During the long, cold months of winter, it can be a real challenge to find ways to give your dog the exercise he needs. Let’s face it, no one really likes to go outside when it’s freezing or pouring rain but that doesn’t negate the fact that dogs, and humans for that matter, still need to exercise even when the weather is crummy. Well, we’ve given this dilemma some thought and came across an article that offered some great tips on how to keep your dog active and engaged when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
- Obedience and Trick Training
Most likely your dog knows the basic commands of sit, stay and come. However, the winter months can be a great time to introduce your dog to some new tricks such as roll over, sit pretty and high-five. Not only will this provide some great bonding time with your dog, but he will love being rewarded for new behaviors. Speaking of training, we offer dog training here at Cascade Kennels. Check out our website for the various options available, however, our Private Training lessons are very affordable and we offer packages ranging from one hour to half and full day lessons. We offer puppy training and we work with older dogs as well. The winter months can be a great time to utilize this option at Cascade Kennels since we offer much of our training indoors providing the exercise and stimulation your dog needs.
- Brain Games & Dog Puzzles
Believe it or not, there are puzzles and games available for dogs. These games can range from simple ones that will dispense a treat to more complicated puzzles that require your dog to problem solve.
- Scent Games and Hide ‘n Seek
These are an excellent way to keep your dog busy and engaged while indoors. Keep it simple at first and then gradually make it more complicated as your dog learns the game. Basically, you’ll want to start by tossing a few treats onto the floor and just as your dog runs to eat them say “go find it.” Do this several times until he begins to learn the “go find it” command. Once he learns that, you can begin to hide the treats in other places in the house requiring him to sniff and search them out.
There’s nothing quite like a good game of tug-o-war between you and your pet. It doesn’t require a lot of space but it will tire out your dog in no time. Look for tug toys that are durable and will stand up to the rigorous pulling.
- Obstacle Course
Obstacle courses are a great way to train and exercise your dog. Of course, you can invest in some portable agility equipment or just build your own using tables, chairs, cushions and other things.
- Doggie Treadmill
Yes! They really do exist and you can check them out here. If you’re one who likes to exercise at home, this is a great way to have your dog join you in your own fitness routine. No, they aren’t cheap but they are designed with your dog’s needs in mind and can be a great way to get those daily walks in when it’s cold outside. Plus, these can be a nice, gentle way for an older dog to stay fit.
These are just a few ideas on how to keep your dog active and engaged during the winter months. Is there an indoor activity that you enjoy doing with your dog that we didn’t mention in this post? Let us know in the comments below.