The prospect of exercising your dog in the winter when it’s really cold outside can make anyone shudder.
Winters can really freeze-up your daily exercise regimen with your dog, can’t they?
But skipping regular exercise, however snowy it gets outside, can’t be an option if you really want your pup to stay healthy and fit.
Daily, regular exercise is also one of the cornerstones of maintaining a strong and healthy relationship with your dog.
Keeping up a regular and healthy exercise routine on a daily basis –
- Keeps your pup fit and strong
- Keeps up both your spirits, be it rain or sleet outside
- Works as an excellent training aid
- And, importantly, helps you assert yourself as the one in charge in your relationship
Thus sticking to the exercises for your dog in the winter, even if the weather doesn’t really agree with your idea of a nice walk outside, is something you should not go easy on.
So without further ado, let’s jump into some great tips to exercise your dog in winter, which will help keep both you and your dog healthy, happy and all dog trained in the winter..
How To Exercise Your Dog In The Winter
1. Walking or Running Outside. Yes, Outside.
Whatever else you try, nothing beats a nice brisk walk in the great outdoors.
Every dog would need to step out to relieve itself or wander around and check on its territory for a bit.
Unless your dog is ill, or seriously averse to cold weather, don’t hesitate to get your dog some exercise in winter with daily walks.
And you don’t necessarily need to stick to a single pace. To break the monotony and get warmed up, alternate between walking, jogging and running at spaced-out intervals.
2. Playing Tag, or Hide and Seek
Playing around is a much better way to warm up your dog quickly, and also keep it occupied.
Dogs quickly learn how to play tag, and all the running makes for fun times for both you and your dog.
Also, the tag is among the games you can also play indoors if the weather outside is too off-putting or unsafe.
Another great game that works both indoors and outdoors is hiding and seek.
You can hide bits of treats in different places and let your dog run around tracking and finding them.
The game burns calories and also simulates hunting in a way that can be really satisfying for your dog.
3. Fetching Games
Playing fetch need not be straightforward either.
Mix in feints and tricks to keep your dog on its toes or race your dog to fetch an indestructible toy yourself to make things competitive.
Once your dog senses competition, you can rest assured he’ll play hard and get plenty of exercises.
Another great variation is to work the fetch game into your own stretching or exercises.
Throw the ball while you’re stretching or, say, doing sit-ups, and fake a throw every now and then to keep things interesting.
4. Making Use of Stairs
If you have a staircase at home with enough steps to work up a sweat in a few trips up and down them, it can be a godsend as a way to exercise your dog in the winter.
If you think your dog would be easily bored with the repetitions, vary the pace at which you climb or descend to make it into a sort of game.
Your pup might just enjoy it!
5. Using Exercise Equipment
That’s right, exercise equipment is available that may be tailored for your dog!
The most popular among these may well be the treadmill.
The only trouble is that dogs generally feel uneasy in the beginning, and need some getting used to.
How to train a puppy to be at ease by using a slow pace initially, and encouraging it with treats.
Once it gets the hang of the equipment, you can vary the pace to get good exercise for your dog in winters when it’s too cold to walk outside.
6. Sign Your Dog Up for a Class
Another excellent option is to get your dog into an agility class, or even a dog swimming pool to help with dog swim exercises and even playtime.
These are programs that are designed to get your dog plenty of supervised exercise, and also meet and interact with other dogs in the class, making them an all-around great experience.
Skijoring is a brilliant exercise that is catching on these days and is probably the most exhaustive of all on this list.
If you live in a place that transforms into a cross-country ski course of sorts when it snows, and have a big dog that doesn’t mind mucking about in the snow, this may promise excellent exercise and loads and loads of fun.
Skijoring basically combines cross-country skiing and dog-sledding, where your dog’s harness is linked to yours.
If your dog loves running and has the strength to pull you along on your skis, you can make the most of the climate by zooming across the snowy landscape.
Your dog need not even be trained painstakingly as you’re just having a bit of fun in the vicinity of your home.
A dog that is a bundle of energy à la Marmaduke or Marley is perfect for this play, and if your dog is one of those, well, make the most of it and give it a shot!
You can find out more about Skijoring here.
Have you tried out these tips to exercise your dog in the winters? Do you have some tips of your own to share? Comment below, Like, and share!