Ways to Exercise Your Dog in the Winter
Your dog may love your daily walks in the summer sunshine, but getting their daily exercise during the winter months is just as vital to their health. Your dog may not be so thrilled about walking in the winter weather or in a sweater and booties to protect their paws. Here are some ways to keep your dog’s health in check during the winter season.
TREATS AND TOYS:
You can utilize their favorites items to play with and make a scavenger hunt around your house to drain their physical and mental energy.
This may sound a bit crazy, but they make treadmills for your pets as well. They can be found online or at a pet gym in your area. You can also walk your dog on a human treadmill, but make sure it’s at a safe speed and you can monitor them at all times for safety.
Yes, dog yoga exists and it can be a great bonding exercise between you and your dog. There are classes you can take, which can be great for you and your dog to socialize and meet other pet owners, but there are also DVDs and online classes available.
INDOOR TRAINING COURSE:
There are multiple different training courses available for your pet including agility and obedience training. The agility courses are inside to keep your pup out of the cold and exercise your dog’s mind so they are mentally and physically tired at the end of the day. You can also expand out to obedience training at all levels, from simple leash walking to teaching them to stop begging for food.
If you’re in desperate need for a doggie break to run your own errands or have some time alone, you can drop your pet at a doggie daycare for the day or a few hours. This is a great place for pups to socialize, exercise, and wear themselves out before they return home with you to rest.
If your dog refuses their daily walks on their own, perhaps they would be better suited to walk with another pet as their companion. They can also keep each other warm during the walk by snuggling together as they walk (also an adorable photo opportunity). You could also schedule weekly visits to a local dog park or for a fetch session with their favorite walking companion to keep them motivated to be more active during the colder months.
If you know you’re going to be spending extended time outside with your dog make sure you come prepared with snacks, water, and possibly dry sweaters or a towel to keep them warm. It is just as important for your dog to remain hydrated in the winter months as they are in the summer.
No matter what activity you chose for your dog, and there might be multiple on different days of the week, make sure that you clear the activities with your vet and keep an eye on your dog in the cold weather. If your pet cannot stop shivering or doesn’t seem able to register and respond to your commands, take them inside immediately to warm up as they may be suffering from hypothermia. The winter months take a toll on your beloved canine just like they take a toll on you. Be safe while you enjoy these winter activities with your pup.