So it’s the cold season once again, and you and your dog’s outdoor activities have to be limited to short spurts. You fear for you and your dog’s health so you just have to make a change of schedule. However, you both still need to exercise in order to keep fit and also for health purposes. In addition, a dog that is not exercised enough can be a pain due to all the pent up energy she has in her system. She can easily resort to being destructive, consequently chewing your brand new pair of high end boots. Here are some activities you can both engage in to stay fit and to keep the dog’s mind engaged, distracting her from destructive tendencies.
Hide her food in an obstacle course and watch her nose get to work. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell and can find things humans can’t just by sniffing. Hiding her food and making her search for it will keep her mind occupied.
You can also play hide and seek whereby you hide and make the dog look for you. First send her to fetch a treat and when she comes back be gone and call her from your hiding place. This should brighten a dull winter day for both of you while keeping her physically fit and her mind occupied.
If you have a treadmill indoors train your dog to walk/run on it. Stand with a treat in front of the treadmill to train her during the first few sessions, and gradually let her learn to run or walk on it without any incentive. If you can afford it, buy her her own treadmill as there are specific ones designed for dogs.
Indoor swimming pools and agility are other activities you can engage your dog with in winter. Train her on agility indoors or if you have an indoor swimming pool take swims together. Alternatively, sign her up for classes. She’ll meet other dogs and get a chance to get out of the house.
When it’s not too cold, play fetch outdoors, or take a short walk or run but only for 30 to 40 minutes to avoid getting too cold. Also, remember to wash her paws after any session outdoors to remove salt if any. Most salts used to melt ice are toxic to dogs.