Keeping Your Dog Fit While Staying Indoors

Keeping Your Dog Fit While Staying Indoors

Ever wish you could safely and successfully exercise your pooch without going outside? Perhaps you live in an apartment without a large backyard, or the weather is too frightful to deal with. Not to fear—below, your Woodland Park veterinarian offers several tips for exercising your dog while staying inside.

Utilize the Staircase

Your home probably already contains one great exercise machine—the stairs! Stand at the top of the staircase with your dog at the bottom. Use dog treats or his favorite toy to get him to run up the stairs. Give him plenty of praise when he gets there. Stair runs are great exercise for your dog, and the upward motion even utilizes different muscle groups than those that are used in normal running.

Classic Games

If you have the space in a basement room or your living room, try playing the same classic games you would outdoors—just on a smaller scale! Tug-of-war and fetch can be great fun and good exercise, and you don’t need a huge space to pull it off. Just make sure the toys you’re using are safe and don’t have any small pieces that could break off easily.

Obstacle Course

Use what’s in your home—couch cushions, pillows, blankets, boxes—and set up a homemade obstacle course for your dog. Set some treats at various points throughout the course to entice your dog into running through it. It’s fun for you to build it, and it’s fun for your dog to try and make sense of it! Of course, it doubles as great exercise.

Laser Pointers

Although laser pointer toys are more typically used with cats, many dogs like them as well. A laser pointer shines a beam of light—often in the shape of a small animal or insect—that your pet will have a blast chasing after. Direct it on the walls and floor and watch as your dog goes nuts trying to get it. Don’t shine the light in your dog’s eyes, though, as the laser could cause retinal damage. Consult your Woodland Park veterinarian for more healthy playtime ideas.

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