Healthy Activities for Your Dog

There are many activities that can promote the health of your dog. Dog health activities can include brisk walking, running, jumping, climbing, swimming, games, toys, and most importantly, a safe environment for these activities. Healthy activities for dogs can be performed anywhere the dog lives or visits, within limits. Owners can visit dog camps with their pets to secure bonding and obedience, which also offer camping opportunities and indoor play experiences. A dog owner can also set up obstacle courses in the back yard, create or purchase chew toys, and take the dog on 15-30 minutes long daily walks for exercise.

Labradors and other Retrievers enjoy swimming, but please use caution around lakes because snakes can be deadly. Chlorine should be avoided because it can cause damage to the dog's eyes. As with any water sport, be sure to thoroughly dry the inside of the dog's ears to prevent yeast infections from occurring. Teaching your dog to jump into the air for treats or a ball can help stimulate his brain and exercise his large muscle groups.

Positive reinforcement with snacks and praise will allow the owner to control play and rest periods.

Dogs love to play games. Try playing follow-the-leader around an obstacle course. Set up cones, a baby wading pool, and maybe a tunnel. Lead the dog on a leash two or three times, then run the course alone. Most dogs will naturally get the idea and begin to follow.

Another great game is Hide and Seek. This helps train a dog to wait and stay where you leave him. Place the dog in the stay position and go hide. Now watch your dog. Some of them peek! Once you have hidden yourself, call your dog and see how long it takes him to find you. This is a great bonding experience and also helps exercise the dog's brain with a strategy task. Agility exercises can help a dog to live longer and be able to go more places with his owner. Rough terrain can be covered with less danger and more confidence when a dog has been through some of the next exercises.

Make a low level seesaw using a 1x12 plywood plank and a triangular wooden block. Let the dog watch you walk from one end of the board to the other, then lead him across it with the leash. Reward him when he makes it completely across the plank, and then coax him to walk the board alone. This exercise also helps young dogs to learn balance and increase motor coordination. Your choices for healthy fun with your dog are limited only by your imagination.

So see what games and tricks you and your pet can improvise. You will both enjoy these for years to come.

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