How to safely exercise your dog

Playing fetch is what most dogs live for. They love it. But it can actually be dangerous. Now we know we've all been encouraged to get outdoors and exercise a bit more, but when it comes to your pets, there is such a thing as over doing it.

We all know that dogs love chasing balls and frisbees, but keep this activity to a minimum. All that twisting and turning, stopping and starting, puts enormous strain on your dogs body and can lead to early onset arthritis.

And the big no no is throwing sticks for your dog. Sticks can splinter and cause damage to your dogs neck, mouth or stomach. Try a hard wearing rubber ball instead, but make sure it's big enough that it can't be swallowed.

How do you exercise your dog?

If you are have stairs, then making your dog climb them. Running up and down the stairs a few times, especially when you can't get outside, is great way to exercise the dog and build muscle. You can ask your dogs to follow you while you are climbing the stairs or you can also throw a ball or soft toy upstairs for them to fetch it, but remember to keep fetching to a minimum. Always show them appreciation when they climb the stairs.

Take them to a park. Dogs like to socialize with other dogs and just like kids they make up their own games and start playing. This will also aid in building their social interaction skills as well as discovering new games and toys to play with.

Did you know the dogs love playing Hide and Seek? Simply find a spot in your house to hide, ask your dog to sit in another room, hide in the place and give the command of “Come.” Dogs generally like to find their owners by following the trail of their natural scent. This will not only make them exercise but also stimulate their cognition abilities, dogs love being challenged.

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