Just like humans, dogs need regular exercise. Other breeds require more of it while there are some that need just enough. But how do you make sure that your pooch gets enough activity when it’s cold out there? What if it’s really cold and you don’t have enough motivation to walk out there with your dog and he might not even be interested in going outside?
This is a problem if you have an overly active pup who’s not getting drained off of its stored up energy during the winter and decides to use some of it doing some nasty stuff inside the stuff. So how exactly can you exercise your dog during the cold and brutal days of winter? In this blog, I’ll give you some ideas that you can adopt:
Your Outdoor Options
1. 15-Minute Run is Enough
It might sound quite awful to run in the cold of winter but it’s doable. In fact, I do this for years now when the bitter cold of winter starts in my place. It is okay to run with your dogs in temperatures of above -10 degrees Fahrenheit. At least 1 minutes or even a full half an hour is good but don’t push things to the limit when it comes to the time.
An important consideration though is the breed of your dog. A toy breed like a Chihuahua sure can’t handle it but the larger breeds can. Yes! Even those short-haired dogs like boxers, Boston terriers and Pitbulls can handle it. Try to run a couple times around the block and feel free to go back inside when it’s too cold for you to handle.
2. Use a Long Lead for Your Dog
If you have access to a park in an open field then this would be a good idea during the winter. Putting your dog in a lead that’s 30 feet or longer can give her the freedom to go around like crazy (if she likes) while you are standing there bundled up to counter the cold. 15 to 20 minutes of this can drain off extra energy which your dog might spend doing some nasty stuff in the house otherwise.
3. Take Her To The Dog Park
Another option that you can try is visiting a dog park with your pooch and spending a quick 15-minute run out there. Give your dog enough time to run around and do some things that she likes and trust me, it really helps!
4. Dog Backpacks Help For Shorter Walks
Dog backpacks can add weight to your dog so she exerts more effort and spends more energy even with just a 10 to 15-minute walk. Again, spending such time is better than nothing so go ahead and start the routine this coming winter to ensure that both you and your dog are in good shape even in the bitter cold of the season.
Indoor Exercise Options and Places to Visit
1. Stores That Are Pet-Friendly
If outdoors isn’t an ideal place for you and your pet then try visiting stores that allow dogs inside. This includes Petco, The Home Depot, and PetSmart. Spending 20 minutes of walk around the store can give your dog the chance to spend some energy sniffing around while being on the move which is better than just staying in the house the whole day.
2. Try Signing Up For Dog Training Classes
Indoor obedience class that is done weekly or an agility class that can help your dog be flexible when on the move is a good exercise option in the bitter cold of winter. Most of the activities included in training class will leave your dog drained out compared to just walking around each day.
Indoor Exercises For Your Dog
1. The Ever Fun “Find It” Games
Let your dog sit and stay then hide her favorite toy somewhere. You can also try and hide some treats under empty boxes and in random places around the house. Then let her “Find It!” so she can go around and spend those stacked up energy looking for the stuff you’ve hidden in different spots. Another variation of this game is YOU hide somewhere within your house and calling your dog so she can come and find you.
2. Buy a Used Treadmill
If you already have one then all you need to do is train your dog to walk on it. However, if you don’t then you can look for a second-hand treadmill online. Introduce your dog to a treadmill slowly but surely. You can start by having her stand on it while the machine is still off then starting it from the slowest speed possible.
Other Tips for Indoor Exercises:
- Do some obedience training or even trick training in your favorite spots around the house and you’ll easily find spending some time exercising with your dog.
- Play Tug of War
- Purchase toys that are interactive such as puzzle toys and toys that dispense treats
Mix things up and be creative in combining different ideas into one useful winter time exercise routine. The cold isn’t a reason for you and your dog not to exercise. Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes each day doing the above-mentioned tips and you’re doing your pooch a big favor health-wise. Have you tried tiring out a hyperactive pooch during the cold of winter? What games did you play? What sort of outdoor activities did you try? We’d love to hear from you so feel free to share your stories in the comments section below.