Dog ownership is rewarding and wholesome. Dog owners get plenty of exercise, enjoy the company of a beloved pet, and strengthen their bond with another sentient being. But dog ownership also has its challenges, especially when it comes to ensuring your dog gets enough exercise. If you’re not an avid walker yourself, you might need reminding that keeping your dog in peak physical condition requires more than dropping a treat on the floor every now and then. For some people, managing a dog’s exercise is a challenge because they work long hours or have other reasons why they can’t be home at peak walking times. Others are just busy with their lives and don’t have time to take the pooch for a couple of walks each day.
How to Increase Dog Exercise Without Taking More Walks
If you’re struggling to keep up with your dog’s exercise requirements, the first step is to figure out why. If it’s due to your schedule, you may need to take more walks with your dog to make up the difference. If you’re physically capable of walking your dog every day, but don’t feel motivated to do so, try to address the underlying issue. If you’re busy with work and life, you may need to come up with creative solutions to increase your dog’s exercise without taking more walks. Carrying a ball with you on your commute, for example, will give your dog a chance to expel some energy by fetching it. Similarly, you can provide your dog with some mental stimulation by hiding treats around the house for it to find. And, of course, frequent walks are the best way to meet your dog’s exercise requirements.
Establish a Routine
The best way to keep track of how much exercise your dog is getting is with a routine. To start, you can take note of a couple of factors including your dog’s schedule, habits and energy levels. If your dog is more energetic in the mornings, you may want to walk in the evenings, or vice versa, depending on your schedule. If your dog is more active when the weather is warmer, you may want to increase the number of walks in the autumn and winter. If you’ve got a furry friend with lower energy levels, you could go on a shorter walk. Once you’ve established a routine, you can monitor how much exercise your dog is getting. If you consistently find that your dog isn’t being sufficiently exercised, you may have to increase the number or intensity of walks.
Use a Dog Walkers Service
If you live in an urban area, a dog walkers’ service may be a good option. These services vary in cost and convenience, so you may want to look into a few before making a decision. If you don’t have access to a dog walkers’ service, you can do a few things to keep your dog active while you’re at work. Dog sitters are one option, but you may want to consider hiring a dog walker who will come to your home to walk your dog. That way, you can rest assured that your dog is getting plenty of exercise while you’re away. Dog walkers are also great for those who can’t take their dogs out in the evenings or when the weather is bad. If you have health conditions that make walking your dog difficult, a dog walker can also be a good option.
Train Your Dog to Walk on the Leash
If you have a particularly energetic breed, you may want to train your dog to walk on a leash. While there are many dogs who are perfectly happy to go on long walks off-leash, others can be a danger to themselves and others if they run free in an urban environment. If you want to take your dog on off-leash hikes, you may want to train your dog to walk on a leash, but you must be careful. Never use any form of punishment, such as jerking your dog’s leash, when attempting to train a dog to walk on a leash. Instead, you can use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to encourage your dog to walk nicely on a leash.
Use a Dog Run or Fence
If you live in an apartment or have other reasons why you can’t walk your dog outside, a dog run or fence is another option. A dog run is a fenced-in area that provides your dog with room to run around without the risk of escaping. Dog runs are also great for dogs who have allergies or live in apartments. An outdoor fence is a good option if you want to let your dog run around in the yard when you’re home but don’t want it roaming freely when you’re away. An indoor fence is another option if your dog is indoor-only.
Owning a dog comes with many benefits, but one of the main reasons to get a dog is to get more exercise. If you work long hours or struggle to find time to walk your dog, there are a few ways you can increase the amount of exercise your dog gets without taking more walks. Now that you know how to increase the amount of exercise your dog gets, it’s time to get out there and walk! With a bit of creativity, you can make sure your dog gets plenty of daily exercise while also fitting into your busy lifestyle.