What are your thoughts on exercise, for you? You will go one way or the other on the matter, be it love or hate, while in-between feelings are reserved for when you don’t want to appear unmotivated to exercise! Then there’s your dog. Do you think dogs really think about how awesome or terrible exercise is? Dogs tend to want to be wherever their humans are, so if you suit him up for a walk-walk or run, he’ll be thrilled to go. This should be enough to encourage you to want to get some form of daily exercise, right? That depends.
Even if you wanted to, there are some days when you just cannot take your dog out on a walk. Whether it’s because you are too tired, you or your dog is ill, there are too many chores to do, or the weather is too hot or cold, it’s important to make sure your buddy gets the physical and mental stimulation he or she needs to keep healthy. Instead of feeling bad for not taking your dog out, try these fun ways to get them some exercise when stuck indoors. He will get to release built up energy and you both will be having a bonding session.
Tennis Ball Fetch
Most people don’t live in huge mansions, let alone have enough room indoors to play fetch. There’s also not much throwing room in the average size house and you probably don’t want your stuff broken. Instead, roll a tennis ball down a cleared out hallway and let him give chase. If you have multiple dogs, a good strategy is to either tire them out one by one or rotate them in and out every few minutes to play.
Run Up and Down the Stairs
Running up and down the stairs is a good way for dogs to work out core muscles that are not usually engaged on a regular walk or run. The added elevation and step size give dogs a respectable challenge and you get an adorable view when standing up top. You can either drop a toy down for him to retrieve and run back up to you or exercise with him by putting his leash on so the both of you can run up and down for a partners workout.
Have a Hallway Chase
You can still run your dog in the house, even when you don’t have a stairway. Simply chase dogs up and down the hallway! Feel free to make funny or scary noises while you do this, but not to the point of causing them phycological issues! Extra bonus (yes, I’ve done this): If you have a dog proofed hardwood or lament floor, watch as you dog tries to run away quickly only to stay running in place like a cartoon for a few seconds!
Play Keep Away
Get your spouse, partner, roommate, or friend to join in on a game of inside keep away. Select a soft ball or toy and a space not full of breakable things and start tossing the keep away object human to human. When he starts looking a little tired, “accidentally” drop it into his grasp so he can have a temporary victory and take a break.
Laser Pointer Attack
The laser pointer is a classic. Like cats, some dogs also enjoy an intense game of red dot chasing around the house and up the walls. Stay alert so your dog doesn’t run into anything and doesn’t destroy the walls while jumping up. Be careful with the light, avoid shining in anyone’s eyes, especially your dog’s as he hunts it, and don’t shine the dot onto another person or pet. As funny as it can be, it’s rude to have a dog jump on or nip an innocent bystander because you pointed the laser on them!
It is recommend dogs get at least 20 to 40 solid minutes of physical exercise per day, and what do you know? This is a similar amount of daily exercise that we are told people should get. Make having to take your dog on a walk or exercise them indoors every day the motivation you need to stay happy and healthy too!
Image source: Tony Alter/Flickr