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We can finally say that fall is upon us …. Well, at least our calendars say so. As we make our way through the year, now is the time that many of us are trying to exercise our dogs while battling the rain, chilling temperatures and even snow! While the weather may not always be ideal, it is still incredibly important to make sure that your dog gets an ample amount of exercise.

Photo Credit: @braceythedog

Lack of exercise can not only increase your dog’s shirt size, but can also lead to joint discomfort.

To keep your dog not only active, but healthy, don’t let the weather determine if your dog exercises that day. It is just as easy to exercise your dog indoors as it is outdoors. Keeping your dog active throughout the year will not only be beneficial to your dog’s overall weight, but is also a great bonding experience for you and your dog.

Keep these indoor dog exercises in mind next time you look outside and think you can’t take your dog for his daily walk.

Stair Runs

Yup, these are as easy as it sounds! Running up and down the stairs will not only provide cardio exercise for your dog, but will also help to increase your dog’s muscle strength and joints. The pushing off motion that your dog’s back legs use to go up the stairs will help to strengthen his joints and help prevent knee problems in the future. A great way to entice your dog to do stair runs is to stand at the top of the stairs, throw his favorite ball or plushie at the bottom of the stairs and call him to come back up to you once he’s received it. Essentially, you are playing a game of fetch, but with the added exercise of the stair climbs.

 

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Hide and Go Seek!

Hide and go seek is not only a great physical exercise, but provides mental stimulation for your dog as well. Since we are using hide and seek as a exercise, it’s best if you can avoid hiding multiple treats. Instead, try hiding yourself and calling your dog’s name once you’ve hidden.

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Tug-Of-War

It doesn’t get much more fun for a dog than playing tug-of-war with his human companion. Tug-of-war is not only is a fun game, but also increases your dog’s endurance and jaw strength. Make sure you take breaks in between rounds, dogs can become overly excited and not realize that they in fact, they do need a break. Not to brag, but our dental chew makes for a great tug-of-war toy. 😉

Photo Credit: @bernadettevcook

Puzzle Games

Just as important as it is to exercise your dog physically, so is offering mental stimulation. Many dogs get their daily dose of mental exercise through outdoor walks simply by sniffing the ground. However, with the change in weather, many dogs do not get to go on their daily walks. Puzzle games will help keep your dog mentally active. Don’t have any puzzle games on hand? Not to worry. You can just as easily provide mental stimulation for your dog with 3 colored (non see through) cups and a treat. Let your dog smell the treat, then hide the treat under a cup. Mix the cups out of order and allow your dog to sniff out the treat.

Photo Credit: @thechurrogram

Obstacle/Agility Course

Putting together an obstacle/agility course in your house is much easier than you think. What does every agility course have? A tunnel. This is where all your online shopping comes in handy. 😉 Remove the top and bottom of any empty cardboard boxes you have and line them up back to back. Voilà, you now have a tunnel for your dog to run through.

 

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Next, you’ll need a jumping obstacle. Grab your broom and line up two chairs next to each other with a gap in the middle. Simply lay the broom across the chairs. This gives your dog a clear point to jump over. If you have a smaller dog or senior dog that cannot jump as high, move your broom onto small canisters, pillows or whatever you deem height appropriate. To make it a little more challenging, add an extra jump using another broom or mop. Back to back jumps will really get your dog’s heart pumping.

Finally, you’ll want to add in some weaving poles. But, how many of us actually have weaving poles in our house? For this, you could easily use those small cones that you may have used for soccer practice if you have kids in the house. For those that don’t, place a few candles lined up in a row. Have a treat in your hand to help guide your dog learn how to “weave” in and out of the obstacles.

 

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The change in weather doesn’t have to hinder your dog’s daily exercise. Fall and winter are when dogs tend to gain the most weight, which can lead to health concerns for your dog. Keep them healthy and happy with these fun indoor activities. We are always on the lookout for other fun and creative indoor exercises. Show us how you exercise your dog during the colder months by leaving a comment below or tagging us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #benebone.

Feature image photo credit: @rambothepuppy