Dog Exercise Ideas to Try at Home

Exercise is invaluable to you and your dog's physical and mental health. But sometimes, going for a neighborhood walk isn't an option or feels repetitive and unexciting. Whether you're a new pet parent, trying to help your dog lose weight, or simply searching for dog exercise ideas you've never tried, we've got you covered.

From testing your dog's agility skills to challenging them to a round of hide-and-seek, these options will fulfill your furry friend's need for exercise and fun.

How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?

Before we dive into playtime, you may be wondering how much exercise your dog needs. Depending on your dog's breed, the recommended time they should spend exercising ranges between 30 minutes and two hours each day, according to PetMD.

In addition to following general guidelines, be observant of your furry friend's behavior and body language; both can communicate what your dog is in the mood for! For instance, if your dog is restless and pacing, they likely want to exercise. If they are slumped and sleepy, well, maybe you can play together later.

Your furry friend's age, size, and physical condition are also important exercise considerations for keeping your dog healthy. If you have more questions, don't hesitate to consult your veterinarian.

Once you've determined how much exercise is right for your dog, check out these fun ways to incorporate active time into your day!

Start a Dance Party

When you're dancing, there's a good chance your party pup will want in on the fun! Turn on your favorite tunes and start to groove with your furry friend. Jumping, spinning, and shaking will keep the energy—and your spirits—up.

While it may seem silly, "dog dancing" is actually a modern dog sport! Known as "musical canine freestyle," this dog exercise involves a furry friend and their pet parent performing a choreographed song-and-dance routine. It requires plenty of collaboration, talent, and creativity! If you'd like to take part, consider dancing to music dogs like such as reggae or soft rock!

Hit the Stairs

Corgi running down steps on leash

Whether you're in an apartment building or live near accessible public areas, scaling a few flights of stairs is a solid workout! This is an effective dog exercise option if your furry friend is agile, high-energy, and does not have any joint issues.

For extra obedience training, encourage your dog to stay at the bottom of the stairs as you go up. Then, call them only when you reach the top of the flight!

Play Hide-and-Seek

This iconic childhood game works great for your furry friend. You can make the goal of the game to find their favorite chew toy, a treat, or even you!

First, show your dog what you intend to hide and let them get a good sniff. Encourage them to stay in one room as you hide the object (or yourself); this will add an additional level of obedience training in the game! Then, call your dog's name and let the fun begin.

RELATED: Games & Competitions for Active Dogs

Set Up an Agility Course

Dog facing obstacle course

All it takes is a little creativity with the furniture and objects in your home to create an obstacle course! Of course, safety is paramount, so be sure you have enough space in your home.  If room is a concern, head to the yard or a park; an obstacle course is a fantastic outdoor activity for your dog.

To get started, lead your dog down a "tunnel" by lining up chairs or short tables in a row and draping a blanket across. You can also use a hula hoop, yard stick, or broom as a "rung" to encourage jumping. All of these are items you can hold and adjust to the desired height.

Throughout the fun, use training treats to entice your dog to participate and reward them for doing such an impressive job. Watch out—you may learn you have a show dog on your hands!

Beat the Clock

Get ready to make your furry friend's favorite games even more exciting! Use a timer to find out how long it takes your dog to accomplish tasks, such as completing a lap around the yard or fetching a play toy. Encourage them to complete the task even faster with every new trial and see if they can beat their personal best.

Beat the Clock can turn almost any activity into a thrilling dog exercise—even "chores" like cleaning up toys. It's also a great way to set up a friendly competition on your pooch's next doggy play date. Don't forget to give the winner a special prize!

Play On!

Once you've discovered how much exercise your dog needs, try these unique ways to get moving together! Changing up your routine with activities that go beyond a daily walk will only strengthen the bond you share—and promote the mental and physical stimulation your furry friend needs!



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