How to Make Sure Your Dog Gets Enough Exercise in Winter

To accomdate the cold start with short but frequent walks

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Outdoor exercise isn’t the only place that your dog can get some activity in. Play fetch inside—this is especially great if your home or apartment has a long hallway. You can also bring your pooch to a dog-owners meet-up ahere sometimes, an indoor play space is rented out for people to get their dogs to socialize when it is too cold for dog park visits. Alternatively, you can bring your dog to the local pet store where you can browse for the pet supplies you need to buy anyway while getting a little bit of indoor walking in. This might not be the best or most convenient idea, but it helps in a pinch.

Indoor Entertainment

With the temperatures dropping rapidly and Chicago winter becoming all too real, it’s hard for a lot of dog owners to be able to give their dogs the exercise they need. It gets more difficult to go on long walks when it’s too cold to be outside for more than 10 minutes, and a lot of dogs are also resistant to going outside for longer periods of time. So how can you make sure your dog gets enough exercise in the winter? There are a few ways.

Outdoor Excursions

Your dog will still need to go outside, of course. The best way to accommodate for winter weather is to take them on more walks with short distances rather than just a few longer walks each day. Unfortunately, not a lot of people’s schedules can accommodate for mid-day walks, so dogs are often relegated to two or three walks per day out of necessity. One way around that is by bringing your dog to a doggie daycare center or, even easier and more convenient, hiring a dog walker. Dog walkers can bring your dog out for a short walk during your workday, so that not only does your dog get a little bit of extra exercise, but when you come home they won’t be as jumpy—they’ll have had the opportunity to burn off a bit of energy, thanks to the dog walk.

Dress Your Dogs

If you want your dog to better acclimate to the ever-lower temperatures, it’s important to dress them. While some dog owners scoff at this idea, the truth is some breeds have shorter coats that do not keep the animals as warm, and even 5-minute walks outside can make the dog extremely, dangerously cold. This is especially true with smaller breeds. Coats and sweaters are popular, and it’s also important to protect a dog’s paws. Not all dogs are receptive to wearing boots (funny as they may look!), so it’s up to owners to wash off their dog’s paws when coming back inside, as the salt can be harmful to their paw pads.


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