There is no denying that dogs make great pets. In fact, dogs are so popular in the USA that approximately 63.4 million households own at least one, according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). There are many reasons why dogs are among the most-favored pets on the planet.
Not only are they great companions, but they can also help relieve stress, provide security, and help you keep fit. As a self-proclaimed geek, however, you may not find the thought of taking your dogs for long walks or frolicking in the park particularly appealing. Thankfully, there are a number of delightfully geeky ways in which you can exercise with your beloved pooch.
Run up and down the stairs
One of the simplest ways to exercise alongside your dog is to climb (or run) up the stairs with him. While this may sound like a very tedious and pointless task, but just remember in how many ways it can benefit your health. Climbing stairs can reduce your risk for cardio disease by as much as 30%, while increasing your dog’s strength and stamina significantly. If your house has stairs, you can easily climb them a couple of times a day without even having to get dressed. You can, of course, don a Flash suit and whizz up and down the stairs at lightning speed for maximum benefit. Alternatively, if you need motivation to get moving, why not gamify the process by downloading the Walkr mobile app? Walkr tracks your steps and uses your ‘step energy’ to power a virtual spaceship, which you can use to explore new planets. Even if you live in an apartment building and don’t have a broken elevator like the crew from Big Bang Theory, you can still choose to take the stairs – to great benefit of both you and your dog.
Tug of war can be fun
Did you know that a dog can be the perfect tug-of-war partner? Apart from being quite an enjoyable game, tug-of-war will also provide you both with a good workout. Minute for minute, this is by far one of the most rigorous exercises for a dog. While you can buy dedicated tug toys at a pet store, you can also make use of any thick piece of rope, or even an old cloth that you find lying around at home. Remember that playing too rough with your dog may lead to aggressive behavior, so make sure to intervene if your pup gets too invested in the game. If you are into LARPing, you can always make an occasion out of your tug of war sessions with your dog and put on your best medieval battle costume.
Build an indoor agility course
Although you may not be a typical DIY-type guy or girl, chances are you have watched every episode of MacGyver at least once. If that is the case, you will be able to construct a fun indoor obstacle course that can provide you and your dog with a brilliant workout. You can make jumps out of broomsticks, and create a tunnel by draping a blanket over a few chairs. Cushions, tables, chairs, hula hoops, and empty cardboard boxes can all be used to create obstacles with varying intensity levels. Star Wars fans can even get creative and create a Jedi Training obstacle course that will provide hours of fun for humans and canines alike.
There are countless ways to exercise with your dog that will not involve spending extended periods of time outside of your comfortable abode. Even if you’re not entirely against the idea of venturing outside from time to time, you can still utilize the ideas above on days that the weather will prevent you from going out.
Some dog’s joints get really beat up during their lifetimes, whether it’s from chasing after the neighbor’s cat (or your own), playing catch, or any other doggy adventures yours could potentially embark on. For some dogs, it’s a real problem that can lead to joint-related issues such as ACL, osteoarthritis, and tears. Knowing your breed’s particular health concerns and physical needs will help you choose a pet insurance policy that’s right for you, but regular play and exercise can help ensure your dog’s bones stay strong and cause minimal wear on their joints over time.
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