How to Keep Your Dog Active During the Winter

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The winter months bring cold and snow which is a major deterrent for spending time outdoors, especially if you already dislike the cold. If you dread taking your dog out for a walk in the frigid temperatures, then it’s tempting to skip out the walk. Of course, you still need to ensure your dog gets enough exercise, both for their health and fitness and to keep them from being bored and exhibiting destructive behaviors. 

For those who despise the walks through the snow or rain, then never fear. There are alternatives to bundling up and braving the cold in order to exercise your dog that don’t require layering up. 

Make them work for meals and treats

Getting your dog motivated to work for their food and treats is a great way to sneak in some extra exercise. It will help them burn some calories over the course of the day and tire them out more. You can try hiding treats and meals inside of your pup’s favorite toy so they release as they play. As an added benefit, your dog’s problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills will improve as a result of solving the puzzle for the reward. 

Start training indoors

When the weather outside is unappealing, you can use the time indoors to train your pup. You can guide your dog through obedience training (there is plenty of guidance online to help you if you aren’t sure where to start) and help expend their pent-up energy. You could teach your dog to sit, heel, greet people politely, or even how to do tricks. 

Take them to doggy daycare

Dropping your dog off at dog daycare is a great way to ensure your pet is getting enough activity, especially if you have to go to work during the day. The staff at a dog daycare facility have daily walks and playtime scheduled so you know your dog is getting the exercise they need without having to take them out into the cold yourself. Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive off routine, so it helps them have some structure too. 

Choosing the right dog daycare for your pooch is important because you don’t want to stress them out when they should be excited and happy to visit. Consider your dog’s personality and needs. For example, an overly anxious and shy dog wouldn’t do well with other excited and socialized dogs. Having educated and certified staff, like those at heartandpaw.com, can make all the difference in how your dog feels about going to daycare.

Use a pet treadmill

There are treadmills built specifically for pets. They can be used for rehabilitation purposes, but work great as a substitute for a walk outdoors during inclement weather. To get your pooch to use the treadmill safely, start it at a very low speed and use a treat to entice your pup onto it. Once your dog feels more comfortable on it, you can slowly speed it up. If your pup shows any signs of stress, distress or anxiety, stop and take them off the treadmill right away.