Issues with obesity, destructive behaviour, separation anxiety, excessive barking, attention-seeking, leash pulling, and many other undesirable behaviours often have the same root cause: your dog just isn’t getting enough exercise.
The adage “a tired dog is a good dog” generally holds true—dogs need daily physical and mental stimulation in order for them to thrive. Younger, high-energy breeds in particular need an appropriate outlet for all that energy; otherwise your pup might start to feel restless, anxious, or depressed, and is likely to redirect all that excess energy into any manner of unwanted or unhealthy behaviours.
The exact amount of exercise your dog needs will of course depend on his breed, temperament, and individual character, but in general, dogs need at least a few hours of daily stimulation so that they can feel tired, happy, and healthy. Unfortunately, many of us fall far short of this benchmark at odds with long work hours and busy schedules. Sometimes there doesn’t seem like there’s enough time in a day to give your dog the exercise he needs. Here’s how to wear out those furry balls of energy when a hike, long walk, or trip to the dog park is out of the question.
►ifetch: Have a pup who could just play fetch forever? The iFetch is a dream come true! This award-winning automatic ball launcher can keep a game of fetch going indefinitely. Your dog can play indoors or out, and with you or even by herself! Your pup will delight in this new, never-ending game! Check out cool videos of the ball launcher in action at goifetch.com
►chuckit! flying squirrel: Don’t let this adorable, brightly coloured squirrel toy fool you – it’s the perfect aerodynamic shape for slicing through the air in a far flying arc! You’ll be able to tire out your pup in no time with a stimulating game of fetch. Bonus: you won’t be able to lose the toy, either—made of durable material, this Flying Squirrel glows in the dark, and even floats! Find it at petmate.com.
►gyms for dogs: The Hill Climb by Gyms for Dogs offers strength training for dogs! This sturdy ramp with safety side rails is designed for outdoor play, combining fresh air and exercise. The Hill Climb provides dogs with the challenge of incline training, helping our furry friends to expend energy while also safely building muscle in the legs and torso. Fabulous for beginning a dog park in your very own backyard! Find it at gymsfordogs.com.
►bike tow leash: The awesome bike-leash attachment is an ingenious way to safely tire out even the most energetic dogs. Designed by Mike Leon, the Bike Tow Leash is an attachment between your dog’s leash and your bike, giving you the ability to help your dog get a better workout in a much shorter time span. Find it at biketowleash.com.
►DogTread: Have difficulty keeping up with your dog’s fast pace? The Dogtread is a godsend for anyone with an impossible-to-tire dog, mobility issues or for when inclement weather makes a run impossible. These treadmills, specifically designed for dogs, will ensure that your pup can get his exercise rain or shine, with or without an athletic or mobile owner! Westminster Kennel Dog Dog Show competitors use these when New York City winter weather keeps them indoors. Find it at dogtread.com.