Activities For Dogs To Lose Weight

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Introduction

Dogs love their food - they will eat their own food plus anyone else's if they can get away with it. This love of food combined with today's sedentary lifestyle is causing dogs to put on weight and become chubby. Therefore, it is important to keep your dog active and doing things rather than just sleeping and eating. While you can reduce the calories your dog eats, it is important to increase the activity that they do. Too many dogs sit around all day without access to a secure back yard. A balcony on an apartment is all some dogs have. But it doesn't take rocket science to alter your dog's diet and exercise regime. You just have to become immune to those begging eyes, pleading for more food. Treat toys are a great way to make your dog work for their food. Rather than giving your dog a bowl of the yummy stuff, (which they will gulp down in record time and ask for more) fill a toy with pieces of food and dry treats that they have to maneuver, shake and move to get a treat. Not only will it keep them occupied for longer, but it gets them moving and active at the same time. Read on for some great activities that will help your dog become more active and enable them to lose their spare tire.

Dancing

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Cheap
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Music
dance routine
Leash
Activity description

A new activity for fitness and fun is dancing or musical freestyle. While there are classes you can join, you can make up your own routine at home and you and your buddy can boogie down and get fit at the same time. You can start with just a few steps, going forward then back. Add a command for your dog to run through your legs and circle round to the front again. The benefits of dancing (apart from being fun) are that you both get an aerobic workout that will help to tone muscles and burn away some calories. Your dog will develop greater stamina, better balance and their muscle tone will improve while their bones will strengthen.

Step
1
The dance class
The first step is to introduce your dog to the idea of dancing. Start slowly, and give a lot of encouragement as you step out with them on their hind legs. You may need to hold their front paws to begin with. Only once they are used stepping forward and backward on their hind legs, can teach another move.
Step
2
Circle around
The next step is to teach your dog to spin or circle around. Teach them to go one way, then change direction and go the other way. Always be consistent with the commands you use or your dog will get confused. Then, you can get them to run around you one way, then the other.
Step
3
Putting it all together
Once your dog has the routine down pat, you can add in the music, and do the whole routine as one. You can add in crawls, roll overs on the ground and small jumps. This game is mentally challenging and will give your dog a great workout while having a ton of fun. It is an activity you can add extra moves to, and it is fun to show off your dancing dog to the amazement of your friends.
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Swimming

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0 Votes
Hot Day
Free
Easy
10 - 45 min
Items needed
Doggy Life Vest
Activity description

Swimming is an ideal exercise for an overweight dog as the water can support their body, and the sport is easy on their joints. If you have a pool, make use of it to reduce your pet's weight. If not, then a trip to the beach or river is fine. The walk along the river bank or on the soft sand on the beach will do your dog good, and the swimming will help strengthen their heart and lungs. When you are starting any exercise, take it easy at first. Dogs that have been mostly sedentary may find it takes a while to get their fitness back, so don't force them too much or you may cause other health issues. Never over exercise a dog on a hot day as they don't sweat like we do, and overheating can become a real issue. Take care of your buddy and ease them into an active life. Swimming is perfect for a hot day as it gives your dog an opportunity to cool down in the water.

Step
1
Let's swim
Not all dogs like swimming, so if your dog has no inclination at all, try another activity. For those with a pool, you can play fetch in the water either with a floating ball or with a tennis ball. If the tennis ball sinks, they have to dive to get it. For the river and beachgoing pooches, first the walk will warm them up, then the water can cool them down. You can play fetch the ball, or stick or whatever, just get them moving around. No matter the type of water source you are frolicking in with your pal, be sure to put a doggy life vest on them just to be on the safe side.
Step
2
Teach your dog some new tricks
A float board is an ideal prop for all but the largest of dogs. You can lift them onto a board and teach them to stand or sit and stay. You will have to get wet yourself for this one, so you will have a work out as well! When your dog gets used to this, you can tow them around. Praise them highly for staying or getting back on. If you must offer a treat, just a little one please.
Step
3
Enjoy the water
If you don't have access to a pool, and live too far from a river or beach, then just turn on the garden hose and slip and slide around the back yard. Any kind of water activity tends to make a dog jump and run with glee. The goal is to get your couch potato pooch active. Ease your dog into exercise and a healthier lifestyle.
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Change It Up

