Your dog requires fresh air and daily exercise in order to burn calories, socialize, and retain his or her sanity. Even in the dead of winter you need a plan to keep your dog active. When your dog is feeling crazy, you are likely feeling just as crazy trying to deal with them. Keeping your dog physically and mentally challenged even during the coldest months of the year will benefit you, your dog, and the things in your home—as a bored dog quickly turns into a mischievous dog.
When the wind is howling and the snow is tumbling down, how do you manage to get in the necessary exercise for your dog? Here are 5 fun ways to keep your dog active this winter.
1. Give Your Dog A Smelly Challenge
Dogs have the most powerful noses on the planet; in fact they can smell just about anything with that moist little snout. If your dog is cooped up all day due to bad weather try creating exercises that require your dog to put his nose to work. Cesar Millan recommends using this tactic at dinner time by setting up an obstacle course your dog must get through in order to reach their food. Other fun ways to make your dog work out for some grub is to hide food in a box, a King Wobbler or a Buster Ball.
2. Take Your Dog On Adventures With You
There are a number of locations that allow dogs inside, find out which stores in your area are dog friendly and bring your pup along. For instance, you could take your dog to the pet store to get more food and a new toy. No matter how cold it is outside this offers a fun way to get your pet active and out of the house.
If you have friends with dogs, you can arrange a play date and bring your dog over for some indoor playtime fun. Many coffee shops and other establishments also keep their doors open for dogs, even offering treats to four-legged customers.
3. Sign Your Dog Up For An Indoor Agility Class
There are a number of classes you can enroll your dog in, such as agility, flyball or swimming. In places with cold weather many of these classes are held indoors. These organized activities keep you and your dog out of the cold while still providing plenty of room to exercise, as well as socialize.
Agility classes for dogs also teach new skills, boosting mental and physical capabilities. After returning home you can be sure your dog will be plenty worn out, and happily so.
4. Play Fetch Indoors
Playing fetch inside can undeniably get a little bit dangerous, as photo frames and glass vases teeter on the edge of their footing, while dogs and balls fly left and right. Find or create a safe space in your house where you can have some fun tossing around an assortment of soft toys.
If you have stairs in your house try tossing a toy up the steps to increase your dog’s cardiovascular workout. For more controlled play, attach a toy to the end of a string and allow your dog to chase after it. For larger dogs you can use the basement or the garage to let them run around and play fetch.
5. Get Out In The Snow And Play With Your Dog
Don’t let the cold scare you! Many dogs love to play in the snow and you can both enjoy some fresh air and a good workout plowing through it. Spending 30 to 40 minutes playing in the snow will give your dog the workout they need to tire out and keep muscles toned. Just make sure to wash off your dog’s paws when they return inside in order to remove any harmful salt.
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