4 Ways to Help Your Dog Get More Exercise
Exercise, for humans, has been called the fountain of youth. We’ve come to recognize it, rightly so, as one of the most important pillars for a healthy, happy life.
This is true for our four-legged best friends as well.
And just as humans don’t have the same exercise demands of our ancestors, leading us to default to a sedentary lifestyle, dogs don’t either. After all, they live with us, in our homes.
They’re safe from the extreme stressors of the wild.
This is a good thing, of course, but one of the unintended consequences is they can also become sedentary, which can cause a whole host of health problems. It won’t only shorten the quantity of their life, but their quality as well.
Fortunately, we can restore our pup to their optimal health, and help them live long and happy, by finding the right exercise routine for them.
Our dogs can’t go get themselves a gym membership and drive over to the gym, so we’re going to have to support them in building up an exercise routine.
Here are five simple strategies to help build that routine, and ultimately help your pup get more exercise.
Do It First Thing in the Morning
At the onset of the day is when we, and our dogs, are primed for habit formation. One of the simplest ways to make sure they get a bare minimum of exercise is to take care of it right from the start.
The most natural way to do this would be to go on a walk with them. If you simply let them outside unattended, they might just lay on the grass and wag their tail.
This also has a host of other benefits, for you and your pup. By exposing yourself to the early sunlight, you’ll reset your circadian rhythm, which has doggy benefits we talked about in this article on how to help your dog sleep soundly.
Schedule Walks in Your Calendar
This will be especially useful if you work from home. For you, one of the best productivity and happiness hacks out there is to get regular sunlight and movement breaks throughout the day.
Your dog will get the same benefits. More importantly for them, this will keep them moving and alert during the day, injecting their lifestyle with regular exercise.
So block off two 15-minute chunks throughout the day to give you and your pup some exercise.
You may just find yourself to be happier, healthier, and more productive as an added bonus.
Set up a Puppy Play Room
Dogs are playful in nature, at any age. Even for our older pups, we can still encourage them to play and have fun by setting up the right environment.
Ideally, one room or area of the house is dedicated to all things play-related. It should have their toys and safe flooring for them to chase their tail and support their hind legs with sturdy grip.
Over time, they’ll come to associate this room with play.
Instead of having the toys scattered everywhere, try to keep them here. At first you should go play with them in this room. They need to be taught that this room is for play, the same way they’re taught to pee and poop outside.
It’s a trained association.
But once the association is built, you can send them off to the playroom, and they’ll be a more playful version of themselves.
Buy More Toys
Now, we don’t sell toys here at Pup Labs. But we see the huge value in toys. First, how is your pup going to play on their own if they don’t have toys? Their playroom can’t be just an empty room.
Yes, our furry friends are creative, and it’s cute when they try to bite their own tail, but that will only keep them moving and entertained for so long.
As an extra pro tip, buy them expensive, overpriced toys. And I recommend this because of something called the sunk cost fallacy.
The sunk cost fallacy basically means we overvalue things we’ve already bought, and we want to “get our money’s worth,” even if the money is already spent.
If we buy a bunch of new dog toys, the more and the more expensive they are, the more likely we are to want to “get our money’s worth” by using them. We’ll play more frisbee, or spend time with them in the playroom, and all around make playing with dog toys a regular part of our life.
Because we bought them, and spent a lot of money on them, we’ll use them more.
This is just one strategy to hack your own psychology to encourage your dog to be more active on a regular basis.
These are just a few strategies to inject exercise into our pup’s life. But we’d love to hear your ideas as well. What is your pup’s routine? How do you maintain it? Subscribe to our email list and let us know.