7 fun and engaging activities to keep your dog active
Regular exercise is at the forefront of any dog owner’s mind. After all, routines such as running around or doing ramblings in the backyard play an important role in maintaining your dog’s physical health. At the same time, activities inspired by movement are also essential for their mental stimulation. To help keep canine companions active and entertained, check out this list of fun and engaging activities that are sure to get their tails wagging and tongues gasping!
Invest in interactive play
One of the easiest ways to keep any dog entertained is through interactive play. Buying different toys that will challenge their minds and get them moving will help. Some excellent options are:
- Play dispensing treatment: These games require the pup to figure out how to retrieve hidden objects, providing mental stimulation and a tasty reward.
- puzzle games: These come in different shapes and sizes and require the dog to solve puzzles or manipulate parts to reveal a treat or toy.
- squeaky play: Dogs love the sounds of loud toys, and chasing them can provide an excellent form of exercise.
Go training for an agility challenge
Agility training is an active program often undertaken by dog schools. They have local agility classes that owners can sign up for. Fortunately, dog owners do not need to hire an admissions essay writing service to secure a slot in these programs. And those without the extra cash can actually set up their own little obstacle course in their backyard.
This option is a great physical exercise for dogs because agility courses challenge them to do things beyond their usual routine. At the same time, agility training is an exciting and attractive activity for both the dog and the owner. Here are some agility training ideas:
- jump obstacles: Teach dogs to jump over barriers or use temporary barriers such as brooms, pool noodles, old tires, or buckets.
- weave columns: Train canines to weave in and out of a set of poles, encouraging them to navigate tight spaces and stay focused.
- fun tunnel: Enter crawling through a tunnel, like a folding rag. Start with a short tunnel and gradually increase the length to challenge their agility skills.
Give dog sports
Engaging in dog sports provides exercise and promotes a stronger bond between dog and person. Explore the range of available sports and find the one that best suits a particular breed’s inclinations, interests, and abilities. Some popular dog sports include:
- fly ball: A fast-paced relay race where dogs race over hurdles, launch a box to launch and retrieve a tennis ball.
- Pier diving: Dogs jump from a dock into a pool of water, competing for the longest jump.
- disc dog: The dogs display their skills by catching a Frisbee in the air and performing acrobatic jumps and catches.
Hone your hunting instincts with scavenger games
All dogs have a natural hunting instinct. While most breeds have evolved away from being vicious predators, every dog has retained its desire to hunt. So owners can take advantage of these innate instincts by organizing a fun scavenger hunt in the backyard.
The activity can be made even more exciting by hosting it at a local park and inviting other fur parents and their pets. Here are some simple tricks for setting this up:
- Hide candy or toys: Hide small toys or favorite toys in different locations, ensuring they are safe and easy to find.
- Giving clues: Direct the dog to each hidden item by giving verbal cues or using scent trails.
- Encourage exploration: Allow the participants to use their keen sense of smell to track hidden treasures, and provide mental and physical stimulation.
Set up doggy play dates
Socialization is crucial for dogs, and organizing play dates with other friendly canines is a great way to keep them active and engaged. Meet fellow dog owners at a local park or arrange a play date at home. Some tips for successful playdates are:
- Introduce the dogs gradually: Start with a calm introduction in a neutral area, allowing the dogs to sniff each other before engaging in play.
- screen playback: Watch for signs of appropriate play behavior, such as relaxed body language, mutual pursuit, and play bows.
- Providing water and rest breaks: Make sure all dogs have access to water and give them short breaks to prevent stress.
Play the classic game of hide and seek
Playing hide and seek can be an exciting and mentally stimulating activity for any breed. This game exploits their sense of smell, and exploits their natural inclination to manipulate scent. It’s an activity that also challenges their problem-solving skills, so it goes a long way in keeping their minds sharp.
Most importantly, a game of hide-and-seek strengthens the bond between a human and his furry companion. It’s an interactive yet fun way to spend quality time together. Here’s how to get the most out of this activity:
- Start simple: Start by staying the pet while the owner finds a hiding place.
- Contact them to start your search: Once the owner is hidden, it’s time to call the dog’s name and encourage him to look.
- Celebrate success: When hiding spots are discovered, it is important to reward the pup with praise, treats, and snuggles.
Engage in dog-friendly hiking
Exploring the great outdoors with a four-legged friend is an excellent way to keep them active while enjoying nature. Being outside is a time for them to experience new sights, smells and sounds. These enrich sensory experiences that satisfy their natural instincts. Before you head out, keep these tips in mind:
- Choose dog-friendly trails: Research and choose tracks that allow dogs and are appropriate for their size and fitness level.
- Bring the essentials: Carry water, a collapsible bowl, inflatable bags, and a leash to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort.
- Check for ticks: After the hike, check the jacket thoroughly for ticks and remove it promptly to mitigate tick-borne illnesses. This also prevents ticks from moving into the home.
Keeping dogs active doesn’t have to be a chore. With these fun and engaging activities, exercise can be fun and enjoyable for both owners and their furry friends. Every dog is unique, so try different activities to find the one that you like the most.