Just like us, our four-legged friends need exercise to stay fit and healthy. (Yet isn’t it funny how it’s usually them trying to get us out of the house?)
Now, how much they’ll need will depend on their breed, type, age and personality. This is one of the most important factors you’ll want to consider when choosing a dog for your family. For example, if you’re a runner and would love to take Pokey along, there are many active, sporty breeds around, such as Labradors, Retrievers, Boxers, small Spaniels and Terriers. Or, if your looking for a best friend who’s just happy to be with you, you’ll find plenty of toy breeds who are happy not to go on a search for the Holy Grail.
Just how great is pets-ercise?
There are far more benefits to exercise than just your Boxer getting buffer. Exercise also will strengthen his immune system, so he’s less likely to be sick as a dog. Working those legs also puts stress – for the both of you – on a very short leash.
And that’s not even the whole kit-and-ka-poodle. That bond between you two will be like Timmy and Lassie. Annie and Sandy. Marley and Me. You get the picture.
Plus, there’s never been a better boredom buster for Buster. Why is this important? Because lack of exercise (or contact with people) is one of the most common reasons for poor behaviour in dogs. But if he’s dog-tired after all that ruff-housing, your pooch will be feeling relaxed and content, leaving those chewy Jimmy Choos behind.
Just remember it’s easy to underestimate the amount of exercise your pet needs. It may sound hard to believe, but running around the backyard isn’t enough fitness for Fluffy. Dogs actually require continual, vigorous exercise daily, along with the mental stimulation that comes with walks to different places. Dog parks, which allow your pet to safely run free or fetch a ball, are top-dog and well-worth everyone’s while.
Exercise on Rover’s rrrr-edule (schedule).
Dogs are naturally most active at dawn and dusk, and tend to sleep for a biiiiiig part of the day. (Coffee drinkers, feel free to shake your head with envy.) Of course, we get that finding time in the morning before work to take Rover for a run/walk can be tough. But it is so worth the effort. This will not only drain his energy when it needs draining most – it will also curb any of Rover’s temptation to tear into those new throw pillows (‘But I only want to fetch them’, says that cheeky Chow Chow.)
And again, sending your pooch out to the backyard won’t quite cut it, unfortunately. A consistent workout – rather than just sniffing around the backyard shrubbery – works wonders.
Keep in mind your dog’s exercise schedule may change depending on his breed, age and personality. But as a general rule, we recommend at least three different types of exercise a day – fetch, walk and off-leash play. Woof.
Mix it up for Boxer muscles.
The more you can mix up the type of exercise your dog gets, the better. Think of it as cross-training for critters. Swimming, walking, tugging, hiking, and running an agility course all work different muscle groups. See. Spot. Flex.
Playtime! Playtime! Playtime!
Let’s face it, playing with your dog and trying out new toys is roooollllly fun. Now if your furry friend doesn’t know how to play yet, no biggie. The following types of play can all be taught: tugging; fetching; hide-the-toy; chase me/chase you; or enjoying a boredom-buster plaything or chew toy. These games are perfect for rainy days indoors, as well as that precious bonding time between you and your playful pooch.
In order to help your doggy develop and learn both mentally and physically, it’s an arf-fully good idea to play every day. As we mentioned before, this will not only keep you the best of friends, but also help your cute canine stay happy, healthy and out of rrrr-ouble. Plus, every game you play is actually helping to maintain the training he learned as a puppy. And as we all know, a well-trained dog knows his position in the family, and that he’s loved. Which makes going out for walks, meeting other dogs and people, a joy. Good boy!
Oh boy, oh boy, oh TOY.
Dogs get bored like the rest of us, so a good litter of toys can make a big difference. Particularly if your pooch is home alone while you’re at work, a little plaything can make a big difference. But just like we choose toys for our two-legged tykes, doggie toys should be selected carefully. Safety first, of course: It’s best to skip any ‘toys’ with sharp edges, string, or anything else he can swallow.
You’ll also want to consider the breed of your dog, as well as his age and size. Also, think about whether you’ll be around during playtime, or if Cuddles will be left alone with this particular toy. And will it be an indoor or outdoor plaything? Lastly, how much for that rubber laptop, anyway?
Now…What to pick? What to pick? What to pick? Here are our tried-and-true recommendations:
Soft toys like Cuddlies are always popular with the poochies. For many dogs, they often become those special, take-along, comfort companions. Like that plush spotted puppy you used to have – go figure.
Balls are a classic favourite, great for interactive, fetch-type games.
Rubber chew toys like Fresheeze provide good chewing exercise and mental stimulation for your dog. And if you want to keep Fido busy for a good length of time, these puppies will do the trick.
So, Spot has built up a noice collection of toys. Hot dog! Variety is good. Just remember not to have them all out at once, because your dog could become bored with them. Instead rotate the toys each day and watch Laddie bounce off the walls when he’s given a toy he hasn’t seen for a few days. You’ll also want to save the toys that need careful supervision for when you are playing with your dog, and of course, put them away afterwards.
Don’t forget, Masterpet has a wide variety of toys for you – and your dog – to enjoy. Have a sniff around our website, or stop by your nearest Masterpet store.