Top Healthy Treats for your Pup
Keeping your four-legged family member happy and healthy is more than just making sure they have the right food and plenty of toys to play with.
Dogs (and humans) need to maintain a healthy lifestyle all-around, and exercise is one of the significant pieces of the puzzle. Your pup may be excited about their daily walk, but they might need a bit more movement to stay at their peak health.
Outside of going for a W-A-L-K, here are a few things you can do to help your dog stay physically fit.
1. Nose Work Games
Nose work games stimulate a dog’s scent-smelling and mental abilities while keeping them physically active. You can create your own “go find it” nose work game when your dog is bursting with energy or you don’t have time to take them out for a long walk.
You can start prepping them for a “find it” game by playing a “which hand” game. Choose a smelly treat that you’ll want to use for a “find it” game. Then place a treat in one of your hands and extend both closed fists toward your dog. Ask your dog “which hand” and see if they can “choose” the hand that has the treat in it. If they choose correctly, they get the treat and praise. If not, show them the empty hand and encourage them to try again.
Once they’ve mastered the “which hand” game, you can graduate to a “find it” game where you hide one or more smelly treats in various locations around the house. Have them sit and stay while you hide the treats, then let them start looking as soon as you finish hiding the treats. Don’t forget to give them lots of praise when they find it! You can make the game easier by dragging the object on the floor to create scent trails while your dog is still new to the game.
2. Take Them to a Dog Park
Dogs love socializing just as much as humans do, and taking them to a dog park is one of the easiest ways for them to get in their exercise without you having to be actively involved. Dog parks are a safe place for your dog to interact with other pups while you kick back and read a book or get some work done. You can bring a tennis ball or toy with you if you’d like, or you can just let your dog run free.
3. Play Hide-and-Seek
If you have enough space in your house, you can play hide and seek with your dog. (Or you can have your kids play hide and seek with the dog if you need a way to occupy everyone at once.) Have your dog sit and stay while you (or someone else) hides, then yell “come” and have your pup come find you! Your dog knows how you smell, and playing hide-and-seek engages their cognition abilities in their brains.
4. Bring Them to Obedience or Agility Training
Another way to help your dog channel their energy is to sign them up for advanced obedience training or beginner’s agility training. These courses will help train your pup’s mind and body. The more time they spend in training, the more games you’ll be able to play inside and outside when it’s time for your dog to exercise.
At Ruffgers, we offer agility, obedience, puppy training, and rally courses. We have multiple levels in agility and obedience, so your pup can continuously learn something new. Our rally class is an incredible way to build teamwork and communication between you and your dog. And puppy training is the perfect place to start with your new pooch.
5. Send Them to Doggie Daycare
Sending your pup to doggie daycare is like taking them to the dog park for the entire day. If you know that you’re going to have a hectic day, you can drop your pup off at daycare so they can play with other dogs all day. By the time you pick them up, they’ll be exhausted and ready for bed. All three of our Ruffgers locations offer doggie daycare so your pup can have fun and you can have a day off.