Let's face it. You love your family but, no matter how many times you tell them they still love to slip your pup a snack from the table. After 2 or 3 or 25 of those little "slips" your pup is probably feeling weighed down today.
Well worry not! We've created a quick list of 10 activities you can do with your pup to help them (and in some cases you) work of the holiday weight!
1. Run your dog up and down the stairs.
Using the stairs is a great way to tire out your dog. The steps add an additional challenge to a dog’s workout, as they engage different muscles than those used on a regular walk or run and add an extra level of difficulty with the change in elevation. Stand at the top of the stairs and throw a toy down to your dog. When your dog grabs the toy, call their name and have them bring the toy to you. After several rounds of this, we're sure he'll be winded.
2. Set up obstacle courses.
Your house or apartment is like a giant jungle gym if you're creative enough! Find old things laying around like that old hula hoop and use for your pup to leap through or using cushions to create a tunnel for them to navigate. This game will challenge your dog both mentally and physically.
3. Make your dog work for its treats.
Now this one is our personal favorite. We're sure you have a pack of Gaines Family Farmstead Sweet Potato Treats laying around after Christmas. So take a handful and hide the around the house – behind doors, under tables, underneath rugs, etc. Your dog will be so busy tracking down the treats that they won't even realize they're exercising.
4. Keep away and fetch.
Engage your dog in a good old fashioned game of fetch and keep away. These games keep your dog engaged, active, and help to release pent up energy.
5. Take a socialized outing.
Put your dog in the car (always remember to use a car restraint!) and head over to the nearest pet store. Walk your dog through the aisles, let them try out some toys and sniff around.
6. Get your dog on the treadmill.
A treadmill is a great way to get your dog a dose of healthy indoor exercise. First, allow your dog to get comfortable with the sight and sound of a running treadmill. Next, place your dog on the treadmill and give them a sweet potato treat (our fries are great training partners!) . Turn the treadmill on the lowest speed. Give them a fry to keep them on the treadmill. You may use the dog’s leash as an aid but never tie your dog to the treadmill. Also, standing in front of the treadmill and rewarding them with treats for walking might make your dog feel more comfortable. Once your dog is adjusted, you can gradually increase the speed to provide a more challenging workout.
7. Tug of War
With the amount of ropes and toys available that encourage tug of war, it’s not surprising that so many dog owners play this game with their dog. However, you need to be aware of the risk. It's a game that brings out the predator in your dog and can be unhealthy for your relationship if you don't have trust and respect to begin with. You need to have control over your dog's power and instincts before you can engage in a healthy game of tug of war with them.
What other indoor games do you play with your dog to keep them active? Send them our way and be sure to tag us on Facebook and Instagram with your best ideas! Happy Holidays everyone!