It is no secret that our four paws buddies need exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.
However, when we face shortened daylight hours during cold winter months, it can be tricky for our furry friends to get as physically active as they do at other times in the year. Your pup may seem unwilling to leave your home when there's snow or when it is cold outside, but they still need to burn off excess energy.
Lack of exercise will make your active dog feel bored, potentially resulting in some not-so-pleasant behavior. Plus, it will put your dog at risk of facing depression and obesity.
So, if it's freezing outside, don't worry. There are still several indoor dog activities that will help your pet stay active and entertained this chilly season. Continue to read to find out more.
If you live in a home with a flight of stairs, then use them! It will make "fetch" more challenging for your pup, making them exercise more.
It's very easy: just toss your dog's favorite toy or ball up the stairs and make them run up to grab it, then give it back down to you. This is a simple, effective way to make your furry friend burn calories.
If you don't have stairs (or this activity is too intense for your dog), use your hallway (the longest one in your home). Do you want to make it more challenging? Put barriers across the hall. Your pet will jump over them and will end up exercising more.
Go to the Mall
If your dog is a well-behaved one, you can take them for a walk and socialize in an indoor mall or a pet-friendly store. Surely, your dog won't be the only one there.
This is a great way to get both of you out of the house for a bit. Plus, you'll be providing your pet with a new experience, letting it see new sights and discover new smells.
Make Your Pup Workout in a Treadmill
If you don't have a treadmill already, this is the kind of activity that requires some investment, but it can be great both for you and your dog.
Fortunately, dogs can use human treadmills, as long as you're careful. First, find out your pet's endurance level. When you take them for a walk in the mall, pay attention to when they start slowing down and their overall walk time. This way, you won't over-exercise your dog.
Already know your dog's endurance level? Already made them associate the machine with toys and treats?
Start on the slowest setting, then slowly raise the pace to a safe, comfortable trot. Observe your pet and look for signs they're getting tired. Then, slow the belt right away and come to a stop.
If you want to go an extra mile to offer the best for your pet, purchase a dog treadmill: they're wider than human ones, won't restrict your furry friend's body movement, and have the right sized side rails (keeping your pet safe, avoiding it falling off on the sides).
Teach Your Pet New Tricks
Even if your pet has been trained, it can still learn brand-new tricks. You can teach your puppy tricks like "spin," "roll over," "shake," and more.
If you have time, it might be interesting to sign up your dog for a group class of advanced training. It will be an extra social time, useful to keep your pet entertained and happy, which is just as important as any other type of dog care.
Dog Enrichment Activity: Indoor Agility
A fun way to keep your dog physically active during winter is to practice some indoor agility.
There's no need to buy fancy equipment: you can come up with your own indoor obstacle course using household items like:
- Laundry baskets
With these items, you can have your pet weave through boxes, make them jump into and out of a laundry basket, go to their towel, and finally, jump over broomsticks. They'll be mentally stimulated.
Chasing bubbles is a great way to keep your dog entertained during freezing days. It will keep your pet entertained, active and happy. Just make sure you buy dog-friendly bubbles.
If your furry friend needs to learn how to chase bubbles. Here's your step by step to get them ready to play:
Begin by blowing one or two bubbles at a time
Try pointing to the bubbles
Encourage your dog with treats to "catch" the bubbles
If your dog doesn't seem keen to play yet, catch the bubbles yourself
There are many dog exercises, but chasing bubbles is super fun and physically demanding, even for five minutes. Give it a go.
Who doesn't love singing along to their favorite songs and dancing to reduce stress? Create a playlist with some upbeat tunes, and start jumping around with your furry friend to get them into dancing.
Enjoy Playing with Your Active Dog
There are so many ways to keep your pet entertained indoors. You can try ''snuffle mats'', trick training, agility, and more.
The point is, try to include these activities as part of your winter pet care. Your furry friend needs it for their well-being.
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