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10 Ways to Exercise Your Dog

By Stacy Painter
June 23, 2021 • 3 min. read
dog playing tug of war

Do you have an energetic dog on your hands? When it comes to dogs, some of the best ways to relieve their extra energy are through exercise and tasks that keep them busy. Each dog has their personal preferences for what kind of activities they enjoy, so if you’re looking to calm your active dog, at least one of the suggestions on this list should do the trick. Here are 10 exercise ideas to try if your standard walk around the neighborhood is getting boring. 

Play tug-o-war

Play inside or outside: a good game of tugging doesn’t require much space, so a rainy day won’t stop the fun. Plus, you’ll get the added bonus of an arm workout while you exercise your dog.

A game of fetch

Playing fetch is an old classic that never really gets old (for dogs, at least). Small dogs can play fetch indoors – even better if your home has multiple levels so you can drop the ball down the stairs. For distance runners, invest in a throwing device like the Chuckit! Ball Launcher to get a farther throw with less effort.

Go for a hike

Disconnect and enjoy exploring the outdoors with your dog. The fresh air and exercise will benefit you both, plus your dog will enjoy the change of scenery and all the new and interesting smells that come with it.

Arrange an obstacle course

Set up pillows for your dog to jump over, chairs for her to circle around, and toys she can catch to create a mentally stimulating indoor obstacle course. This can also be done outside with lawn chairs, hula hoops, and other objects you may have in the yard—get creative with it!

Play with water

On a hot day, take your water-loving dog to the lake for a swim, set up the sprinkler in the yard, or play with the garden hose. You’ll get double the benefits of tiring your dog and keeping her cool at the same time.

Visit the dog park

Whether she sprints back and forth or casually trots around, a visit to the dog park is a great way to wear out your dog. Dogs get to experience off-leash freedom while getting plenty of mental stimulation from the smells and social interactions with other dogs. 

Play with bubbles

For a dog that loves balls, a container of bubbles means endless fun. With little effort on your part, your dog will be jumping, chasing, chomping, and having a blast. Products like Bubbletastic, BubbleLick, and IncrediBubbles make flavored, non-toxic bubbles specifically for dogs. 

Hide treats

Put your dog’s nose to work by hiding treats around the house: under blankets, behind furniture, or inside puzzle toys for an added challenge. This indoor activity will give your dog mental exercise and a task to keep her busy.

Twirl a flirt pole

Similar to dangly toys for cats, a flirt pole is like a fishing pole with a dog toy on the end (but you can’t reel it in). You’ll need to be in a big room or outside to give your dog enough space to run and chase the toy as you wave it around and spin in circles. These toys are especially fun for sighthounds and dogs that love a good chase.

Teach a new trick

Channel your dog’s energy into something productive, like learning a new trick! You can spend some time practicing basic training commands or teach her a new, unique trick. Concentrating on learning something new provides good mental stimulation for your dog and can help tire her out for the day.

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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