Once the temperature drops and the snow starts to paint everything white, dog owners usually start panicking. The days are very short, and the weather doesn’t support outside walks. Even when the temperature hits below zero, your dog still needs regular physical exercise.
But is there a way to keep your dog healthy and happy even during cold winter months? Of course, there is, and even better, there are multiple ways to do this. To help you out with your pup during the winter months, we have compiled a list of winter exercise tips. These will not only help you improve your dog’s mental and physical wellness, but also build a stronger relationship between you two.
Here are our tips for exercising your dog in the winter:
Take a Trip to Dog Class
Many cities offer dog classes to dog owners, especially in areas with a harsh climate. And these days there are endless types of classes from obedience training to agility classes.
Indoor agility classes are a great opportunity for your dog to train their abilities, including the mental ones, as it will be learning new things every lesson. Not to mention the socialization aspect, which is vital for both of you! Agility classes build confidence and can transform your pup into a true athlete.
If you would like to experience something brand new, you can always take your dog to a swimming class. This is a great opportunity to see whether your furry companion loves to swim or is not too fond of water.
If you’ve recently adopted your pup, we highly recommend giving puppy classes a try. Puppy classes can train your pup everything from introductory obedience to fun things like fetch.
Classes like these are a great way to keep your dog active while improving their manners and skillset.
Try Out a Game of Hide-and-Seek
Hide-and-seek is not only reserved for children. In fact, dogs love it. The best part about it? You can play inside and still have fun. Most importantly, it will help you exercise your dog both physically and mentally.
The easiest way to play is to take your dog’s favorite toy or favorite treat and hide it somewhere in the house. If you can’t get your dog to stay, you can always throw a treat far away. While the dog is getting it, you can put a new one in some hidden spot. This is a great way to tire your pup and have fun.
You can also play hide-and-seek by hiding yourself. Always have a treat at you when playing this game and reward your dog after finding you. To initiate the game, you can yell, “Come!”. If you do this often, your dog will master the “Come” command.
Work on Some Fun Training
Besides training the “Come” command, you can also train your dog in other commands throughout the winter. One of our favorite training activities is to teach our dogs to target. Targeting is the practice of teaching your dog to touch something with their paw or nose. The most convenient way to do it is to use your hand as a target and reward treats when they do the trick successfully.
Training tricks like these are a great way to spend some quality time with your dog, teach a new thing, with some exercise at the same time. Once your dog knows to target on command, other tricks will come a lot easier to your pup.
Break Out the Doggy Treadmill
Treadmills are not only reserved for humans. Dogs can benefit from them as well, especially during cold months when the snow is knee-deep. If you want to invest in a treadmill designed specifically for dogs, be our guest. Dog treadmills often come with guardrails and other safety features. We don’t recommend putting your dog on your personal treadmill, as this can be rather dangerous without proper supervision.
Your dog should pick up the dog treadmill rather quick. Put it on slow speeds and stand in front of your furry friend with a treat.
If All Fails, Step Outside
The chances are that, eventually, you will have to go outside with your dog in the snow. What matters most is to get dressed well and warm. Just remember, nothing can exhaust you and your dog as walking and running through the snow so be sure to be prepared.
If the road safety department in your area lays down salt, make sure to wash your dog’s legs and feet to prevent irritation.
And if you’re just not too fond of walking in the wintertime there are dog walker specialists, such as Crusin’ Canines, who can help you.
Whether you decide to teach your dog new tricks, take it to a class, or play with it indoors, your dog will get enough mental and physical exercise to keep it going for a while. But you should also be aware that nothing can completely replace outdoor activities. Get your dog the exercise they deserve with Cruisin’ Canines today!