It’s cold outside and the days are getting shorter. The winter weather may not always provide weather that is favorable for a morning or afternoon walk, but this doesn’t change the fact that your dog is in need of exercise to stay happy and healthy.
Without exercise, your dog is at risk of becoming overweight, under-stimulated and stressed. They may also develop behavioral problems since you’re not providing them an outlet for their energy.
Here are 4 ways to meet your dog’s exercise needs during the winter months.
Climb the stairs
You don’t need a fancy exercise machine just to wear out your dog. You can just have your dog run up and down the stairs instead.
Stand at the bottom of the stairs and throw the ball up. Ask the dog to fetch the ball and give it back to you. Give the dog a treat every time she gives you the ball. If she’s not interested, consider stuffing a treat inside the toy. If this doesn’t work, put your dog on a leash and walk up and down the stairs with her.
Hide and seek
This is a great game as it will not only keep her moving, it also challenges her mind and senses. Throw a toy to get the dog away from you. Try to hide as she recovers the toy. Once you find a good hiding place, shout “come”.
Winter is a great time to enroll your dog in indoor classes. Sign up for training class or obedience class. Most of these classes are held in a heated facility. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your dog.
Whether it’s cold, dry, gray or sunny, your pet is going to need to go out of the house at some point. Some dogs, especially the bigger breeds, will enjoy the snow. So bundle up and focus on the benefits you’ll both get from your daily walk.