Active Dog Month has got us walking, running, and keeping our dogs fit and healthy. But maybe you need some ideas for exercising your dog without walking? Walks are the most-often used method of exercise for our canine friends, but for some of us it just isn’t possible.
That might be because your roads or parks aren’t safe, because your dog is impossible to walk, or because his health or medical needs preclude walking. Or maybe it’s you who can’t walk the dog.
Whatever the reason, getting your dog active is still important. Not convinced? Read our article to find out how much exercise a dog needs. Hint: mostly, they need daily exercise for longer than you might think.
We’re want to help find a solution for the non-walking dogs (and owners) out there. Here are some ways you can manage exercising your dog without walking.
Why is exercising your dog so important?
Why all this fuss around exercising if it isn’t straightforward and easy to fit into your daily schedule? Exercise is beneficial for dogs in so many ways.
For example, it helps prevent diabetes in dogs. It also helps guard against health problems related to weight gain, like musculoskeletal disorders.
If you’ve ever seen how happy dogs are after a good walk or play, you’ll know that it’s good for them mentally too. And behaviourally. Keeping your dogs active helps to keep problem behaviours like chewing or excessive barking in check.
Plus, exercising often gives them a chance to socialise with other dogs. Which is another behavioural benefit because it helps you avoid dog bites dog scenarios.
Exercising your dog without walking
Now that we know why we need to keep them active, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of exercising your dog without walking.
Here are some of our top suggestions.
Dog park or doggy daycare
If you can’t walk your dog due to injuries, health, or even a lack of time then letting them exercise themselves might be the answer! A good loose run around with othersis a great substitute for a stroll around the block.
For young energetic dogs, it might even be preferable. After all, a sedate walk with a less-than-fit owner won’t get the zoomies out quite as much as a long play with other dogs. And if your dog is an only child, they might relish the interaction.
Good options are usually off-leash dog parks, doggy daycare, or even enclosed areas without other dogs. Like out of use tennis courts and sporting fields, spare blocks of land, or even one of the paddocks at a local stables (with permission!) – when the horse isn’t in it, obviously.
The best choice will depend on your dog’s needs. Are they well socialised and eager to interact with other dogs? Does your dog have good recall? Or do they need to be kept away from other dogs but have space to run around? Do you want to take them out for an hour or drop them off for an entire afternoon?
Find a suitable, nearby place and let your dog release some of that pent up energy.
Aussies love a good swim. And that goes for the doggos as well. The beach is a fun place to swim and spend time with your dog, but can be dangerous. Make sure that before you tackle the waves, your dog is a strong swimmer.
Aside from the actual swimming part, you need to be aware of things like sand ingestion or heat stroke. But no worries; we’ve got it covered in our article on how to keep your dog safe at the beach.
If you’ve got access to a pool, it’s a fun and easy way for your dog to get that heart pumping. It’s good for their fitness and is suitable even for dogs who have musculoskeletal issues. And if you have kids, they’ll looooove swimming with the dogs.
Build them a sandpit
A sandpit or digging pit can be an amazing way to keep your dog exercised. Obviously if you’re close to the beach, you can take them there too.
But at home, you can either use a corner of your garden which is edged with bricks, wood, or sponges, or a kids’ sandpit shell like this. Fill it with sand, some toys, or even some treats for them to dig up. Just be careful they don’t ingest too much sand. Once your dog has learnt to dig, they’ll have a great time going wild. And it’ll burn off some serious calories too.
You’ll have to make sure they understand that they can only dig in the designated area though. Otherwise, goodbye garden.
And if the sandpit is a new backyard addition, you may need to teach your cat to avoid toileting in it. Speaking from experience. No one wants to spent time scooping poop and wee out of sand.
Soft landings for your active dog
Now that you’re planning all these activities with your dog, they’ll probably feel and look better than ever. The exercise will do wonders for their health and spirit.
Regardless, even the fittest and healthiest dogs can pick up an injury or get sick. Pet insurance can provide a soft landing in times of crisis and through periods of ill health. With pet insurance, your bank balance won’t be too heavily hit by trips to the vet.
Browse our dog insurance plans to find the one that’s the best fit for you.
Exercising your dog without walking – over to you
What are your favourite ways to get your dog’s heart pumping without relying on good old walkies? Visit our Facebook page to share a snap of you and your loyal companion getting active your favourite way.