As you know, dogs are extremely clever beasts. Scientists have discovered dogs have the same intelligence levels as two year old humans, which is pretty impressive.
How clever is your dog? Here’s an excellent article from the Daily Mail about testing your pooch’s intelligence. However nice but dim or fiercely clever your dog is, the benefits of plenty of walkies are clear. Bored dogs can bark a lot, get stressed and are prone to illness. They can be destructive and can even become depressed.
“My basic rule of thumb is that all dogs should receive at least 60 minutes per day of physical exercise and 15 minutes of training to be happy, well-adjusted dogs. This is just a starting point. The numbers can vary greatly depending on the age, breed and individual requirements of your dog.”
The same goes for humans. Boredom and a lack of exercise makes us crabby, ill and depressed, too! Here are three fresh spring ideas for making walks the best possible fun for you and your dog.
Finding exciting new dog walking routes
It’s easy to get in a rut. You leave the house, take the same old route and come home again, time after time, week after week. But spring is here, the plants, trees and flowers are bursting out and most of us are feeling re-invigorated after the long, stormy, wet winter.
You’ll both enjoy the experience much more if you vary your route. Your dog can discover thrilling new smells, sights and sounds, meet new people and make friends with other people’s dogs they might not have ‘met’ before. If there’s somewhere you can let your pet off their lead for a proper run, even better. You see new sights too, and enjoy discovering more about your local area on foot.
Walk your dog more often
How often do you need to walk your dog, and how far? It depends on the breed. If you have a great big dog they’ll need more exercise than a tiny, wee one. If your dog is young and bouncy they’ll probably need more exercise than an old dog, who will get more pleasure from snoozing somewhere cosy than haring about all over the place and wearing themselves out.
Here’s what the Kennel Club website says:
“All dogs and dog owners can and should get walking. The government recommends that we get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and this is something that everybody can achieve, and go beyond, on a daily dog walk. Dogs’ exercise needs vary according to the breed that you have but every dog should have at least one walk a day, often two. Use our Breed Information Centre to find out more about the exercise needs of your chosen breed.”
Walks are great. But add play and it’s a whole new ball game. Is there somewhere near you where you can throw and fetch, hide and seek, ‘find it’ and more? Here’s a link to a collection of fun outdoor activities for you and your dog, which involve much more than walking.
What if it pours down? There are loads of indoor games you can play with your pooch, including:
- Indoor games for people and dogs
- Rainy day games to play with your dog
- 10 games to play with your dog
- How to stimulate your dog’s mind
What’s your dog’s favourite game?
We’d love to share your favourite doggie game with our readers. Feel free to comment.