need to exercise is another friend coming over. Organise a puppy playdate once a week or take them to the local dog park so that they can interact with others. Not only will this get you out of your comfort zone, but your dog will learn how to behave around other animals. Just make sure that they have all the proper vaccinations first.
Finally, the last activity to help your dog lose weight is to use a treadmill to help them with their fitness journey. While this might not be the most exciting form of exercise on this list, your pup might actually find it quite enjoyable. It increases their stamina and allows them to build more muscle tone. It can even assist with alleviating anxiety, especially in dogs that may find walks in the park too overwhelming.