You know that daily exercise is important for your dog and maintaining a healthy weight is critical for their quality of life. What you don’t know is that there is plenty of equipment out there to help your pooch exercise and actually make it fun. Whether at your neighborhood pet store such as Noe Valley Pet Company or online at Corte Madera based PetExpertise.com, a wealth of products are out there from small and simple to somewhat pricy installations. If you’re on a tight budget, some of these can be homemade and never overestimate the two most critical items for your dog’s healthy weight: a measuring cup for exact meal amounts and a leash for daily walks.
1. Your dog’s leash should be used regularly but what if off-leash jaunts or long walks aren’t possible? Consider using a long-line or a Flexi-leash to allow your dog more roaming room as you walk. Just take care that they’re not getting tangled or tripping others.
2. Smaller-sized pooches and puppies might enjoy the “Chase-It Dog Exercise Toy.” Similar to a cat toy and resembling a fishing pole, your canine chases the squeaky plush toy up-down-and-all-around until tuckered out.
3. FitPaws produces a variety of exercise peanuts, eggs and pads similar to the large exercise balls used by humans. They also offer a Pilates for Pooches DVD which instructs stretching and strengthening exercises using the FitPaws products.
4. Cycling is great exercise for humans and with a WalkyDog Bicycle Exerciser, your canine companion can safely jog alongside. On sale at PetExpertise.com, this contraption let’s your pooch exercise when you do.
5. TrimDog weight belt is an option for heavy hounds who already go for walks or swim. Similar to weighted vests for human weight loss, this non-technical and easy to use item helps pets lose weight gently as seen in this video.
6. No need to overlook the simplicity of fetch toys. Chuckit has a range of frisbees, balls and launchers to extend your throw. If you haven’t got one, an old tennis racket and some balls will work just fine.
7. Agility equipment such as jumps, ramps and tunnels to run through can make physical activity and training fun. If this motivates your dog, time to buy some pieces or build them yourself.
8. For exercise without a human, try a round food distribution toy such as Smarter Toy’s IQ Treat Ball. Fill the toy with your dog’s dinner and encouraging them to paw at, chase and follow the ball until all the food is released. It should take much, much longer than feeding out of a food bowl and your dog should be standing or moving for the entire meal time.
9. If you have a very high-energy pooch or you can’t get out for walks at all, consider a canine treadmill or treadwheel to burn that extra energy. This one is a pricy investment, however if it works for your dog and situation, why not exercise in the comfort of your own home?
10. Books. OK, so books won’t actually exercise your dog however the information in them might hold the key. Dogwise.com has an impressive website full of books about training, canine activities and a complete page of titles about games to play with your pooch.
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