Summer exercising for your dog
It still is hot out there and the dog is getting antsy with no exercise. What’s a good way to get her moving during the brutal Phoenix summer?
Try a treadmill. You know, that machine stationed in your bedroom that you use as a clothing rack.
Your dog can get a chance at some real activity by logging some time on the treadmill.
Dogs love their time on the treadmill, says Lost our Home Foundation, a Tempe-based animal rescue group. LOH uses their treadmill to give their adoptable dogs a chance to burn off some energy, keep trim and remain in better spirits while they wait to be adopted.
How to get the dog used to treadmill exercise
Gina Page, who oversees LOH’s treadmill program, says hundreds of dogs have stepped on the treadmill and gotten the hang of it immediately.
LOH uses a regular human treadmill — in fact, Gina loves the program so much that she donated a used treadmill to the foundation. Some dogs immediately take to the machine. Others need “treat motivation” to get on the machine, she says.
“Once they get going (whether they needed a treat or not) it is like an epiphany.”
LOH always starts dogs off with a slow pace, like half a mile an hour. Once the dogs become proficient, they get them going on a faster clip, usually around two miles an hour.
Once dogs get used to this summer exercise
After a few weeks of consistent training, LOH’s dogs log 10 to 20 minutes.
Specially trained volunteers watch the dogs on the treadmill to make sure they moving at a comfortable speed.
LOH always has a person around to supervise the dogs and make sure they are not left unattended. They never tether dogs to the treadmill. And they leave water close by so dogs can get a big drink after their workout
Longtime LOH shelter dog Vida, a seven-year Boxer mix who is all sweetie, loves her time on the treadmill. Vida is LOH’s longest resident and she just needs a house with no other animals and a family who likes to walk.
Would you like to volunteer? LOH always is looking people to help “walk” the dog on the treadmill.