Dogs accustomed to daily exercise can quickly fall into destructive ways when deprived of that energy outlet. When you cannot take your dog outdoors, a fast, effective method of exercising your dog indoors is instrumental to protecting your furniture and belongs from the teeth and claws of a bored pooch.
When time is short and your dog is begging for relief from being left crated or alone all day, look to food-dispensing toys and puzzles that challenge him to work the food out of the confines of the toy. The toy will keep him busy, exercise his wits, and keep those awesome jaws of destruction occupied. This type of exercise is especially useful when you are short on time or the weather keeps you inside.
Hide and Seek
A fun game of hide and seek gives you and family or roommates the opportunity to interact with your dog while he gets the exercise and mental stimulation he needs. Keep the game simple until your pet is accustomed to the rules. Give each family member or roommate a treat and an order for the first few rounds of hide and seek. The person hides while you hold onto your dog, then let him go. The first person calls for the dog from his hiding place and rewards the pet with a treat. When the person is found, he calls out to the next person or to you to repeat the process. Eventually, all you will have to do is ask your dog to go find the treats and he will seek out his playmates and treats on his own.
Use the indoors to your best advantage. Take Fido for a few laps up and down the stairs. Not only will you quickly work off his excess energy, you will get a great workout that will turn your fanny into buns of steel. If your energy runs out before his does, turn the event into a game of fetch by rolling his favorite ball down the stairs and challenge him to return it to you.
Instead of feeding Fido his morning yum-yums, hide piles of food around the house and have him hunt out his kibble while you get ready for work. The first few times make sure the food is easy to find and walk him through the process, urging him to find breakfast. As he gets the hang of the game, make the food more challenging to find. Once he learns the game, you just have to hide the food.
If acclimate weather or infrequent walks plague you and your high-energy pet, invest in a treadmill and train him to take a jog inside. Begin training at low speeds and work your way up to a comfortable pace. Never leash your dog to the treadmill or leave him unattended. Use treats and gentle coaxing as training aids, and avoid using the treadmill when you can get outdoors for a real run. While the treadmill is a great indoor substitute, nothing replaces the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors for your rambunctious friend.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.