exercise dog on treadmill

A treadmill is hard work for dogs, too!

Is your normal alarm clock the unmistakable aroma of doggie breath wafting over you? Walking first thing is how many dog owners start the day, but even the best laid plans can run into complications and interruptions. How do you cope? Here are a few ideas to overcome any stumbling in your dog’s exercise routine:
1. Doggie day care derails doggie doldrums. Most of our regular daycare customers are scheduled to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which are incidentally, our favorite days of the work week! Just like parents of small children schedule “play dates,” you can schedule supervised time with other dogs.
Having someone else in temporary control of your pet’s exercise and social interaction allows you the needed time to focus on other errands or duties. And your pet isn’t banished to a lonely house or back yard for a long stretch of time. Everyone wins!
2. Dog Walking: In Service. Some clients rely on Town and Country’s dog walking service for regular exercise. Others contract with us during their vacation or even after knee surgery. A 30-minute waist-slimming power walk goes for 10 bucks.
3. Neighborhood kids and responsibility. If you know a teen or mature pre-teen, consider hiring her for walking your dog. A long work day for you could be more interesting for your dog if he’s walked around lunchtime – or right after the school bus comes.
4. Take me out to the Bark Park. After the first visit, you may be singing a happy song, and so will your dog. In our area, there’s a Bark Park located in Elon right beside the Beth Schmidt Park. Don’t forget water for your pet to be sure she stays hydrated, and of course, keep a couple plastic bags in your pocket for efficient scooping and keeping the area clean.
5. Tread softly on a treadmill. If folks in Hawaii can teach a dog to surf, teaching a dog to walk or run on a tread mill is a cinch in North Carolina (or any other state with inclement weather.) The secret is to start slowly and steadily keep working.
6. YES to balls in the house. You know which toy or ball really gets your dog moving, so pick it up and throw it! Your dog may quickly “fetch” or think the object of the game is “keep away” but either way, he’s moving. You may not get two miles in this way, but every little bit helps and your creativity puts a smile on everyone’s face.
7. Sleeping cats, awake! Most of our tips have been for dogs but cats need exercise too. Cat trees or toys on strings usually motivate the most reticent kitties.
So what are your favorite ideas for pet exercise? Send them to us, or walk on over to our Facebook page and share them.
Image courtesy of Flickr and normanack