Does your dog seem unsatisfied and energetic at the end of your daily exercise routine? It could be that they need a change of pace! While it’s important to keep a daily routine for walking, eating, and sleeping, it doesn’t mean your dog should be doing the same activities every day. In fact, dogs get bored and restless as much as people do. Switching up your dog’s exercise routine could be essential to their health and happiness.
Under-stimulated dogs are at risk of becoming depressed, anxious and neurotic. They are also prone to obsessive behaviors such as excessive barking or destroying furniture. That’s not good for you or your dog.
Here are some tips to mix up your dog’s exercise routine:
Change walking routes.
Dogs love to investigate new surroundings. Switching your walking or hiking routes is a simple way to add some additional stimulation throughout the week. It’s as easy as taking a left versus a right. Plus it’s good for you too.
Introduce interactive games.
Many people brush off interactive toys as either too advanced or complicated for their dog. But in reality, dogs thrive when presented with a good challenge. This video does a great job of explaining why dogs crave mental stimulation and how they benefit from it:
Puzzle games are super popular among pet retailers, so always remember to support local first! You’ll have fun taking your dog to the store and letting them sniff out their game of choice.
Please note, like any mental stimulation toy, they are for supervised play only, so don’t leave your dog home alone with toys (they will likely not be there when you get back!).
Try new activities.
If your dog goes to the same daycare or has the same dog walker 5 days a week, they are probably in need of some enrichment. At Fitdog, we suggest owners mix and match activities for their dog by supplementing their regular routine with enrichment activities and outings.
Even sending your dog to one class a week can give them a healthy dose of adventure that’s needed to keep them playful, relaxed, and satisfied.
We offer a full schedule of classes so dogs can get the exercise and stimulation they crave. We pick up and drop dogs back off at your location of choice, and take them on an awesome adventure that gives them an outlet for mental and physical exercise.
Whichever way you choose to keep your dog stimulated, your dog will be happier for it. Good mental health is a fundamental part of a dog’s wellbeing.
Original post from 4/16/2016. Updated on 2/18/20.