Wednesday, July 23, 2014

5 Ways to Exercise with Your Dog

Walks are great but, sometimes people need new ways to get active with their dog.  Could you be ready to think outside the walk? Do you want to exercise with your dog to wear him out so he is calmer in the house? Or are you looking for something to burn more calories for yourself? Check out these five eco-friendly exercise ideas and try one this week! They will definitely help you and your dog be more active and healthier.

  1. Backyard Obstacle Course. Get into your garage, basement and shed and find some items to create an obstacle course for you and your dog. From benches and cinder blocks to jump over, to hula hoops and pool noodles to climb through, or even cones to zig zag around, you and your dog can build muscle and boost your brain all at once. If your dog doesn't seem to want to do the course, don't give up or get discouraged;  I have found it has worked best for me to keep doing the course and eventually the dogs run around and join in. The arch in the video is made by putting two camping spikes into the ground and putting the pool noodle onto both spikes. If you have more obstacle course ideas, please leave comments below!!!! 
  2. Go on a Hike. For your first hike with you dog, be sure to go on a very clear and well-marked trail. Maintained State Parks are a great place to start. (Some parks even have areas your dog can go swimming). It is important to apply an all natural flea and tick repellent before the hike; (spraying dog with lemon juice and putting on some rose geranium oil works well). You should also have water for you and your dog. For water storage, consider using an eco-friendly travel bowl like the h2FidO system. Although it does not hold a lot of water, it is easy to carry and recyclable when it wears out. Another travel bowl option is the canvas collapsible bowl from Olive Green Dog. It is made with eco-friendly materials, can be composted if it ever wears out, and made in the USA. Finally, always keep your dog on a leash and clean up after them. (Check out the Featured Fridays link to find Earth friendly leashes and dog waste options). 
  3. Visit a Doggie Water Park. This is something I HAVE to try with one of my dogs soon since there is one about two hours away from me called Lucky Paws Resort in Pittsburgh, PA. It offers the perfect mix of land and water play, and more and more parks like it are popping up all over the United States and Canada, so search the internet for one near you. Or, if you are feeling really adventurous, create a water park in your own backyard. Consider a baby pool filled with water, or connect a 2-lier soda bottle to your hose and poke some holes in the bottle for a homemade sprinkler. Limit water play to a few minutes so that you don't waste too much water. 
  4. Play Tug of War. If you have an old pair of jeans, you can upcyle them into a sturdy tug of war rop toy for you and your dog to exercise with. Tug of war helps build muscle for both you and your dog and can help you both work up quite a sweat. Click here for directions to make the homemade rope toy from jeans.
  5. Doga/Yoga with your Dog. Some people think this is only for little dogs, but large dogs can do it, too. For more information on getting into a yoga routine with your dog check out Pupcycled's Doga post. 


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