We’ve fostered more Siberian Huskies and Malamute mixes than I can count. Most of these furry friends have been the typical “wild child.” And then, every once in a while, we have a complete and utter slug!
At approximately 10 to 11 years of age, it’s not surprising ole Sluggo isn’t slam dancing multiple times each day. But, as he’s slowed down, his waist line has expanded. I understand needing to lose some weight! If your home has never been blessed with the fur and energy of a Siberian Husky or Malamute, you may not appreciate that a young Sibe can run/wrestle 8 hours every day from six months to three years. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. Thankfully, they do slow down. Sometimes the Sluggos, even though they are walked every day, have decent size yards to frolic in, just don’t get up and go as they age. We say, “Sluggo’s stockpiling energy.”
So, what do you do with a couch potato middle-aged dog? The easy answer—get them moving! So here are some thoughts, suggestions, and comments regarding getting Sluggo up and at ‘em:
- Spice up your walk. Sluggo will get excited when the leash comes out, but he needs more than walking. Add some tricks to your walk. Teach your dog to spin, walk a circle around you, change directions and circle the other way. Find benches for the dog to walk on and jump off (Do not have a dog seriously overweight jump. It’s a good way to cause a serious injury.).
- Increase the frequency of your outings. If you have a yard, just getting Sluggo to trot in and out of the back door more often. Encourage him to walk around the yard, and not just lay down. Try a short game of chase to keep him moving. If you have older dogs, don’t let them stiffen up. Get them to walk around every couple of hours. It’s great for you as well.
- Backyard exercise. Don’t be afraid to use the leash in the backyard and exercise with your dog. If chasing toys and squirrels is not motivation enough for Sluggo, how about doing a little barrel racing around some safety/traffic cones or upside down paint buckets? Use your yard furniture as obstacles. And, there’s nothing wrong with meandering around trees and bushes to get Sluggo moving.
- Indoor tracks. Too hot or cold for too many outdoor activities? Yard muddy or small? No worries. Make a track in your house or apartment and do some laps. Make it fun. Turn on some music if Sluggo is inspired by the beat (or if you need the inspiration).
- Toys and toys. Unfortunately, our Sluggo is not one for toys. If you have a toy hound, then you’ve got a perfect way to exercise. Need I say more?
I know it can be difficult to find the time to get an unmotivated, aging, dog off the floor to exercise. But, 10 minutes of activity and play sessions several times a day will help everyone’s aches, pains and metabolism.
Get Sluggo Started!
Slugo needs to walk with us! Skye, Juno, and I did a 2 hour hike. They are tired dogs. Skye is actually showing a waist line. Then they play and have a good time.