Tips for Exercising Your Dog in Winter

When the temperature drops your dog still needs exercise.

If you’re the type who dreads long walks in the snow, here are a few alternative solutions to make sure your dog is getting all the exercise she needs.

Doggie Daycare

This is probably the simplest and most straightforward way to help your pup expend some of that extra energy if you can afford it. Doggie daycares are rising in popularity because they’re a great way to avoid confining your dog in a crate all day while you work, while also helping her gain much-needed socialization. Seek out a daycare in your area that offers fun activities like long walks or obstacle courses on the premises.

Hire a Dog Walker

If you hate the cold or just don’t have enough time on your hands, there’s no shame in spending a little dough to help your dog get out and about. There are plenty of professionals touting their rates online, or you can probably find a neighborhood teen you know and trust who’s looking to make a little extra cash.

Use Stairs

If your home is equipped with multiple floors you can definitely use that to your dog’s advantage. Make sure her legs are in great condition before using the stairs as a regular exercise platform, just to be safe. If the vets gives you the OK, then you can have your dog chase a toy up and down the steps each day to help her burn some energy.

Buy a Treadmill

If you’re not inclined to trust your dog with others but are still cool with throwing down a hefty amount of money, some people have had success with doggie treadmills. Typically used as part of a rehabilitation program, treadmills can often be a great alternative to a walk if the weather is too nasty to head out in. Be sure to buy one specifically for your pooch that is safe for her to walk on, as regular treadmills can cause serious injuries. Also, since your dog will remain in place on a treadmill, it’s no substitute for the mental stimulation your pup needs—so be sure to continue to play games with her each day, too.

Hide and Seek

Dogs are much like children in their ability to be enthusiastic over the simplest of games, so why not tried a tried and true classic like hide-n-seek? Pick out your dog’s favorite toy, stuff it with some treats then hide it somewhere safe in the house while she waits in another room. She’ll have a blast trying to discover where you hid it while getting some exercise and using her brain at the same time.

Invite a Dog Buddy Over

When you put two dogs together in a room it can be a bit chaotic if they’re really great friends. Have your neighbor, relative, or family friend bring their pup to your house for a little playtime, and put the dogs outside or in a room they can’t destroy. They’ll keep each other occupied and likely wear each another out so you can continue getting a good night’s rest all throughout the season.

Meet the Author: Ben Kerns

Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible. This stuff gets expensive.

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