Are you wondering how to exercise your dog if you’re disabled or mobility-impaired?
Besides obedience training, proper exercise is also necessary for the well-being of your dog.
Fortunately, you’ve found the right place.
Today, I’m going to suggest to you seven easy ways to exercise your dog at home.
7 ways to exercise your dog when you’re disabled
Dogs need their daily exercise to stay fit and burn off their excess energy so that they don’t make a mess at home.
As many owners would say to you, “A tired dog is a good dog.” But exercising a dog is sometimes easier said than done.
It can be even more challenging if you have a disability and don’t have the opportunity or the ability to go to long walks with your pooch or take Fido running.
Don’t let this scare you from getting a dog. Disabled dog owners can use several tricks to exercise their dogs and keep them happy and content.
Let’s see what to do if you can’t walk your dog.
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#1 Get a dog treadmill
One of the easiest ways to get a dog tired is to make Fido run. However, when you’re not up to the challenge of taking your dog for a run in the dog park, you can try a dog treadmill.
That’s right. There is such a thing as a dog treadmill, and it functions on the same principle as a human one.
Dog treadmills are an excellent solution because they allow you to exercise your furbaby in all weather conditions.
Moreover, they come in handy when your furbaby has put a couple of pounds on, and you want Fido to shave them off.
In addition to this, it’s easy to teach a dog to use a treadmill:
- For starters, leave Fido a couple of days to get used to the presence of the machine.
- Then coax Fide on the treadmill when it’s turned off with treats and encourage him to move.
- Allow Fide to see how you walk on the treadmill when it’s turned on.
- Wait for the dog to be comfortable around the working machine.
- Leash your dog and encourage him to step on the treadmill.
- Turn the machine on the lowest setting and stand in front of your dog to encourage Fide with treats.
- Keep sessions short.
The bad thing is that a new treadmill might be over your budget, but you can always try to find a used dog treadmill for your pooch.
#2 Hide treats
Dogs have a superb sense of smell, so disabled dog owners can use this to their advantage when it comes to exercise.
Just hide your dog’s favorite treats around the house and watch as Fido runs around, trying to find them all.
A lot of dogs love to dig, so they will quickly start looking for the food.
In addition to this, you can divide your dog’s meal into parts and place the food in bowls around the house.
In this way, your pooch will have to work out where the next part of his meal is and will get some physical exercise as well.
#3 Engage in obedience training
Obedience training is an important aspect of your relationship with your dog.
While you can always take your dog to obedience school, basic commands are something that you can practice from the comfort of your home.
They don’t require a lot of physical activity on your part, and most of them can be done while sitting, even in a wheelchair.
So, disabled dog owners can use obedience training to exercise their dogs and provide mental and physical stimulation.
Start with the basic commands, for example, “Sit,” “Down,” or “Come,” and then you can move out to more complicated commands when your pooch has mastered these.
In addition to this, try agility training and teach your dog to jump over hurdles at home.
All you need is patience, treats, and a low obstacle, for example, a couple of pillows.
Moreover, these obedience training sessions are usually short – up to 5-10 minutes so that they won’t tire you too much.
#4 Try interactive toys
Besides training, dogs love to play with toys. Nowadays, you can find all sorts of interesting dog toys on the market that are designed to stimulate your dog’s mind and body.
For example, you can get your dog interactive bones to keep him occupied for the day.
Interactive ball launchers are also excellent if Fido loves to chase balls, but you can’t throw them.
Furthermore, you can get food puzzles so that your dog has to work for his food.
Or you can by a snuffle mat (a mat where you hide treats). It stimulates your dog’s natural instinct to snuff and search for his food.
#5 Get a flirt pole
While interactive toys are great for dogs, they might be out of your budget. Then you can make a simple toy that your dog is bound to enjoy.
I’m talking about a flirt pole.
Explained simply, a flirt pole is a long stick with something tied to it, for example, a toy.
When you need to get your pooch moving, you walk around and drag the toy around. Or you simply sit on the couch and swish the flirt pole around.
So, if you’re wondering what to do when you can’t take your pooch for a walk, I highly recommend that you try the flirt pole.
#6 Play Tug
All dogs love tug-of-war, and it could be an excellent exercise for your dog when you’re disabled because you can play sitting on the couch or the floor.
Tug-of-war engages your dog’s predatory behavior, and it’s an excellent exercise to teach you how to control your dog when Fido is overexcited.
It’s also the perfect exercise for burning off energy, and it’s beneficial for your dog’s muscles and teeth.
Just make sure that your dog knows how to drop things on command or tug-of-war could be difficult to play.
And don’t forget to let your dog win from time to time to build his confidence.
#7 Get help
Last, but not least, you can ask somebody to help you exercise your dog if you’re disabled.
I mean friends, relatives, or family who could spend some time with your pooch and take him for a walk outside.
When it’s all said and done, some dogs do need to run and play outside, or they will be miserable. So, ask your fellow dog-owner friends for help.
Of course, you can hire a professional dog sitter/walker, but it’s going to cost you a fortune in the long run.
In this case, getting a dog treadmill will be much lighter on your budget.
Dogs are excellent companions and can be of great help to you when you’re disabled.
So, don’t allow your fear that you won’t be able to keep up with your dog stop you from adopting a furbaby in your family.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to exercise your dog when you’re disabled and keep both of your happy and content.