Creating an Exercise Routine for Your Dog


Does your dog need to lose a couple extra pounds? Does he get worn out easily? Maybe it’s time to come up with a fun exercise routine for your pup! Don’t become discouraged that your dog is in this state, do something about it! Dogs are resilient animals and with some careful planning and diet restrictions, you should notice changes quickly. 

A couple runs outdoors with their dog

Why Is Exercise Important For My Dog?

Active dogs tend to live longer and lead a happier life. Exercise is important for your dog because they need to maintain their physical health. Regular exercise can help your dog have strong muscles, bones, and maintain heart health. Obesity can pose problems because the extra weight can affect your dog’s joints, ligaments, hip & back, and cause heart issues.

In addition to keeping your pet’s physical health in check, exercise can be beneficial for behavioral problems. The mental stimulation from exercise can turn off impulsive behaviors and mend anxiety by releasing energy. Dogs who have exhausted themselves are less likely to get into trouble and to sleep more soundly throughout the night. Incorporating exercise can help produce a more calm pup and increase overall pet owner satisfaction.

Types of Dog Exercises

Walk, Jog & Run

Some of the most simple ways to exercise your dog is by walking or hiking (if you love the great outdoors). Going on short, 20 minute walks, jogs, or runs can be beneficial. As your pup begins to gain strength, increasing the time that you go. Walking can be an easy way for your dog to get in shape, and it helps dog owners too!

Go Fetch

Playing a game of fetch can be a fun, more interactive way to exercise your dog. Whether you use a ball, stick or frisbee, fetch can be played in almost any environment. Fetch is also a good thing to train your dog. Using a command and having your dog recall the item quickly can be a great behavior skill to have.


Taking your dog to a dog-friendly pool or lake to swim is a great form of exercise. Swimming is a weightless activity so it is great for senior dogs that may have arthritis, but need to lose some weight. Not all dogs are swimmers so be sure your dog is comfortable in the water. Do not force a dog into the water if they are unsure.

Dog Parks

Try searching for a dog park in your area. This is a great way to not only exercise your furry friend, but also socialize them with other dogs. Dogs love to make up their own games with pup friends, especially if toys are involved. In well-established dog parks, they may even have obstacle courses that your dog can run through. Websites such as BringFido make it easy to view dog-friendly locations in your area.

Tug Of War

Playing games of tug with your favorite rope toy, such as this one by Frisco, is another form of physical activity that you can incorporate into your dog’s exercise plan. Tug of war can be mentally stimulating while also being a fun bonding experience between you and your pet. Increasing your dog’s heart rate can encourage weight loss and make a stronger heart.


While exercise is very important, taking a look at your dog’s diet is another step creating a new routine for your dog. If necessary, you may need to lower your dog’s calorie intake. If your dog likes grain-inclusive food, consider our Wholesomes Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe. It contains only 345 kcal/cup. If you prefer feeding a grain-free recipe, consider trying our Wholesomes Beef Meal and Potatoes recipe–it only includes 340 kcal/cup.

Still want to give your dog a treat, but don’t want to feel guilty about cutting into his diet plan? Try our Wholesomes Gourmet Rewards Lite Bites. These are low-calorie biscuits at 25 calories per treat. There are plenty of options when it comes to your dog’s diet and weight loss plan!

Creating an exercise routine for your dog doesn’t have to be intimidating. Try a variety of exercises to see which one your dog loves the most. If you aren’t seeing any progress, change it up a bit and try doing something new. We have several dog-friendly activity ideas for the spring, summer, fall, and winter! Analyze your pup’s diet and consider switching to a lower-calorie food or treat. With these suggestions, your furry friend will be determined to get fit!