Water sport means exercising dogs without exercising is possible for this lab.

4 Tips For Exercising Dogs Without Walking!


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Exercising dogs without walking kind of sounds like an anomaly – surely, it’s impossible?! Apparently not. From puppy schools and daycare to dog parks, there are fun ways to keep your pup active. We’ve got you covered!

As much as walking your dog may be a staple, sometimes it’s not possible. Perhaps your dog is too wild to walk in public (any hands up here?). Or the roads are too dangerous, and the parks nearby don’t allow dogs.

Or maybe your canine buddy has a health condition that’s not conducive to walking, or maybe you do. 

Either way, there are a bunch of reasons why exercising your dog without walking might be a priority. Never mind the reasons – what you need is solutions. And that’s just what we’ve got.

Exercising dogs without walking: covering bases

From indoor only play, social/learning play and water play we’ve got you covered.

Because we know (as do all pup parents) that for dogs exercise is key to health and happiness. We also know when dogs don’t exercise, they get hyper, or sad or behave not-so-nicely.

At those times, it’s probably a pair of shoes that takes the brunt of your pup’s pent-up energy. The long and short of it is that exercising dogs is a must-have rather than a nice-to-have.

In fact, why not take a peek at the importance of playtime for dogs (and cats)!

This puppy is ready to play outside after having been vaccinated.

How to exercise dogs without walking – indoors

Maybe you’re looking at exercising dogs without walking because you’re stuck indoors. In which case we’ve got some nifty ideas for you. Just remember that your dog will need outdoor time at some stage.

Indoor play can help use up extra energy but can’t be endlessly relied on to keep a dog physically or mentally healthy. Here’s some tips for how to exercise your dog indoors:

  • Puzzle toys: What better than a puzzle toy that your dog must play with to dispense their own treats. Just be sure to limit how many treats you give in one go.
  • Stairs: Throw a ball up and downstairs to get your pooch running after it (or jog with them if that’s your thing), but only if you are SURE they don’t have any elbow, knee, spine and/or hip issues.
  • Obstacle course: Set up indoor DIY obstacle courses in the house by building tunnels and using hula hoops. If you’ve got space to play, you can even buy dog obstacle course equipment. This one’s good for the garden too.
  • Tug of war: This is great to use up energy, but it does bring out the predator instinct too. So only play this if you’ve got a seriously obedient dog.
  • Treats: Hide treats around the house for your pup to run around and sniff out.
Puppy school or doggy daycare is being used as a replacement here for exercising dogs without walking.

Puppy school

Puppy school is a super way to get your puppy and/or dog well exercised. Besides being fun for dogs, they learn a myriad of lifelong lessons that will make your human-canine bond that much sweeter.

Depending on the puppy school you choose, your pooch can learn a wide range of instructions from sitting to toileting to general obedience plus can become au fait with human and animal socialisation.

Doggy daycare and dog parks

If you’re looking for something slightly more casual than a puppy school, try a dog daycare. Doggy daycare staff are used to taking care of groups of puppies and dogs and helping them socialise. However, you can’t expect the dog daycare staff to train your puppy in new skills.

If you’re after something even less formal, you’re in luck. Le Long Weekend has already compiled a list of the best dog parks in New Zealand. Dog parks are a wonderful place for dogs to interact with others and play off-leash, provided they’re socialised.

You’ll need to have some basic training in place to know they’ll behave – read these puppy training tips to get started.  

Exercising dogs without walking is happening here with water water fetch instead.

Water fetch

Besides exercising dogs by walking, playing fetch in a pool, pond or river can be an excellent form of exercise. It’s a good cardio workout that encourages healthy breathing.

Dogs with musculoskeletal issues can also benefit from water exercise, though they may need support. If this is your dog, before diving in check in to see what your vet thinks is best.

A number of dogs are renowned for being water-loving, like the Labrador. That said, only let your dog in the water if they know how to swim or you’re teaching them. And never let them swim unsupervised.

A number one destination for you and doggo may well already be the beach. Soaking up the salt and having the waves lap your legs while playing catch with your pup can be the most rewarding experience for you both.

Read up on how to keep your dog safe at the beach.

Soft landings for your dog

Whether exercising dogs without walking or not, regular exercise is essential for their wellbeing. And no matter how healthy your particular dog is, pet insurance can be a boon to your bank balance. That’s because PD Insurance pet care plans cover accidents, non-routine vet visits, medication and more.

Read up on the rewards of having a dog insurance plan and you’ll see choosing a pawsome plan that suits your pup is so easy and affordable.

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