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Move It, Fido! 6 Ways to Help Your Dog Get More Exercise

A dog hiking, a dog on a beach, a dog playing with a toy
Kurgo/Outward Hound/Hyper Pet

Just like people, dogs need daily exercise to stay healthy. But how many times can you walk around the same block or hit the same trail at the local park before you’re both bored? Luckily, there are plenty of other ways you can help your pup get more exercise, no matter where you live.

Generally, most adult dogs should get one to two hours of physical activity each day to keep their bodies fit and their minds sharp. However, endless walks around the same neighborhood and the same old ball-throwing sessions get pretty dull. Here are a few ideas to help you keep your furbaby fit and happy.

Go on a Hike

A dog on a hike

If your neighborhood doesn’t allow for super long walks, or if you and your dog are bored with the same old, same old, it’s time for both of you to take a hike! Exploring a new area is a great way to shake up your dog’s usual workout routine.

The new terrain will help your pup get more exercise than a standard walk on pavement, and he’ll get plenty of mental stimulation, as well. Mental fatigue can often make your dog even more tired than physical exercise alone, and it’s also super important for their health.

If you’re going to take your pet on a long adventure, though, be sure to load a hiking backpack with some treats, water, and potty bags for the journey.

Kurgo Dog Saddlebag Backpack

Make your dog carry his own stuff on your hike.

Agility Training

A dog by an agility training set

Some particularly active dog breeds—like Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, or Jack Russell Terriers—won’t be completely satisfied with even two hours of exercise per day. If your dog is one of those breeds, you’ll understand what we mean.

Agility training is an excellent form of exercise for any energetic, but trainable dog. You can enroll your dog in classes and get a professional trainer, or you can set up a DIY course in your own backyard.

If DIY isn’t your thing, this kit comes with everything you need to keep your pup busy.

Dog Agility Training Course

Everything you need to set up an agility course in your backyard.


A dog on a beach
Outward Hound

As the weather gets warmer, it can be hard to find ways to exercise your dog without overheating her. A pet-friendly pool or beach makes a perfect stop on those particularly hot afternoons.

Swimming is a great form of exercise for dogs and is also be a safe way for them to burn a lot of energy when it’s hot outside. Just be sure you let your dog loose in a pet-friendly area and that she’s wearing a life jacket if the water is deep enough to be over her head.

Orange Dog Life Jacket

Keep your dog safe in the water.

A Classic Game of Fetch

Two dogs by tennis balls
Hyper Pet

For most dogs, playing fetch is one of their absolute favorite activities. Luckily, it also gives them a great workout with minimal effort on your part, especially if you have a good arm. We’ll never understand it, but dogs can run back and forth chasing a ball for hours.

Fetch is ideal if you have a large outdoor area where your pet can run, but you can also play inside if you have a large living room or a long hallway. Of course, you’ll just have to be extra careful not to knock over any lamps or vases while you play.

Dog parents should always have a good stock of tennis balls so you can play your BFFs fave game anytime.

Hyper Pet Tennis Balls for Dogs

Because there's no such thing as too much fetch.

Active Obedience Training

Two book covers for dog training books
Workman Publishing Company

Obedience training is one of the best ways to work your dog’s brain. As we mentioned earlier, this can wear them out just as much as a good walk (although they need walks too!).

To get the most out of your obedience training, stick to active tricks and commands that’ll get your dog moving. These can include commands like “come,” “jump,” and “spin,” instead of “shake” or “stay.” With enough patience, you can even teach your dog how to pick up his own toys or fetch you something from another room.

If you’re unsure where to start, pick up a copy of Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement by Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz. This book is ideal for new dog owners who want to teach their pup the basics.

If tricks sound more exciting to you, grab The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever by Larry Kay and Chis Perondi. It focuses on teaching your pet tricks that are fun for both of you.

New Toys

Four dogs play with a toy

Just like people, dogs get bored with their stuff. But a new toy, like this teaser wand, can get them excited about playing again. It also forces them to move around a lot. They’ll probably think they’ve finally caught that elusive bird or squirrel they’ve been after for ages.

Teaser wands are typically thought of as cat toys, but they can also be great for hyper dogs that love to bounce around. Just be careful that your pup doesn’t go too crazy and hurt herself while trying to catch it.

Dog Extendable Teaser Wand

Get your dog moving in a new way.

If you simply don’t have enough time to exercise with your dog for two or more hours each day, enlist some interactive toys to help you out. While they’re certainly not a replacement for all physical exercise, they can be a real lifesaver if your pupper doesn’t seem to have an off switch.

This interactive electronic toy wiggles and rattles on its own, giving your dog something to chase around the house while you’re busy doing other things. However, according to some of the reviews, it’s not the best option for large dogs or aggressive chewers because the outer coating can be torn up pretty easily.

Hyper Pet Doggie Tail Interactive Plush Dog Toy

Will keep your dog busy when you are.

Because most dogs need one to two hours of exercise per day, that same walking trail can quickly get dull for both of you. If your fetch-throwing arm is starting to really ache, these items can help your pup get moving in new ways, both indoors and out.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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