Dogs need exercise as much as humans do. Taking your dog out for a walk can be a great way to exercise them. But when the weather gets bad, that may become a problem. Cold winters, heavy rains, and extreme summer heat will make going outside a pain. Exercising will be hard to do… or will it?
The weather may not be perfect but there are still ways to make your pooch workout and even make the day enjoyable for them.
Play outside anyway
If the weather isn’t that extreme, then why not go outside and play? Certain dog breeds, like those in the herding, working, and sporting group, love playing in cold weather. You can still walk your dog in the winter but remember to shorten your time outside to about 30 to 40 minutes. If your pup has thin fur or is more sensitive, keep them warm under thick doggie sweaters, coats and booties. When you do come back inside, don’t forget to wipe the snow off your dog’s paws.
Some dogs get interested in laser pointers as much as cats do. If you are a parent of a dog that fits into this category, then why not engage them in a wild red dot chase? Get a laser pointer, aim at a certain spot and let your pup run after the dot.
Hide and Seek
There are two options: hide some food or hide yourself. Get some of your dog’s favorite food or some treats and hide them around the house. Try hiding the snack under some boxes or somewhere that’s not easy to find. Your pet’s great sense of smell will surely be put to the test.
Playing with their favorite human always excites dogs. Hide and seek is a fun game for both the dog parent and their pups. You can begin by telling your dog to sit or you could throw a treat in the other direction to distract them. Hide somewhere inside the house and wait until the little detective sniffs you out.
If you haven’t taught your pup tricks yet, now can be a good time to do so. Start with basic obedience skills like sit, down, and come. After you mastered those, you can try advanced skills like speak and rollover. There are tons of tutorials available online to help you with this. End your training on a positive note to get your pet excited for the next training session.
Dogs have treadmills designed for them. If you don’t have one, the treadmill you use will do. Remember to let your dog get comfortable with the machine first. Don’t force them to use the treadmill and don’t tie them to the machine. Use a speed safe for your pet without an incline.
Fetch can be played inside the house. Just be mindful of where you throw the ball. You wouldn’t want it to land near something breakable.
Tug of War
This game requires a lot of energy from the two players. You can use a toy or you could grab a towel and tie a knot at each end. This game is also a good alternative for fetch if your dog doesn’t really like the idea of giving back the ball after you threw it.
Your dog can still be social during the bad weather. Why not schedule a play date with a fellow canine? You can also let your dog play with other canines in dog daycares.
Agility classes are great for your canine’s physical and mental health. You can go to agility facilities or you can build an obstacle course in your house. There are obstacles that can be bought but you can build your own if you’d like. Chairs, tables, or even boxes can be used. You can tell your dog to jump or crawl under a chair. You can get creative with the obstacles that you could build.
Mind exercise can be as exhausting as physical exercise. There are puzzle games and toys specially designed for dogs. Remember not to overwhelm your pet and start with simple puzzles before moving to advanced ones.