Have you been searching for cold weather exercise ideas for dogs? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
You’ve probably heard (or observed) that dogs behave better and are happier when they get enough physical exercise. Making sure your dog gets enough stimulation during the cold months of the year, however, can be difficult. Here are several ideas on how to keep dogs healthy and help them get rid of some of their extra energy during the colder months of the year.
1. Work Out Your Dog’s Nose
Does your dog like to sniff around a lot during walks? If so, you could teach your dog to use his nose to get rid of some energy. This will not only give your dog a workout, it will help him be more relaxed throughout the rest of the day and could make digestion easier for him as well. Learn a step-by-step process for doing this in our previous blog post: Work Out Your Dog’s Nose. It will take you through several phases, starting with the basics of teaching your dog to find hidden objects to more advanced searches where your dog must use his nose to find people!
2. Go for a Walk
If the weather isn’t too bad, it could be good for both you and your dog to get out of the house for some fresh air and exercise, even if it’s just a short walk. After the walk, be sure to rinse and wipe off your dog’s paws. If your dog has short hair, buy him a sweater or coat to wear outside in the cold.
3. Sign Your Dog Up for a Class
Check around to see if any facility in your area offers indoor agility or swimming classes for dogs. Signing your dog up for a class will give him the opportunity to get a great workout, stimulate his brain, and socialize with other dogs.
4. Play Fetch
You can play fetch with your dog outside or inside. (Just make sure you don’t get too crazy while indoors!) Throw a ball or other toy, and have your dog chase after it and bring it back to you.
5. Make Your Dog Work for His Supper
Both people and pets need a certain amount of physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. One easy way to do this for your dog is by designating a portion of his food to be supplied via a toy that makes him to work for it. Sean recommends a specific toy in his blog post, “Want a Happier Dog?” that is both durable and adjustable so you can change the level of challenge to fit your dog’s personality and patience level. This is a great, easy way to make your dog work harder so you can work less trying to keep him entertained.
6. Play in the Cold!
Playing in the brisk outdoors can be great exercise for dogs and their owners! It’s a good way to wear your dog out so he’s more relaxed while indoors. Just be sure to wipe off and dry his paws after he’s done running around outside.
Final Note: Pay attention to your dog, his energy level, how much food he’s eating every day, and if he loses or gains weight during the colder months. If you notice significant fluctuations, contact your vet.
We have a great eBook available for download. It’s geared toward dog owners who have just recently adopted a new dog. If you fall into this category, this offer is for you. Check it out!
The Dog’s Way podcast and training program will help you establish a clear relationship with your dog, so he or she naturally looks to you for instruction. If you need dog training help or have any questions about how to improve your dog’s behavior, give us a call or click here and we’ll contact you!