much, and they tend to eat a lot over the holidays. Fortunately, humans can go to the gym and workout indoors.
Dogs are just like humans – they too can put on weight over the winter months because they are not getting outdoors as much. But dogs don’t have any gym they can go to, so if you are dog owner and you want to prevent your pet from putting on the pounds, what can you do? Here are a few ideas.
- Play hide and seek.
Take some of your dog’s favorite treats and hide them in various locations around the house and let him sniff them out.
- Visit the pet store.
Take your dog along when you go to the pet store. He can get some exercise as you walk up and down and aisles and even meet other canines for a little socializing.
- Put him on the treadmill.
Don’t laugh: most dogs can use the same treadmills as people do, as long as you take some precautions. You will have to train your dog to use a treadmill, and it will take a little time at first to get your pet used to it.
If you do use a treadmill for your pet, do not have the machine facing toward a wall because it will make the animal think it is walking into a wall. Then you will gradually have to get your pet used to using the machine.
Begin by letting the dog explore the apparatus. Use positive reinforcement to get the behavior you want. For example, as soon as the animal steps on the treadmill, give him or her a treat. Then, let your pet watch as you use the treadmill. Go at the lowest speed.
Have your dog on a leash and see if he or she will go on the machine at the slowest speed. Your dog may hop right on and begin walking, but he may be frightened by the machine. In this case, you want to hold the leash in front of the treadmill and encourage the dog with words and treats.
As the dog gets used to the machine, you can gradually increase the speed and length of time on it.
- Play fetch.
You can do this indoors if you use an indoor-safe object, like a Smurf Ball, for instance. For a little added exercise, throw it up the stairs and have the dog fetch it.
- Make an obstacle course.
Use objects from around the house to make a little obstacle course for your dog to run through.
- Make a play date.
If you have a friend with a dog, arrange a play date for your pets.
Make sure your dog gets some time outdoors every day. In fact, if you can’t walk him, consider boarding him every now and then for the day at Barney’s Ranch where he’ll be able to run around our 4,000-square-foot outdoor dog run..
Give us a call at (469) 273-1661 for more information about our day-boarding services.