This cold January weather tends to trap a lot of people—and their pets—indoors. Though we all crave that fresh, crisp air, the idea of bundling up and staying outside longer than it takes your dog to do her business seems crazy.
Because of this, our pups don’t get nearly as much exercise in as they should during the winter months.
To keep your furry friend on a healthy path, check out some of the best ways to exercise your dog in the winter. From actually sucking it up and heading outside to dog classes, these tips should help keep your dog healthy in the chilliest season of the year.
6 Ways to Exercise Your Dog in the Winter
1. Sign Up for Indoor Classes
Just like you take workout classes at your gym, your dog can benefit from classes as well. Do some research to find some dog-friendly workout classes in your area.
Classes such as indoor agility and swimming classes are a great way to exercise your pup and boost her mental agility no matter what the outdoor weather is like!
2. Practice Targeting
During the winter, think about setting aside time for indoor training. Targeting is one of those techniques you can start practicing with your dog, and it comes with tons of benefits as well.
Targeting helps focus your dog’s attention on you, keeping her calm as she walks past something that scares or arouses aggression in her.
Start with nose targeting first—teaching your dog to touch her nose to the back of your hand on command is a great first goal. It will create an even deeper bond and encourage better communication between the both of you.
3. Head to the Dog Park
Dog parks aren’t just for the summer. In fact, your pup will probably enjoy it even more in the winter because she’ll have it mostly to herself. Your dog will get free rein to run around, climb, jump, and challenge herself.
Even fifteen minutes is a great step to a healthy winter. Just make sure that you continue to follow important dog park etiquette—even though it’s winter and there aren’t as many pups around, you shouldn’t skimp on the rules.
4. Use a Treadmill
If you have a treadmill at home, use it for your dog too! You’re not the only one who can benefit from at-home exercise equipment. In fact, as long as you set the treadmill to a reasonable speed, your dog can take advantage of it as well.
5. Take a Walk
That being said, try not to use your treadmill all the time. It’s still very important to take your pet outdoors . The fresh air is good for you and your dog, so a nice morning walk or a walk after dinner will be beneficial both of you.
Just make sure you bundle up properly, and don’t take your dog outside for extended periods of time if the weather isn’t tolerable.
6. Make Meal Time an Adventure
Our final tip is about meal time. During the winter, it’s even more important to make meal time enjoyable for your pup.
Make it more of an adventure by adding in a bit more movement and challenge for your dog. Hiding treats and meals inside toys or around the kitchen will help strengthen your dog’s problem-solving abilities as well as provide some much-needed exercise!
How do you exercise your dog in the winter?
I’d love to hear how you and your dog stay active during the cold winter months in your area. Leave a comment below or stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!
Also, be sure to check out this article with tips for walking your dog in the winter!