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 8 hrs
Items needed
Food puzzle toy
Activity description
If you work during the week, your dog is probably home alone, not doing too much. When you do get home, you just want to collapse and chill out which is totally understandable. The problem is that your dog hasn't had enough to do during the day, then gets a free meal at night and that is their life. Consider some substitutes that you can present to add some variety and activity into their life. Set them some tasks to do during the day, for example, instead of just feeding them a plate of food, stuff some of it into a food dispensing toy puzzle where they have to work out how to get the yummy stuff out. It will take quite a bit of time and will keep them moving and entertained. If you want to provide human interaction throughout the day, change it up and provide alternatives.
Step
1
Lunch date
If you live near where you work, maybe you could walk home, grab the dog and walk to a park for lunch. This will get your dog out of the house, and the walk will add activity to their day. Even a 20 minute visit to the dog park will help. They will meet some new friends and hopefully engage in some feverish play. Then you can take them home and they will be happy for the afternoon. Leave them with a new squeaky toy and head back to work.
Step
2
Book a day at doggy daycare
It will cost a bit of money to have your dog stay at a dog daycare center, but it will provide much needed interaction during the day. Explain that your dog is on a regimen to lose weight so that the daycare staff don't feed them too much. Ask them to provide some fun that will get your dog active. Check your local area for a daycare center to see what they offer in their program.
Step
3
Ask someone to visit
Maybe you have friends or family who don't work during the day. Or consider hiring a dog walking service (such as Wag!) to take your dog out for a stroll. Another option is to ask a friend or family member to visit if they live nearby; it will brighten up your dog's day and add more exercise to their routine. Maybe you can swap services - if you are an accountant, maybe you can do someone's books in return for pet care. If you don't ask, you will never know.
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More Fun Ideas...

Indoor Obstacle Course

A wet day is not an excuse to put off a bout of exercise. You can set up an indoor obstacle course for your dog, complete with jumps (boxes), weaving (in and out of marker cones), and climbing (utilizing stairs inside). This event can last as long as your dog has the energy, while you can either be a sideline supporter or you can do the course with your buddy. You will get a good work out while your canine pal burns off the biscuits! Use props such as seats that your dog has to crawl under, and include tricks such as 'roll over' to add an extra element to finish each round. If your  dog doesn't know this trick, now is the perfect time to teach them. Keep any rewards small, as in tiny and healthy. Before long, your pet will be lithe and streamlined.

Water Paddleboarding.

If it is a warm sunny day then it may be the perfect opportunity to take your dog out on a stand-up paddleboard. They are perfectly designed for a canine navigator, being wide enough and long enough for most dogs. Go slowly and carefully if this is your dog's first ride. Practice in shallow water, getting them to hop on and stay on while you move the board around. They will get plenty of exercise just jumping on and off and swimming. Once they get their confidence, take them out in a sheltered calm lake or bay. It may be best to outfit your dog with a life vest, they usually come with a convenient handle which makes it easier to lift your pup back on board if they take a dip. The vest costs approximately $35 from pet stores. This fun activity will tone up your pooch's muscles and help melt the fat away.

A Game of Soccer

Some dogs love to play soccer, especially herding breeds like the Border Collie or Australian Shepherd. You can pick up a soccer style ball from your pet goods supplier; these balls are resistant to the sharp pet teeth that may try to grab it. Once you teach your dog to nudge the ball back and forth between you, it is time to speed it up. They will soon get the hang of it and race to beat you off the ball. Dogs can learn to dribble the ball along with their nose or their paw. This activity can be played anywhere - even inside on a wet day- as long as you have a large room clear of most furniture (a hallway is perfect). It is a perfect way to get your dog and yourself active and provides a great workout. Give a healthy treat (such as vegetables or small bits of cooked meat) so that you don't undermine the purpose of the game which is for your dog to lose their excess weight.

Conclusion

By adding more exercise to your dog's lifestyle you are being a responsible loving owner. Dogs were made to be active, always sniffing here, sniffing there. They were mostly working dogs in the beginning, before we found out what lovely companions they made. Then as we moved into cities, we brought our dogs with us and they went from working dog to couch potato. Now it's time for a change! That dog has got to move and shake their booty! Your dog will love the change in lifestyle. They will get more attention from you for a start, as you enjoy games and puzzles together. Your dog will nearly burst with pride as they accompany you to the beach, on a trek, or even just to the weekend market. It gives them something to do, something to learn and new people and places to see. Help your dog to get their groove on and become an active athlete.