A tired dog is a happy one! Simple exercises to keep your dog happy
Every individual needs good nutrition, exercise and love to be happy and healthy. Stands true, even if the individual has a wet nose, paws, fur and a tail. Good food is indeed at the heart of good health, but making sure those calories find an adequate way to be spent is just as important for the health and happiness of your pooch. Priyamvada Shukla, a certified dog trainer & canine behaviorist at FineK9 talks about why it’s important for you to make that doggo run!
Caesar, my 6-year-old male Labrador Retriever entered my life in 2011. I keep him healthy and active by providing him with the right amount of nutrition, exercise and mental stimulation. Running together, going for short treks, at times even a car ride can help him get the appropriate amount of physical & mental stimulation. Dogs thrive when they are allowed to use their senses to explore; and the bigger a breed, the more amount of work needs to be put in. At the end of the day only ‘a tired dog is a happy one’.
Feeding your pet a healthy diet is essential, but in order to keep them active, one should also make them exercise and allow them to use their body & mind for an evolved, all-round growth and development.
As a pet parent and a certified dog trainer & behaviorist, I always recommend fresh food over the processed kibble or wet preparation. Caesar and I switched over to fresh food when he was just 5 months old, his first meal was of eggs, vegetable and oats and we have never bought a packet of dog food ever since. He is 6 years old, doesn’t look his age, is healthy, runs like a horse, has never had any weight or health issues and is one of the few “muscular” Labradors you will find in this country.
How can you keep your dogs healthy
Keeping your dog healthy and happy is not difficult at all, but it does require a fair amount of involvement. And with a few basics in check, your pooch can live a long and happy life.
Food is Important
Feed them as much fresh food as possible. Dogs thrive on animal fat and a protein based diet, which means carbohydrates really do not help them attain any nutrition. The lesser carbohydrates a dog eats, the better (no rotis, breads, or rice, etc). Dogs are mostly gluten allergic. Your dog might eat roti and even seem to enjoy it, but chances are they are not only allergic to it but also they are taking in a lot of unnecessary unhealthy calories. A balanced diet should have a big portion of protein from a lean meat source, some animal fats, vegetables and fruits for essential minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber.
Exercise your Dog
Walking your dog is not only the best to exercise for the both of you, but it also helps strengthen the bond between you two. I walk Caesar twice a day for about 60-75 minutes each, sometimes more if it’s a pleasant day. If you do not have that amount of time, try increasing the frequency. Find innovative ways to exercise your dogs, like organizing picnics or playdates for your pooch, go for short treks, trails, or a swim together. There is nothing better than spending some me time with your furry friend. Since India is a tropical country, keep the heat in mind while you take your dog out.
Keep him Excited
Dogs get bored quite easily, especially high energy breeds like Doberman, Labrador Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Beagles, etc. If not given proper stimulation, boredom in dogs can lead to behavioral issues like excessive licking, self-mutilation and general destruction in the house. Giving them food in Kong toys, or having indoor games helps keep that boredom in check.
Other ways to keep them tired indoors
- Training them indoors – Never stop training and rewarding your dog. Always curious to learn, even adult dogs can surprise you by how much they can learn.
- Tug games – Playing tug at times, without any rough play are helpful. The game should be stopped if your dog gets too excited or begins to growl.
- Play fetch on anti-skid floors – If your dog likes to share toys and brings them back to you, playing fetch is the most ideal game for you. Ensure that you play with them on anti-skid floors, or on sand/ grass else it could hurt their paws.
- Find-it games – Retrievers like using their nose. Hiding a favourite toy, or a treat hidden in a sock is the best game to teach your dog to find hidden objects.
- Puzzle games – There are many puzzle games for dogs available online these days.
- Fun rides – If your dog does not suffer from motion sickness and is not claustrophobic, car rides can be great. Though almost all dogs are usually only taken to the vets’ in a car, hence, a few short trips to new destinations with positive experiences will help. Take them to pet friendly cafes, dog parks or to a friend’s place.
How do you exercise with your pooch? Drop pictures of you two exercising together. If you have any questions from Priyamvada, post them in the comments below. 👇 👇 👇
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