Cold weather and freezing temperatures can cause dog owners to stay indoors for a long period of time. While this is not hazardous to health, it does impact the well-being of your dog. Daily exercise is required for most dog breeds and lessening this can cause a variety of issues. Your dog can become bored and this can result in behavioral issues. Or, your dog can have a bundle of energy and no outlet to release it, which can cause him or her to become filled with anxiety. For this reason dog owners will want to learn about the following winter exercise tips for your dog.
- Treadmills – Exercising your dog on a treadmill is an excellent option to keeping your dog healthy during the winter. It provides him or her with aerobic activity that they usually get when enjoying the outdoors.
- Indoor Games – Setting up an obstacle course in your home by using household items and furniture such as tables, pillows and toys is a great way to provide exercise for your dog. Train your dog to go through the course and encourage him or her to do it several times. You can change the course at anytime to keep the game entertaining.
- Use the Staircase – If you have a staircase in your home, this is a great opportunity to use it as a tool for exercise. Play fetch on the stair case by throwing one of your dog’s favorite toys down the flight of stairs. Your dog will run down the stairs to get it then run up the stairs after retrieving it. This exercise routine can go on for a long time because it is just a fun game to your dog. Be sure to stop as soon as your dog shows signs of being tired.
- Play Outdoors – This option should be brief but energetic. Playing fetch outdoors with your dog will provide fresh air and ample room to run around while exercising. Remember that the moment you start to feel too cold, your dog is most-likely feeling the same way, this is the moment you should go back indoors.
- Play Dates – Set up play dates with other dog owners. Invite them over to play indoors with your dog. Provide plenty of toys and treats for the dogs and encourage play time. You can even have a healthy competition by allowing both dogs to participate in indoor games. If your dog is good around children, they will enjoy spending time playing indoors or outdoors with them as well.
These beneficial winter exercise tips for your dog should be repeated as much as possible in order to keep your dog healthy. Involve family members to play along and make things interesting on a daily basis. This will keep your dog’s mind captivated and it will easily encourage him or her to participate in the activities. Daily exercise is essential and should be taken seriously all year long. If you feel that your dog is not getting enough exercise, try to make it more fun by using toys and encouragement with treats.
Photo credit: Mike Tungate/Flickr