There are plenty of best exercises for dogs that you can do indoors and outdoors. Some may need equipment whereas some you can do without any extra requirements. All these exercises will keep your dog physically and mentally healthy. 

As dogs grow old, they are more susceptible to health problems. Orthopedic issues, different types of cancer, and diabetes mellitus and just among the most common conditions that they could experience. Behavioral problems are also plausible, such as anxiety and aggression. So, to keep your dog in optimal health, regular exercises should be part of your routine. 

In this quick guide, I will be talking about the best exercises for dogs to help you prepare a plan. Moreover, once you start following it regularly, you’ll notice that your dog looks healthier and even, happier!

Best Indoor and Outdoor Exercises For Dogs 

Dog exercises consist of mainly two types – indoor and outdoor. So, in case you can’t go out due to bad weather, you can always try out indoor exercises. 

Or, if your dog is in the mood for some sunshine, outdoor exercises can work quite efficiently. 

1. Make Use of Treadmill 

Type of Exercise: Indoor

Things Required: Treadmill, dog treats

Treadmills aren’t only one of the best fitness equipment for us, but also for dogs. So, if you have a dog treadmill at home, you can use it for exercising your dog safely. Here’s how:

Step 1: Introduce the Treadmill to Your Dog 

In this step, keep the treadmill off and get on it. Then, encourage your dog to climb on the treadmill, with the help of a treat. Once they do, offer them the treat. 

Step 2: Make Them Stand on Treadmill Alone 

Then, step down, and ask them to stand on the treadmill alone. Encourage them to do so by holding a treat over your treadmill. They may hesitate a little but soon, they will!

Step 3: Make Them Friendly to a Running Treadmill 

Once your dog is comfortable enough to get on the treadmill alone, make them stand beside the treadmill. Turn it on and after some time, when your dog looks relaxed, offer a treat. 

Step 4: Get Them on the Treadmill 

Lastly, ask your pup to get on it. Then, put a leash on them and make them walk on it at the lowest speed. You can increase speed gradually as they get used to it. 

2. Utilize the Stairs 

Type of Exercise: Indoor

Things Required: Stairs, toys

Your stairs at home can be a great alternative to outdoor exercises, as it can be done at any point throughout the day. Because of the steep structure, it can help effectively build your dog’s muscle.  

Step 1: Stand on the Top and Throw a Toy

In this step, stand on the top of the stairs and keep your dog downstairs. Then, throw a toy near them.  

Step 2: Tell Your Dog to Bring the Toy Upstairs

Then, ask your dog to bring the toy to you. Repeat this process for about 20-25 minutes to exercise your dog through stairs!

3. Fetch Game 

Type of Exercise: Indoor/Outdoor

Things Required: Treats, toys 

The good old fetch game is probably the best exercise for dogs to stay happy, energized, and healthy too.

Step 1: Throw the Toy In a Park or Room 

In this step, throw the toy far away from your dog, either in a part (if outdoors) or your room. (if indoors)

Step 2: Ask Your Dog to Fetch the Toy 

Then, ask them to fetch the toy. Once they do, offer them a treat. Continue this game for at least about 30 to 45 minutes.

4. Tug of War 

Type of Exercise: Indoor/Outdoor

Things Required: Soft or fleece rope and treats 

Tired of some basic exercises and want to have a fun time with your dog? Try out the tug of war! This exercise is one of the best exercises for dogs and helps in forming a bond with your dog, too.

Step 1: Make Your Dog Grab the Rope 

Firstly, hold the rope from your end. Then, ask your dog to come in front of the other side and make them sit. 

Then, command them to hold the rope. You can do it by waving the rope in front of them or moving it on the ground. Once they grab it, you can begin the play.

Step 2: Play With Them 

When you’re playing, slightly tug on the rope and encourage your dog to do the same. They’ll soon get the hang of it. 

You can continue tugging the rope up and down or side-by-side for about 10-20 minutes. 

Step 3: Ask Them to Drop the Rope

Lastly, make sure you don’t shout or scream at your dog to make them drop the rope. This will make them anxious and they may get angrier. Instead, calmly call out to them to drop it. You can also offer them some treats. 

5. Swimming 

Type of Exercise: Outdoor

Things Required: Leash, treats 

Swimming has a lot of benefits for your dog, including cardiovascular fitness. However, helping a dog swim may take some time and practice. Here’s how to do it. 

Step 1: Get Them Friendly With Water 

In this step, try to encourage your dog positively to get into the pool. Offer them a treat as they try to come closer to it. Even if they simply dip their toes into it, praise them.

Step 2: Make Them Follow You Inside the Pool 

Once your dog feels comfortable, put them on a leash, and get into the shallow area of the pool. Hold treats and ask your dog to get into the pool slowly. 

Then, move away farther to allow your dog to swim to you. You can also throw some toys that will make your dog want to swim towards them. 

Keep in mind that it may take some time depending on the dog breed to learn swimming. So, don’t rush. 

6. Jogging 

Type of Exercise: Outdoor

Things Required: Leash, treats

Jogging is a recommended exercise for dogs as it can help in strengthening their stamina, muscles, and also increase their attention span. 

Step 1: Put Your Dog on Leash and Start Walking

Start by securing your dog with a leash. Then, take them out and for about 100 yards, encourage them to walk beside you with the help of treats and praises. 

Step 2: Introduce Jogging 

Then slowly, increase the speed and jog. But, make sure you keep your dog beside you. Try to switch between jogging and walking to make sure that your dog doesn’t get too tired.

Step 3: Jog Faster 

Once your dog is having fun instead of panting hard, it is time to step up the game. Try to jog faster and see if your dog can match up to your speed. After some time, they’d be jogging faster than you!

7. Scavenger Hunt 

Type of Exercise: Indoor/Outdoor

Things Required: Favorite toy or treat

It is not always the physical aspect of your dog that requires training, but you also need to strengthen their brain and senses. A scavenger hunt can definitely help in sharpening their mental capacity by increasing their senses.

Step 1: Keep the Toy/Treat in Plain Sight 

Firstly, keep your dog’s favorite toy across the room or anywhere nearby in plain sight so they can follow the scent and find it. This will allow them to get an idea.

Step 2: Keep It In Other Rooms/Farther Areas

Once they understand the game after a few trials, keep the toy in another room and hide it somewhere, like under a pillow (if indoors).

Allow your dog to find the toy and help them if they feel lost. Try out for some time till they master it. 

Step 3: Increase the ‘Treasures’ and Hide Them In Different Places/Rooms

Lastly, you can hide various toys in different rooms or places (if outside) to build the difficulty level and sharpen their brain. 

Make sure that if you’re playing it outside your dog doesn’t wander off far away.

Final Thoughts 

These are some of the best exercises for dogs that can strengthen their physical, mental, and behavioral abilities. Moreover, it will also help keep their spirits up and increase your bond with them.

So, we hope this guide was helpful for you. If you like it, do comment and share it!