5 Ways to Be More Active With Your Dog in Your Daily Routine

by Sundays

Dog laying on couch holding a toy with their mouth

To help you and your dog stay active, we’ve pulled together some easy, fun ways to get moving together and to get all your steps in.

Staying active can be a challenge, dog or no dog. And depending on your dog’s age and breed, they could be motivating you to be more active, or they could need motivating, too. And it’s especially tough to keep up with your daily workout routines when the weather is just not great for outdoor activities with your pup. 

To help you and your dog stay active, we’ve pulled together some easy, fun ways to get moving together and to get all your steps in.

1: Gamify your routine.

Workouts are just more fun when you feel like you’re playing a game or competing. You can use an Apple Watch or FitBit to track your steps or compete in fitness challenges to hold you accountable and add some friendly competition. But what about your pup? 

You can get your four-legged workout buddy their own activity collar, specially designed for pups. With the Fi collar, for instance, you can set a daily step goal, see how many steps your dog did each day compared to other days, and see how they rank in different packs. 

Each step is converted to a point, and your dog can join different packs based on their breed, age, city, and state, and you can even form a pack with your friends’ dogs. Just the gaming factor alone will motivate you and your pup to stay at the top of the pack when it comes to your steps–or at least it will get you up and moving. 

2. Teach your dog hide-and-seek.

You can never outgrow a good old game of hide-and-seek, especially when you play with your dog. Half the fun will be just teaching them how to play the game. It might be a little easier if your dog already knows how to sit and stay, but don’t worry if they don’t.

This is a game you can play indoors just as easily as outdoors in case it’s too cold or hot outside but you still need to get in some playtime. To prepare, get some small, low-calorie treats that your dog loves or take their next serving of Sundays and take mealtime outside of the bowl. 

If your dog will sit and then actually stay in one place, even when you aren’t in view, then you can start this game quickly. Tell your pup to sit, and give them a treat. Then tell them to stay while you leave the room they are in and go to another room. Then call your dog once and let them find you. Give them a treat when they do. 

Start out just standing in plain sight in the other room, and then move on to actually hiding in trickier and trickier spots, like behind doors and under blankets. 

If your dog doesn’t know how to sit and stay, you could try to teach them these commands first, or go the easier route and have someone else hold your pup while you go to the other room. Then have the person let your pup go when you call their name to come search for you.

3. Take five-minute play breaks.

If you work from home, it can be hard to remember to get up and stretch your legs every so often. If this is the case, start setting a “play break” alarm on your phone or watch two to three times during the workday. 

When the alarm goes off, call your dog over, and have a five-minute play break with them. It could be a game of fetch or tug-of-war or even light wrestling. Switch it up each time to keep it exciting and to find out which your pup loves most.

Soon, your dog will know what the alarm means, so they will hold you accountable for getting in that needed playtime and exercise.

4. Play indoor soccer.

Soccer is a great physical and mental activity for dogs. Some dogs are naturally super into soccer, especially if they have any retriever, hunting, or herding breeds in their genetic makeup. If your dog isn’t one of these breeds, it doesn’t mean they can’t at least get into a casual game of soccer around the house. 

You might have to show your pup how to play if their instinctual love for chasing balls doesn’t kick in. Treats work great for this. Just put one of your dog’s favorite treats (just a small one) under the ball so they have to move it with their nose to get the treat. 

After they get the hang of that, see if they can nose the ball to you to get the treat. Once they’re a pro at getting the ball to you, try rolling the ball to them or seeing if they will try to take it away from you–all with the reward of a treat, of course.

5. Have fun chasing bubbles.

This might sound like a super low-key activity where you can sit on the couch blowing bubbles while your dog does all the work chasing bubbles. But then you would miss out on all the fun exercise. 

So in our version, the rule is that you have to jump to catch the bubbles. A bubble popped with your feet on the floor doesn’t count. It will help to have a bubble blowing machine or another person who can blow the bubbles so you can really get in the game.

To make sure it’s safe for your pup, you can make your own bubble soap by mixing a cup of water with a little dish liquid. There are also bubble solutions made just for dogs that you can buy, too. 

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