April is National Canine Fitness Month. With all the things currently going on in the world, holidays like this can be overlooked – but they shouldn’t. Your dog is a member of your family and deserves to be kept active, healthy and fit. The better your dog’s level of fitness, the longer and happier life they will lead.
So, what do you need to do to ensure your canine reaches and stays at a healthy level of fitness? There are many ways to get your pet active but here is a quick list of six exercises that most dogs and owners can do:
- Go for a Walk or Hike
This can seem like the easiest way to give your pet some attention while providing them with the exercise they need to stay fit. However, many of our busy schedules prohibit us from doing this activity as much as we’d like. Try to make plans for the weekends and involve the whole family in a nature hike or simply a few laps around the neighborhood. If carving out time during the day is still hard, perhaps consider a dog walking service so your pet gets exercise and you still get your tasks done.
- Take a Splash
If your dog likes water, let them play! Many lakes, rivers, greenbelts, and other spaces allow dogs – just make sure to check your local areas for restrictions or for specified leashless areas. There are even certain days in some municipalities where dogs can go swimming in the public pools before they are drained for the fall. Dogs love to retrieve items and it’s no different when they’re in the water. If your dog is trained off leash, taking a toy for them to swim after can turn into hours of fun exercise.
- Play Fetch
As noted in the previous exercise, dogs love to retrieve. Depending on the size and energy level of your dog, you could play fetch in a wide variety of places – from inside your home to yards to dog parks. Make sure that the area is secure before taking your dog off leash and then have fun! Most dog toys are designed to be retrieved so bring whatever toy they are fond of. If the space is outside and a little muddy, try opting for a plastic toy over cloth so it’s easier to clean up after playtime.
- Make an Obstacle Course
This might sound like a lot of work, but it really doesn’t have to be! The simplest items can be used to make an obstacle course, inside your home or in your yard. For example, got a lab? Use your laundry basket or ottoman as part of your obstacle course. Have a smaller dog? Use other household items such as canned goods, toilet paper rolls, or books to create mazes. This is a great activity to get kids involved in, just make sure the course is safe before letting Fido try it out.
- Always Take the Stairs
Just like humans, dogs benefit from taking the stairs as it increases blood flow and heart rate. For many pet owners, stairs may already be a part of their daily routine, for others, it may need to be introduced. If your dog is healthy enough, simply walk your dog up or down stairs when you can. Have a choice in stairs or an elevator? Take the stairs. The choice between a ramp or stairs? Take the stairs. You get the point.
- Blow Some Bubbles
This may seem a little silly but who doesn’t like bubbles? Dogs are notorious for chasing after them, jumping to catch them and being mesmerized by their appearance. This activity is a great way to exercise your dog when you are tired yourself. Again, bubbles are a great activity for dogs and kids to share. Just remember to use a pet-friendly soap to make your bubble solution so it doesn’t irritate their skin or eyes.
These easy-to-do exercises can help keep your pet in shape while also providing mental stimulation. The other facet of keeping your dog fit is their diet.
At SquarePet, we strive to formulate the highest quality meals that provide optimum nutrition. We make sure to include loads of proteins (never from peas), provide recommended vitamins and add in all the essential amino acids that your pet’s body needs to function well. Let SquarePet help you give your pet every aspect of what they need to thrive and be fit.