If you’re anything like me, you like the changing of seasons, but finding methods to exercise your dog in the winter is challenging and inconvenient, especially when the days are shorter and it gets dark early.
Even our dogs struggle throughout the cold. They tend to put on some extra winter weight when they spend more time indoors and are less active. During the winter, though your dog appears to be content lying by the fire like a bear hibernating, they would much prefer playing or exercising with you. It’s crucial that they keep a healthy weight and get regular exercise.
Exercise is essential for you and your dog’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. But, taking your dog outside when it’s too cold can damage their paw pads and their nose. Dogs can even experience cabin fever throughout the winter, just like people, if they don’t receive enough fresh air or exercise, which can result in undesirable behaviors like excessive barking or destructive chewing.
We offer our best advice on how to keep your dog healthy and active during winter in this blog.
What Winter Exercises Can You Encourage Your Dog To Do?
Here are some other methods to train your dog physically and psychologically if you hate walking it during the icy winter months.
1. Indoor Sports
Use a long corridor, an open basement, or a tug-of-war arena to play fetch. Play “Find It” by hiding dog food or little treats throughout the home for your dog’s nose to find. Dogs like playing the game of hide and seek, which promotes cooperation and the ‘Come’ command. Most dogs like to play chasing games. To train your dog to chase prey, try dragging a stuffed animal that is dangling on a rope.
2. Treat Balls
Use dry food and food-dispensing balls or toys to make your dog work for his meal. If you offer wet food to your dog, place the meal inside a Kong toy and freeze it before serving.
3. A Stair Climb
If your dog is healthy, young, and does not have hip issues, toss a ball or other toy up the carpeted steps. so that they may play fetch while getting some exercise. Be careful not to overdo your stair workout, though.
4. Training and Tricks
Try out some fresh training methods or reinforce any old orders or instructions that need improvement. Make your dog learn some tricks. If your dog is already proficient in the fundamental skills, consider training him in a trick that will allow him to assist you around the house, such as picking up his toys and placing them in a basket. Most dogs like learning new things, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your dog.
Treadmills for humans or dogs are effective for exercising your dog. Leash your dog at first, and reward good behavior with high-value goodies. When your dog is confidently strolling at a leisurely pace, gradually accelerate up to a trot. Stay with your dog at all times and keep a tight eye on him. Never tie your dog to a treadmill or make him stay there against his will. Find another kind of exercise if your dog doesn’t appear to like the treadmill.
6. Pet-friendly Activities
While you’re out and about, take your dog to the pet store and shop at more dog-friendly stores or coffee shops. Look for dog-related activities in your neighborhood that you may attend with your dog.
Enroll your dog in a training or obedience course, or try indoor agility, flyball, or doga (yoga with your dog). Your dog will enjoy leaving the house and will benefit from socializing.
8. A Play Date
Meet together with pals that have dogs that want to play, exercise, and interact. Even better, invite some of your dog’s buddies over for a playdate and prepare some homemade dog goodies for them to enjoy.
9. Dog gyms
There are many different methods to exercise your dog at one of these gyms, which are springing up all across the country. Some of them even feature indoor dog parks and swimming pools.
10. Daycare for Dogs
Doggie daycare is an excellent choice if your dog gets along well with other canines and you want to keep him active during the winter. To feel at ease with the environment your dog will be playing in and hanging out in, make sure to read reviews and take a tour of the daycare facility first.
We have made an infographic with visual images to provide you more concise information on the 10 ways to exercise your dog in winter. Let’s look at it:
What is the Ideal Temperature Range for Dogs in Winter?
|Temperature Range||Effect on Dogs|
Advice On How To Keep Your Dog Warm And Safe Over The Winter
- A sweater or water-repellent clothing may be necessary to keep tiny, old, or short-haired dogs warm.
- Trim the hair between your dog’s toes to avoid snow and ice buildup.
- Dog booties may protect paws from ice, salt, and de-icing agents while keeping them dry and clean.
- Apply wax to your dog’s paws before taking him outdoors if he detests wearing booties to stop uncomfortable ice balls from accumulating between his toes. In the summer, use shield paws to protect from sand at the beach or scorching pavement.
- If you don’t wear booties, when you get home, wipe your dog’s paws off with a warm, damp towel to remove any salt, de-icing agents, or ice chunks. Likewise, clean their tummy and legs.
- If you go outside at night, use fluorescent clothing or a clip-on LED collar light.
- If you are unsure about exercising your dog outside in the cold, speak with your veterinarian.
Watch your dog carefully for indicators that they’ve had enough of the cold to avoid hypothermia and frostbite. It’s important to go back inside and warm up if your dog is shaking, whimpering, slowing down, or raising their paws often. It’s probably too chilly for your dog to be outside on those rare winter days when it’s simply too dreadfully cold for you to do so. Enjoy your hot tea while staying indoors by the fire.
When should you not walk your dog in cold weather?
Walking your dog in cold weather can be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Make sure that your dog has adequate footwear, such as dog boots or socks, to protect their feet from freezing temperatures and slippery surfaces.
Do dogs like to walk in the cold?
Yes. Dogs love walks no matter what the weather is like. They love going outside and smelling all the different smells. It’s a great way to get some exercise and let off some steam after being cooped up inside all day.
Can dogs walk in snow without shoes?
Yes. Dogs can walk in snow without shoes because their paws are naturally insulated from the cold.