Do you ever have days when you feel like no one appreciates you? If so, you’re probably smart enough to go out and do something for yourself so that you at least show yourself some appreciation. Likewise, you’re able to go out and find something fun to do when you are bored or lonely. In other words, you can make things happen. Unfortunately, your dog doesn’t have this same ability, and it’s up to you to make life exciting for him.
Let’s face it—dogs are loyal even when you don’t appreciate them. Sure, they tend to get in trouble when they are bored, but that’s just because they’re trying to find a way to amuse themselves. Since that might be anything from digging in the trash can, ripping up the couch cushions or chewing on your book, this can be problematic.
Not only that, but a bored dog is a sad dog. Dogs literally try to sleep through their loneliness; when you are away they spend their time snoozing off and on, and living for nothing more than the time when you come home.
Although most dogs enjoy a good walk and exploring the neighborhood or other local terrain, it is fun to make the occasion extra special for your dog and yourself once in a while. For the more timid or hesitant dogs, the extra encouragement may be just the motivation they need.
Bring Along a Throw Toy
Dogs learn to associate things with particular activities. They will soon understand that bringing a leash out and attaching it to their collar or harness means it’s time to go somewhere. The presence of a favorite chase and fetch toy is a sure sign that playtime is about to begin. When you take your dog out for a walk, bring along a throw toy such as a ball or Frisbee to use for added exercise and training. You can practice commands such as “Fetch” or “Release” while you are walking and playing.
Change the Routine
People get bored with the same routine, and your dog might enjoy some variation as well. You may have a favorite route you take when you go walking with your dog, but vary it once in a while. Pick a park or an alternate neighborhood, go walking at the beach or even on a hiking trail for a nice change of pace for both of you. Your dog will enjoy all the interesting new smells in the different areas.
When we first adopted our now-senior dog, she was roughly 10 months old. I’ll never forget how high her energy level was; I’d never lived with a dog who had that much vim and vigor. This dog wanted to go mach-five for 20 hours a day. Most young puppies sleep between 15 to 20 hours a day, but she was past that sleepy-puppy stage and into the boisterous adolescent stage. She wore us out. In fact, at the ripe old age of 11 she is still full of puppyish energy but, thankfully, it’s not non-stop anymore.
You know the old saying, if I’d only known then what I know now? Well, I feel that way about this pup. Because she was so rambunctious, we tried every known trick to wear her out. We went to puppy kindergarten class and then reviewed and practiced our simple obedience skills over and over. We stuffed CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Chewy Treats into hard rubber toys for her to play with. We had supervised play dates with other puppies, and we took her on our daily jogs. Like I said, if I’d only known then what I know now. You see, it was a mistake to take her on jogs at that young age.
Dogs need exercise even in the hot weather, but there are ways to do it that keep their comfort and safety in mind. Like us, dogs are affected by the extremes of weather. To prevent heat exhaustion and burned feet, follow these 7 tips for giving your dog exercise in hot weather.
Time of Day
Extreme heat is draining and physically stressful for most humans, and for our dogs too. Even if the heat is not bothersome to you, keep in mind that to cool off naturally, your dog does not sweat over their whole body the way you do. Extreme temperatures are harder for them to deal with. Minimize exercise and activity in the hottest parts of the day. Walks and outside play are better in the early morning, late afternoon or evening, not in the middle of the hot day. Even if that midday lunch break is a great time and perfectly tolerable for you to go for a jog, it may not be for your dog. Do something different and go for a nighttime walk after dark on occasion, if you live in a safe area. You both might enjoy the change.
Cool Exercise Alternatives
Play in the water to give both you and your dog exercise and keep them cooler at the same time. Go for a swim, run through the sprinkler or go to the beach to keep active and cool at the same time. If you have the space, buy a small kiddie pool just for your dog to cool off. Put it somewhere in the yard where your dog can have access to it. Keep a big beach towel nearby to prevent your dog from running into the house soaking wet after playtime.
For dogs who love to swim, playing in the water has many benefits. Swimming is an all-around healthy activity for your dog. It provides everything from exercise to stimulation, and a needed release for all that energy dogs have.
Exercise and Playtime
The most obvious benefit of swimming for your dog is exercise. Dogs often have excess energy to burn which needs to be channeled into activities that keep them active and healthy, and keeps them from being destructive out of boredom. Swimming is good for the whole body, from cardio to muscles. When a dog can swim, they are naturals and adapt to it very quickly. A good swimmer is fun to watch in the water.
Dogs who love to swim get a great deal of pleasure out of the activity. Some dogs will swim for hours, which is phenomenal exercise. It is even more fun when you go swimming along with your dog in the sea, a pool, or a lake. To add a little more excitement to the activity, bring along a ball or other object that floats for your dog to swim after and fetch.
With all the open space, the beach is the perfect place to take your dog for an invigorating outing to get fresh air and exercise. Even in cooler months, the non-water activities at the beach can be a great way to burn off excess dog energy and provide refreshing outdoor play time. If you have kids in your home, this is a fun outing for the whole family and good bonding time with your dog.
During hot weather, pick cooler times of the day to go for a beach outing with your dog. Early mornings or evenings are best on excessively hot days. That’s when the sand is more tolerable for paws to walk on. Going at off times also makes it easier to play on the beach with fewer people there.
Some beaches allow dogs to roam freely. Others require all dogs to be on a leash. You can adapt any of the following activities for play on or off the leash. For play that involves running, if you are not physically able to run yourself, with the use of an extra-long lead instead of a standard shorter leash, your dog can still run and play.
Bring toys that are heavy enough to throw, even if the beach is windy. Include toys that can float if your dog goes in the water to play.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.