If you’ve got a hyperactive dog who needs to chill before a nap, car ride, vet visit, or for any other reason, you’re probably looking for ways to tire them out quickly. Maybe a walk would take too long and you don’t have the time. Maybe you need something a little more vigorous that won’t make you tired, too. There are plenty of things you can do to burn off some puppy energy that dogs of all ages get sometimes. Here are ten of the best ways to wear out an energetic pooch.
1. Run The Stairs
If leaving my apartment has taught me anything, it’s that there’s nothing more exhausting than stairs. If your dog is able to handle stairs well, running them up and down is a quick way to get out excess energy. You can do this inside or outdoors, and you can do it on leash, have them chase a ball or toy, or toss treats to keep them moving.
2. Make It Through An Obstacle Course
This is another one that you can do inside or outdoors. You can use furniture, pillows, lawn chairs, or whatever you have on hand. Have your dog jump over, run under, or weave around obstacles using toys, stuffed animals, treats, or anything that motivates your dog to keep them moving and rewards them for their effort. They’ll have a blast, get some mental stimulation, and have a nice workout all at the same time.
3. The Classic Fetch
You can play fetch just about anywhere and with just about anything your dog can carry. If you’re playing indoors, you can use a long stretch of hallway, or you can combine this activity with the stairs or obstacle course for an added challenge. The best part is that you don’t have to do much work at all. Just pick up and throw.
4. Go Swimming
Not every pup loves the water, but those that do will swim all the livelong day. You should only do this one if you have time to make sure your pup is nice and dry afterward, but it’s sure to tire them out quickly, and the water is more likely to keep them cool and prevent overheating. Remember to pay attention and stay safe around water.
5. Hose And Sprinkler Play
If you don’t have a lake or pool at hand, a hose or sprinkler can be a lot of fun for water-loving dogs. There are several kinds of sprinkler toys specifically for dogs, and some of them are activated when dogs use their paws to step on them. This can make for a mentally stimulating game, which will help reduce anxiety and boredom for the rest of the day. Like swimming, this should only be done if you have enough time to dry your pup off afterward.
6. Treat Hide And Seek
A fun game for dogs is hide and seek, especially when the reward is a treat. Try putting your dog in another room while you hide some treats around the house, then let your dog go nuts trying to find them all. If they’re having trouble, you can help lead them along until they understand the game and know where to look. This is a great brain-buster for dogs that’s sure to stop boredom in its tracks.
7. Work That Treadmill
It may take some time to teach your dog to walk on a treadmill. However, once your dog has it down, you can just help them start and watch them walk it out while you relax. Physical therapists and trainers sometimes use treadmills to strengthen dogs’ muscles and help them work out at an even pace, but it’s also good for burning energy.
8. Flirt Pole
What the heck is a flirt pole, you ask? It’s just a name for a dog toy on a rope attached to a pole. This is especially fun for dogs that are toy motivated. You can drag it behind you and run with your pup chasing after, or you can stay stationary and swing the rope around while your dog runs after the toy. Just be sure to let them catch it once in a while.
9. Load Up The Puzzle Toys Or Kongs
Puzzle toys or Kongs that are filled with xylitol-free peanut butter or treats are perfect for getting your dog to calm down and focus for a few minutes, and the mental challenge they provide will help reduce boredom and anxious energy. It’s not the most physical workout, but you’d be surprised how exhausted and relaxed your dog can be after a good play session with these toys.
10. Make An Impromptu Doggy Play Date
If you have a friend or neighbor who can send another pup over for a quick play date, it’s a great way to let your dog socialize and release some steam. It doesn’t have to be anything planned out; you can just let the dogs roam and play in a fenced in yard. Always supervise play sessions because you never know what could happen. If you don’t have anyone who can spare a pup for a play date, you can always take a trip to the local dog park for some social interaction.
What other ways do you tire out your dog quickly? Let us know in the comments below!