For centuries, dogs have served as loyal companions to humans. They have helped us hunt for food, guarded our homes, and even provided comfort in times of need. Today, however, many dogs lead many different lives. Rather than spending their days roaming free or working alongside their human counterparts, they often find themselves relegated to the couch or backyard. While this lifestyle change may provide some dogs a more comfortable life, it can also lead to several health problems.
Modern dogs are prone to obesity and joint issues due to their sedentary lifestyles and often lack the mental stimulation needed to stay sharp. As a result, dog owners must ensure that their dogs remain healthy and active. Taking them on regular walks, playing games with them, and providing plenty of toys and puzzles can help keep your dog happy and healthy for years.
A widespread problem with large breed dogs is all kinds of disorders caused by their inactive lifestyle. It is found that when a dog does not get enough scope to remain bodily active, it can suffer from physical and psychological difficulties. The most common problems are obesity, cardiovascular diseases, joint pain, and depression. As a responsible owner, you must ensure your dog gets enough exercise. Even with a hectic work schedule, you should find time to take your dog for a walk or a run. Only by ensuring that your dog remains active and healthy can you hope to enjoy many years of companionship with your dog.
Exercise Ideas for Large Dogs: 8 Activities to Try
Although all dogs benefit from regular exercise, it is essential for large breeds. Large dogs are more prone to joint problems and obesity and often have shorter lifespans than smaller dogs. You can help your big dog lead a long and happy life with the ideas below.
1. Get Out of The House
When it comes to finding the perfect place to take your dog, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. If you have a big dog, you’ll want to find a place where they can stretch their legs and run around. A dog park, field, or open space is perfect for this. Not only will your dog get some much-needed exercise, but they’ll also have a chance to socialise with other dogs. Just be sure to keep an eye on them and make sure they’re safe!
2. Try The Red Dot Rally
You can use a laser light to play with your dog indoors on a rainy weekend. Your dog will get busy chasing that red dot, jumping up and down and running back and forth.
However, ensure you do not directly point the light towards your dog’s eyes. It can be pretty dangerous. So bear that in mind.
Also, your dog can sometimes get too excited and desperate to catch that dot. It can hit a thing or two while playing inside the house. Keep your valuable showpieces away from their reach to avoid any unwanted scenarios.
3. Play Dog Tag
Try playing dog tag outdoors to help your dog exercise. It is an excellent way to jolt your muscles too.
Large dogs love a good game of dog tag, which keeps them active.
4. Fetch Race With Your Dog
Time to bring some twists to the old game. Throw your dog’s favourite toy across the lawn, immediately race with your big dog, and compete to grab the toy first.
Who doesn’t want to have an outing close to Mother Nature? If you are into hiking, you can always take your big dog alongside you and enjoy a great adventure together.
Hiking is in your dog’s genes, and it will love to climb through the terrains and get all tired, racing you to the top. This will also allow your dog to stretch its muscles and boost stamina.
6. The Classic Walks
One of the critical advantages of training your large dog is that it also helps you get some cardio and boost stamina. You can walk and jog while taking your dog to a nearby park.
You can run through the sand, dry leaves, or shallow water. Jump over the low park benches or any other obstacle with your dog following you.
When jumping, if your dog is less than a year old, ensure that the obstacles you are crossing are low in height. The last thing you want is to see your dog getting hurt while it tries to imitate your moves.
7. Try The Dogstacle Course
Making a dogstacle course at home can be fun and rewarding for you and your furry friend. Here are some steps to get started:
- Choose a location: Find an area in your yard or home large enough to set up the obstacles.
- Determine the obstacles: Decide what obstacles you want to include in your course. Some ideas include jumps, tunnels, weave poles, balance beams, and cones.
- Gather materials: Once you have determined the type of obstacles you want to include, gather all necessary materials, such as PVC pipes for jumps, cardboard boxes for tunnels, pool noodles for weave poles etc.
- Set up the course: Place each obstacle in its designated location according to the layout plan that you have already made.
- Train your dog: Introduce each obstacle one by one using positive reinforcement training techniques until they become comfortable with it before moving on to another obstacle.
- Practice regularly: Encourage your dog to practice running through the entire course regularly so that they can improve their agility skills over time.
8. Attend The Outdoor Activities
Many communities organise outdoor activities like 5k runs, public pool swimming, and fetching for dogs.
You should attend such events now and then with your dog. This will allow your big dog to socialise with other dogs from the neighbourhood.
Dogs love to play together. So grab this opportunity to keep your pet active. At the same time, you’ll get a chance to socialise too.
Always remember, an active dog is a healthy dog. So pay enough attention to ensure that your dog is getting the scope to remain physically active.
Please take it to the dog park regularly and other outdoor community events.
You can also take it closer to mother nature the next time you go for a hike. If you’re too lazy to go outside, try the red dot rally using a laser light or Dogstacle.
Having a large dog is not easy. You must give it enough time to ensure it is healthy and active. So try the exercises I have explained above.
Besides these exercises, you should ensure your pet gets the right dog food containing all the essential nutrients. This is vital to ensure your large breed dog lives a long, happy, and bad health-free life.