Spring Tips: Managing Your Dog's Energy
In this time of ever increasing sunlight, your four-legged best friends are more likely to be up and at ‘em earlier and for longer hours. And for those who already have high-octane dogs, what can you do to help them manage all this energy?
Dogs can be high-energy for a variety of reasons. Some dogs are just built that way, such as hunting and working breeds, while others store up energy from being left alone for long periods of time. Then there are the dogs who suffer from anxiety, especially those who have had long stints in a county animal shelter. Whatever the reason your dog has excessive energy, there are a variety of ways to help your dog manage it.
First and foremost, you should be the calm in the eye of their storm! Dogs tend to vibe off of their people’s energy, so make sure you are acting from a calm center before approaching their chaos. Keeping to a schedule promotes security and discipline, so planning your dog day activities can be the most important task.
Things to do:
Smells Like Heaven - One of the best things you can do for your dog is to take them for long walks in unfamiliar territory. Dogs work things out through their noses, so smelling new dogs and scents can help to calm them while they process all of that wonderful new data coming in! Physical exercise plus the sensory/mental activity makes going for a walk one of the best energy releasing activities possible.
Put Your Dog to Work - 15-minute scheduled training sessions can help your dog focus and utilize stored up energy. Remember to read your dog’s cues as too much training can cause stress and have an opposite effect. Work within their attention span. When it is no longer fun for the dog, it’s time to do something different.
Interactive Toys - There are a wide variety of toys that engage your dog’s curiosity, as well as their urge to chew. Classic Kongs are great for filling up with pumpkin, freezing, and giving to your dog as a cool snack in the summer. Activity boards or puzzle toys hide treats and require your pup to open a latch before it is rewarded. Outward Hound makes an extremely durable hide-a-plush toy that allows your dog to shake small toys free and chase them around as they squeak!
Dig It! - If your dog alleviates stored energy by ruining your yard, give them a place in your yard that they can call their own. Add a small covered sandbox that is open to them only during special times. Place plastic squeaky toys in the sand for loads of digging fun.