Part of dog care and dog health is fitness. Just like us, dogs require daily movement to help build muscle, strengthen their joints, and be happy! We must give them this so they can live long and healthy lives. The most common form of dog fitness is going on walks outside. But, this isn’t always possible.
As it gets colder, it gets harder to get outdoors, and as your dog gets older, it gets more challenging for them to take long walks or even make it outside. If you cannot take your dog outside on walks - there are lots of ways to get fitness from the comfort of your home. Indoor exercises are also good fitness alternatives for overweight or senior dogs who struggle to get through outdoor walks.
Dog Exercises for Hyper Dogs
The different indoor exercises depend on your dog themselves and their energy and health levels. Suppose you have a hyper dog and want other ways to get their energy out. In that case, you can do indoor agility training and exercises.
One of our favorite indoor exercises for hyper dogs is DIY agility courses. Take some pillows, step stools, and anything else you have to create miniature courses in an open area of your house. Run through them with your dog as you make them jump over, turn corners and run through obstacles.
Place treats throughout and let them have some fun! Not only is this a great way to get physical exercise, but it is also a great mental stimulation for your dog. Especially if you include hidden treats, using their brain and doing mental work will definitely wear them out!
Dog Exercises for Senior Dogs
If you have a senior dog, you should still aim to get in daily movement with them. This movement will look a little different and have another purpose. Instead of using exercise to get rid of some energy, we can use exercise to give them some energy! Some of our favorite indoor low-impact exercises for senior dogs are doing yoga and commands.
Dog yoga is a thing, and it is beneficial for older joints, and stretching feels good for them. There are a lot of free videos on YouTube that you can follow along to practice dog yoga that will teach you how to stretch with your dog properly! Another great exercise for senior dogs is practicing commands. This sounds silly, but it really works. As your dog gets older, you most likely stopped doing commands such as “sit” and “lay” because your dog doesn’t need them anymore at this older age. You can use this as a way to exercise your dog.
For 15-30 minutes, go through different commands with your dog and make them sit, stand up, sit back down. Have them sit, lay down, and stand back up. Have them sit, stay, and then move around and let them walk across the room to you. And so on! Repeat different commands multiple times for 15-30 minutes (or however long your dog can manage). These motions will help build muscles around their joints, as well as lubricate them, and provide some mental stimulation!
There are many ways to get creative indoors and help your dog get their daily movement in, and these were just our favorite ways. Be sure to check out some more of our articles for even more ideas to get your dog moving from the comfort of your home.