Whether you’re self-isolating or simply unable to get outside and exercise as much as you normally would, you’ll be looking for new ways to keep fit – especially if you have a furry friend that needs to keep active too!
At PetsPyjamas we’ve put together some fun ideas to ensure you and four-legged friend keep active, entertained, motivated and most of all have fun!
1. Play hide and seek
This is a super fun way to get your pup moving, and what’s more, the whole family can play too! Whether you live with kids, a partner, or by yourself, all you need is some treats and a few good hiding places. Simply find a good spot to hide and call out for your dog. When they find you, reward them with a treat. And repeat! Depending on how big your house is, playing this for 10-15 minutes is a great way to entertain and tire out your pup.
2. Play tug of war
You can’t beat a classic game of tug of war! All you need to play is a bit of rope, or even one of their toys. This is a good exercise for both of you and a great way to tire out your dog. Although it’s best not to get your pooch super revved up, so make sure you keep things under control and play maybe once or twice a day.
3. Run up and down the stairs
If you’re unable to get out as much, or even at all, why not make use of your stairs if you have them. Stairs are brilliant for burning pent up doggie energy, mostly because the steps themselves pose an extra challenge that will require your dog to exercise different muscles to those they’d usually use on their daily walk. You can either run up and down the stairs and get your pooch to follow, or throw a toy down and get them to fetch it back up to you.
4. Set up an obstacle course
Setting up an obstacle course for your four-legged friend is a great way to exercise them physically and mentally. There’s a whole host of general household things you can use to create a course – chairs, cushions, boxes are all good.. Be creative! Whether you make a tunnel or a series of small things to jump over, your pup is sure to have great fun… and wear themselves out in the process.
5. Create a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are perfect for both physical and mental stimulation. Simply scatter your dog’s favourite treats around the house and let them snoop them out. Most dogs will be pretty good at this, so you may want to up the difficulty a tad to make for a more challenging and stimulating hunt. You can even set a trail of treats throughout the house, maybe going from downstairs to upstairs to really work your pet’s muscles.
6. Get them on a treadmill
If you really want to get your dog’s legs moving, there’s no better way than to get them on a treadmill! This is especially great if you can’t get out of the house, as a treadmill will provide the perfect dog walk replacement. First you’ll need to familiarise them with the sound of the treadmill. Then, to encourage them, you’ll need to use treats as a reward for staying on the treadmill, and ease them into it bit by bit. Start at a slow speed at first, and once your dog is used to it, you can gradually increase the speed to make it a little more challenging. You may not already have a treadmill but you can actually buy treadmills that are specifically made for dogs! Find and compare the best ones here.
7. Doggie Yoga! (‘Doga’)
If you’re already doing Yoga exercises to keep yourself in shape, why not get your dog involved? Practising Doga’ not only improves our physical and mental health, but also supports the natural bond we have with our dog! All you need is a mat, a dog-shaped yoga buddy, and an open mind! Just start doing your exercises, and as your pooch becomes more curious, encourage them to join in.
Here are a few you can try:
Warrior I Pose – Great if you’ve got a small pup, just lift them up whilst you stretch!
Child’s Pose – Good for slightly larger dogs. Try resting your forehead gently on their back as you stretch.