Dogs can get the winter blues just like their human companions, and there is nothing better than a little exercise to get your furry friends in a better mood. The exercise needs for your dog will depend upon factors such as their breed and age. On the low side, a puppy or senior dog might need about 30 minutes of exercise each day. Large and active dog breeds could need as much as two hours of exercise, which might be hard to hit when it is cold outside. These activities are all great ways to help your dog stay healthy and strong through the winter.
Maximize Their Outside Time
The winter season might have more cold days than comfortable ones, but you will have opportunities to get your dog outside. On those days, it is important to give your dog the chance to burn off as much energy as possible. Taking them to play on dog playground equipment encourages them to run, climb and leap their way to good health. A dog park that allows for you to take your dog off of their leash is the ideal place to make the most out of those pretty winter days.
Set Up an Indoor Obstacle Course
On days when you can’t venture outside, you can recreate your dog’s favorite activities by creating an obstacle course in your house. To do so, think about the dog park equipment that your pet likes to play on. You might be able to make a tunnel out of boxes, or you could try encouraging your pet to jump through a hula hoop. It might not be quite the same as a trip to the park, but it can suffice until the weather is nicer.
Plan a Doggie Playdate
Has the winter weather left your dog feeling lonely? If so, then you can invite a friend to bring their dog over. For a puppy who misses their park friends, having a doggie playdate gives them the opportunity to play like only canines know how to do. You can enjoy a conversation with your friend and make plans for your next playdate to take place outside when the sun shines again.
Teach Your Dog New Tricks
Once your dog has some basic commands down, you can teach them a few tricks that are just for fun. Grab some treats and focus on teaching your dog how to spin, roll over or speak. If your dog has trouble settling down, then start the training session by playing an indoor game of fetch or tug of war. Then, spend several minutes training them on the new trick. Practice this every day, and your dog will soon be the star of the show when you take them out in public.
A dog that is kept inside for too long might start to exhibit challenging behaviors such as chewing on things in the house. If your dog seems bored or overly energetic, then it might be best to bundle up and take them to the park. Giving them time to play on their favorite pieces of equipment burns off energy and gives you both a more positive mindset.