Here is a really simple & easy DIY project for you. Try having your dog walk on this obstacle mat slowly with some treats & encouragement. Sometimes, this could be more fun and effective than just a normal walk outside.
What you need:
- Door mat (or bath mat ) x 1
- Floating tube x 1 ~ 2
- Towel x 1
- Crazy Glue
- Have a door mat or bath mat ready. It can be substituted with a thick towel as well.
- Cut a floating tube in a length that will fit within the width of the mat. Place them in an appropirate distance between according to your dog’s size.
- Glue the tubes onto the mat.
- Cover the surface with a towel or a sheet in a similar material.
That’s it! You can glue the towel onto the tubes and the mat, but it is up to you. If you’d prefer to wash the towel often, leave the towel unglued.
The Longer You Walk Your Dog The Better?
When you think about exercising your dog, you tend to just think about the distance and not so much about the quality of exercise. We tend to think that longer you walk the better to build muscles. But, it is not exactly true, especially if your dog has some over-worked muscles. Over-worked muscles are tight and full of lactic acid. If your dog will keep using the already tired muscles, your dog will likely injure easily. Why? Because tight muscles are not flexible enough to withhold a shock, twist or landing. So, rest in between exercises is important in order to maintain healthy muscles. Ask any person who goes to the gym religiously about over-worked muscles.
Notice When To Take A Break
Dogs are good at hiding pain and would love to go for a walk even if they have to skip or hop here and there to compensate the problem area. If you are not watching carefully, you may not even notice this. It is hard to tell anyway because your dog is so excited to go outside and play with you! But it is our responsibility to maintain our dogs’ physical condition!
So, let’s say you and your dog had a long weekend of having fun outdoor, hiking, swimming, etc. Monday comes, your dog seems little stiff especially in the morning getting out of bed. In this case, keep your walk really short. If your dog is not interested in going out at all, then skip it completely. Instead, do a little game in the house using an exercise mat like this.
Playing On the Mat
Have your dog walk slowly on the mat by bending the knee; not hopping or jumping over. Try using some treats to encourage him/her to move forward or add the “stay” command here and there (if he/she knows it). The key is to have him/her walk slowly going over the tubes while properly bending the knee.