Imagine you come back from your morning walk with your dog, your coffee is brewed, toast prepared and you’ve just sat down at your computer to start the workday. And then it hits: the zoomies.
Your high-energy dog won’t settle down, and they’re bouncing off the walls ready to play with you. For most of us, we don’t even have to imagine it — it is the reality of having a high-energy pooch. Whether it’s freezing cold or a heat wave outside, there are a million reasons we can’t always fit in a 30-minute walk, or more, before the workday begins. So we've compiled 5 tried-and-true ways to tire out your high-energy dog.
1. Don’t take the same route every morning on that dog walk. Surprisingly, a lot of dogs’ energy is actually expended through mental stimulation (you’ll see this might be a theme later on). By taking your dog on the same route every single day, there’s less adventure involved for them. If you take your dog on a new path they haven’t seen before, they will burn energy through the excitement of finding new scents and places to mark their territory. Mixing it up will help tire out your dog by keeping them alert and on their toes for what’s next.
2. Try a slow feeder. Besides helping to control your dog’s eating speed, a slow feeder is another excellent way to tire out your high-energy dog. Instead of scarfing down that first meal of the day in a matter of seconds, a slow feeder will help create a challenge for your dog making them have to work and think as they enjoy their food. Plus, if you combine a slow feeder with some freeze-dried raw dog food on top or mixed in, or even a collagen-rich bone broth for dogs, then your dog is in for a real treat.
If your pup is still full of energy even after a walk with a new route and breakfast or dinner from a slow feeder, try rolling a few delicious yet healthy dog treats or even some dry dog food kibble into their dog blanket or an old t-shirt. Having them try to unravel the blanket or t-shirt to find the goodies will stimulate the brain, tire out the dog and occupy them for up to an hour.
3. Reserve five minutes for a quick training session. Dogs love to be trained. It gives them purpose, sense of accomplishment and challenges them mentally which, again, is a great way to tire out your high-energy dog. Whether it’s practicing their “sit,” “place” or “spin,” your dog will be left feeling both connected to you and accomplished afterwards – ready for a well-deserved snooze fest at your feet just in time for that presentation you’ve been preparing for.
4. Get an interactive toy. Whether it’s a Kong filled with peanut butter, or something they can take apart, you’ll tire out your dog by putting them on a mission. As you may know, here at Open Farm, we’re pet parents, too! One thing we love to do is freeze some organic bone broth for dogs in an ice-cube tray. Your dog will go nuts for the flavor and the mental stimulation, and the slow melting of the ice will keep them licking for enough time for you to brush your teeth, make your bed and get ready for the workday ahead.
5. Lastly, if all else fails...exercise. Tiring out your high-energy dog might just mean they need more exercise than you can give them on your own each day. If this is the case, it’s time to explore a dog walker, playgroup or take them to doggy daycare every once in a while. Doing so allows them to run around, burn off that extra energy and spend time with other dogs which is especially stimulating as well.
Ultimately, the most important thing is that you and your pet can have fun while you tire out that high-energy dog. There’s nothing more fulfilling than spending quality time with your pet or knowing that you’re expanding their horizons through mental stimulation. The bonus is that you now know how to tire out a dog and will have some peace and quiet the next time you get a calendar notification for your next meeting.