- A dog can get a workout and burn off energy by chasing a Frisbee or a ball.dog with ball image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com
Dogs require exercise as much as they need food and water. Outdoor toys are an effective way to keep canines fit while burning off their high levels of energy. Backyards and parks are ideal venues for tossing various interactive dog toys that require a pet to run, jump, fetch and return. An owner needs to ensure that his dog is in good health before expecting him to romp through an open area, in addition to checking for hidden sharp objects on the ground before starting a game of catch.
- A ball is a favorite outdoor toy for any breed of dog. An owner hurls a tennis ball and watches his pet chase after the object. A dog lover also smacks the ball about with a tennis racket to increase the distance that a dog has to run. For an extra workout, the dog has to chase the runaway ball up a hillside. A ball can be wrapped inside a sock with the owner twirling it over his head before throwing. Or, a common rubber toy known as a Kong can be substituted for a ball. Kibble or other treats can be inserted into the hollow center of a Kong before the owner tosses it, and the food serves as a dog's reward for her efforts.
- Frisbees are popular outdoor dog toys. These lightweight plastic discs can be tossed toward a dog, who will instinctively know to chase and fetch. Some Frisbees are made specifically for dogs and have softer materials that will not chip their teeth. Dogs have been injured by jumping upward to catch these flying objects, so owners should be cautious with this game. Also, torn and tattered Frisbees should be replaced with new ones.
- An owner can attach a ball, toy, sock or rag to a lunge whip that is used to exercise horses. These buggy whips are sold at horse or farm supply stores. With something dangling off the end of the whip, the owner can whirl the contraption in a large circle so that the dog will dash after it. This gives a canine an intense workout, but animal masters have to be careful not to force a dog to do sudden turns that are harmful to his joints. Instead, the dog should be made to run in a straight line and be allowed to catch the toy or rag that hangs from the end of the whip. Pet stores also sell dog toys on ropes that are just as effective as the lunge whip idea.