Following the lockdown announcement, Google searches for ‘dog exercise’ spiked by a huge 809%, increasing again recently as the extension was announced.
Those lucky enough to have a garden are turning their outdoor space into exercise. However, with almost a third of people in the UK owning a dog, how can we ensure our pooches enjoy exercise in the garden as much as they would on a nice walk with unlimited space?
Pet food brand, Webbox, reveals how to keep your dog fit and healthy if you can’t leave your home.
1 Set up an improvised obstacle course
Whether you’re lucky enough to have a garden or not, setting up an outdoor or indoor obstacle course for your dog is a great way to get them active and stimulate their mind. Use objects such as broomsticks to make jumps and blankets over chairs to make a tunnel. Make a mini tyre jump by securing a hula hoop in between two chars. You could also make a weave obstacle by placing shoes or boots on the floor.
2 Work for treats
Take a variety of healthy dog treats and hide them around the house, making some easy to find and some more challenging. Dogs will not only tire themselves out by looking for the treats but will also provide them with the mental stimulation. Treat dispensing toys are a great way to get your dog to be more active and keep their mind occupied. Puzzle bowls are also an effective method to get your dog’s mind going whilst encouraging slower eating, which is good for a dog’s digestive system.
3 Tug of war
There are so many rope toys available that it is no surprise tug of war is extremely popular with dogs and humans alike. This activity is a great way to get your dog active and a chance to play with them. Before engaging in a healthy game of tug of war, it’s important to note that it will bring out the predator in your dog and should only be played if you understand their power and instincts.
As classic game of fetch can be played both indoors and outdoors and is a great way to ensure your dog is getting the exercise it needs. The game also doesn’t require much effort from the owner, the dog does all the running. Playing fetch is a really great way to connect with your dog and get its mind and muscles working, as it is a chance for the to use their natural hunting instincts.
5 Bring your pooch along with you for your daily exercise
If you are practising social distancing and able to enjoy your daily exercise, make sure to take your dog along whilst sticking to government guidelines. Walking your dog is a great way to give them exercise. Running is also a great way to get both you and your dog active. If your dog hasn’t been running before, ensure you take the time to train them, it takes a lot of dedication from both owner and dog to make it work.
Camille Ashforth, Senior Brand Manager at Webbox says: “This is also a strange time for your dogs, and they may be just as confused and disrupted from their daily routine as you are. Making sure your dog has enough exercise is important to ensure they don’t become bored and start misbehaving. We hope these tips have given you some inspiration on how you too can keep your dog both physically and mentally active during this time. If you’re unsure about any of the above exercises, seek expert advice from a vet or behaviourist.”
For more tips visit the Webbox blog: www.webbox.co.uk