February 6, 2018
Severe winter weather can make it difficult for you and your dog to stick to your normal outdoor routine. So, how do you prevent your pet from going stir crazy, and make sure he gets the exercise he needs? Here are five tips to make the most of your time in cold weather.
1) Bundle up and brave the cold.
Many dogs love romping in the snow or getting out in cold weather—they just need a little extra protection to shield them from the elements. Puppies, older dogs and smaller breeds all need special care in the cold, so grab a dog jacket and booties for your furry friend and head outside. You might be surprised by how much you both enjoy a brisk wintery walk.
2) Build an indoor obstacle course.
For small-to-medium sized dogs, this can be a fun activity that provides a boost to both their muscles and their brains. Use things from around the house—like pillows, buckets, rope and stepstools—to build a miniature agility course for your dog.
3) Schedule a play date.
Take turns with other neighborhood dog owners hosting doggie playdates in your home. The new environment and extra socialization will get their hearts beating a little faster and keep their minds active. Just make sure your dogs are compatible before your pets' rendezvous.
4) Take the stairs.
Your home's stairs, long hallway or empty garage can be a great place for you and your dog to get some exercise when it's too cold to go outdoors. Try playing fetch up and down carpeted stairs, tag in the garage or tug of war in the hallway. Remove any breakable or dangerous items ahead of time to make a safe and cozy indoor workout area.
5) Practice your downward dog.
Dog yoga, often called "doga," is gaining in popularity. It's a fun way to share a workout with your dog. You'll find several instructional videos on YouTube and other online sites.