All dogs, no matter what breed or size, need daily exercise, preferably outside. Exercise helps them burn energy, stay physically fit, and alleviate boredom. In short, it’s an important factor in their overall health and happiness – they are born to be active!
But while outdoor walks and fresh air activities are important for your dog’s physical and mental well-being, there are times you may not be able to walk around the neighborhood or head to the dog park. Maybe it’s inclement weather, or perhaps you have an anxious pup or a dog recovering from surgery or illness. Or maybe your work schedule or your own health limits the time you can engage your dog with outdoor activity.
Fortunately, there are several great options to help your dog get the exercise they need inside, conveniently in your own home. And some will be just as much for you as they are for your dog.
Indoor exercise for dogs - 5 options
Tug of war
You’ve probably played tug of war many times with your dog. It’s an excellent game for stimulation, relationship-building, and competitive play. Simply give your dog a toy or a rope to latch on to, and let them pull.
- Obstacle course
While your dog may not be ready for the competition circuit just yet, they can have just as much fun testing their agility skills at home. Transform a large room into a challenging obstacle course with tables to crawl under, chairs to jump over, and tunnels to crawl through. At-home sets are available for purchase, or get creative and make your own, for example, create a tunnel by cutting out the bottom of an inexpensive hamper. Does your dog need a little coaxing to get through the course? Try encouraging them with treats or a toy.
A classic game of fetch will get your dog moving. It’s a great non-competitive play, bond-building exercise and stimulates their chasing and catching instincts. The beginning value is the ball but the main goal is to have the value be the game being played with you. The interaction, teamwork, and fun with the handler is the value, not the ball itself. You can start by throwing a soft, lightweight, indoor-friendly squeaky ball or toy across a large room or long hallway, and let your dog retrieve it. You may need to try out several balls or toys before finding the one that your dog best responds to – and when you do, watch out! You may tire way before your dog.
- Hide and seek
The schoolyard’s popular game is also perfect for playing with your pup, plus it helps reinforce training for the commands “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “find.” Command your dog to “sit” and “stay” in one room, while you find a hiding spot in another. Call your dog to “come” or “come and find,” and see if they can find you. Once they find you, reward them. Want to up the ante and the excitement? Involve family members or other people familiar to your dog.
Add some serious dog exercise equipment, such as the Dog Runner electric dog treadmill from Maximum Canine, to your pet’s repertoire of indoor exercise options. It’s the next best thing to outdoor running, allowing you to closely replicate the alfresco exercise experience in a comfortable and controlled setting. With a dog treadmill, your pet’s exercise routine won’t be curtailed by snow, rain, heat, or lack of daylight. Your dog will get consistent workouts to help keep the pounds off, their mood up, and their body strong and healthy.
The Dog Runner treadmill can be adjusted to meet your dog’s breed, size, and physical needs. You can easily monitor and control the speed, incline, or decline of the treadmill. While any dog can benefit from a dog treadmill, this simple-to-use equipment is especially helpful for pets rehabilitating from injury or surgery. The low-impact workouts are gentle on healing muscles and tendons and arthritic joints, and you’ll be able to keep your dog on a steady exercise schedule which may help facilitate your pup’s recovery and wellness.The Dog Runner treadmill is a safe, effective, and innovative pet exerciser that can complement your dog’s other workouts. Extend your pet’s walking time without spending more time outside and have an exercise option for those days when outdoor workouts aren’t possible. Use a pre-set exercise program or have a dog fitness expert design a program based on your pup’s size, breed, and physical needs. Learn more about how Dog Runner treadmills can fit into your dog’s everyday health and fitness routine.
The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice from a qualified veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your pet's vet or a qualified veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, diet, or treatment and before undertaking a new dietary or health care regimen for your pet, and never disregard professional veterinary advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.