Winter is approaching and your once enjoyable dog walks now seem less wonderful because of the cold. Harsh winter weather might be an inconvenience to exercise your dog (or your own body) but it does not make it any less necessary. Daily exercise is essential for optimal dog health and should not be put aside. Here are a few tips to getting those exercise requirements met, for your dog, during the hard winter days.
Winter training program
There are plenty of programs to enroll your dog in. There are more programs available in the summer months but you can easily find a few in winter. This is by far the easiest way out because all the exercise routines are indoors and designed by professionals. You can easily look on a pet shop online for local ones near your area or call your neighbor’s kennels. Almost every program requires your assistance so take into consideration location, times, cost, and duration.
Learning new tricks is also a great way to exercise the mind and the body, providing great bonding time. Trick t
raining is beneficial for all involved because it offers an opportunity for a lovely companionship between owner and dog. Every owner loves having an obedient pet to show off. Winter is perfect to tune those tricks and learn new ones.
This might come as a surprise but there are numerous games that can engage your pet and exercise their mind and body. Games include brain games, dog puzzles, scent games, hide-n-seek, and tug-o-war. Some games do not require your active participation while others do.
If you want to play hide-n-seek, you need to throw a treat or two and say “Go find it” every time. After a few tries you can start hiding them in easy places. You can start under the couch or behind the doors. Do not forget to use the command words every single time. Once you see that your dog gets the gist of the game, you can start using complicated hiding places. Scent games are similar to hide-n-seek except that your dog should not see the treat beforehand. You can find puzzles online that your dog needs to solve in order to receive access to his treat.
Obstacle courses are easy to set up with household materials. Use your mundane couches, tables, chairs, etc. to build an obstacle course for your pet and let him have a blast. Untrained dogs need help getting through the course because if left alone, they will probably just start playing around senselessly. Trained pups on the other hand should get the point of the obstacle quickly with a simple run through of commands.
Do you own a treadmill? You will be happy to learn that now your dog can have one too! Both of you can now exercise on the treadmill, inside the house, where it is warm and cozy. Prices of treadmills can range slightly but you can find one on special at times.
Remember that your dog needs exercise and even though you can think of hundreds of games to play, there is no better solution than real outdoor exercise. Make sure to get a round of adequate exercise daily, mixing it up every few days. So get your coat ready and go outside with your pup for thirty minutes once a week.