No matter what your dog’s energy level is, activity and stimulation are essential to their growth and development. However, if you have a hyperactive or high-energy pup, you’ll notice that you need to address these needs more frequently, or it may result in poor behavior and unhappiness in your pet. Some breeds inherently require more exercise but sometimes you may just have a furry friend that needs to run around and get some energy out at the end of a long day. Avoiding destructive behavior isn’t impossible if you make some changes to your routine to keep your dog happy. With that in mind, let’s go over five tips for living with a high-energy dog without going insane.
Before you start taking your dog out on adventures, make sure you have an effective leash. A high-quality no pull harness is your best bet — you don’t want to risk your dog slipping out of his collar when you’re out trying to enjoy yourselves. Joyride Harness is truly the best dog harness on the market, and it comes in a variety of sizes and keeps your pup nice and snug (and comfortable!) even when they’re lunging or having an attack of the “zoomies” (a burst of crazy-high energy). Make sure to take your dog’s measurements carefully before ordering, since a good fit is necessary both for your dog’s comfort and to ensure that they won’t be able to escape.
Once you’ve got your leash, consider making your dog a part of your day-to-day schedule as much as you can. Instead of dining-in, why not take your pet with you to an outdoor restaurant that allows dogs? Find out if the stores you frequent are pet-friendly, and take your pup along for the ride. Getting out of the house, walking around, and meeting new people will take a lot of energy for your dog.
Exercise is an absolute must if your dog is high-energy, which might require some lifestyle changes for you. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of “vigorous” activity, in addition to 1-2 hours of additional activities every day. Going for a run with your dog in the morning, taking a trip to the lake to swim, or running around in a fenced-in yard are all simple ways to get moving.
If you’re not used to working out yourself, this might be a great opportunity to get in shape and improve your own health and wellbeing too. Consider adding a supplement to boost your energy levels and increase the efficiency of your workouts. One popular choice is working a NAD supplement into your diet. If you’re unfamiliar with NAD, or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, it’s a coenzyme that can mimic the biological process of caloric restriction and help you get in shape. There’s no reason not to have a health and fitness regimen that includes both you and your dog.
Boredom is one of the major factors that contribute to poor behavior from puppies and older dogs, so making sure they have ways to entertain themselves even when you’re not around is key. Chew toys that can take time to finish can be a good option if you’re hoping to keep them calm and distracted for a while, but you’ll also need plenty of tug toys, balls you can play fetch with, and “busy box” style toys that allow you to hide a treat inside.
Instead of scolding your dog when he misbehaves, try rewarding him when he does what you want him to do. When your dog is lying down or sitting calmly, feel free to whisper some positive encouragement. Don’t touch them or stimulate them to get them up and ready to play again, just provide reassurance verbally. When your dog is demanding your attention, don’t give it to them until they’ve calmed down a little. Over time, these little cues add up.
While you can do a lot to help your pup, a dog with a lot of energy can benefit immensely from having another dog to play with. Make sure your dog is well-trained and up-to-date with his vaccines and visit a dog park or plan a playdate with a friend who also has a dog. If you love dogs and could see yourself adopting a second one, you’ll often find that two dogs playing with each other will tire them out without your intervention a lot of the time.
While there are challenges, the rewards of having a dog who wants to accompany you on a run or is excited to play with you when you come home are great as well. It might take an adjustment to your lifestyle and an investment in some new toys and trips, but you and your high-energy dog can find plenty of ways to live peacefully together.