Keeping Your Dog Active in Winter

For many parts of the country, winter means colder weather. Sometimes snow, ice, or freezing temperatures can keep you from being able to spend as much time outdoors with your dog as you would like. But that doesn’t mean your dog can’t still get plenty of exercise and activity in order to burn off energy and stay in shape.

Stair Climb: Tell your dog to sit and stay at the bottom of the stairs while you go to the top. Then call them up to meet you so they have to run up the stairs. Repeat this going up and down a few times to give your dog a quick workout. You can also move their food or water between the upstairs and downstairs so they have to go and up down to get to it.

Tug-of-War: Clear a little bit of space and play tug-of-war with your dog using a rope toy or even a knotted up old t-shirt. Wrestle around with them a bit and alternate between pulling on the toy and pretending like you’re going to in order to keep them engaged. If you have enough open space or a long hallway, you could even play fetch.

Hide and Seek: This can be a great way to keep your dog mentally stimulated and practice commands. Have your dog sit and stay while you leave the room to hide or toss a small treat in the opposite direction and hide while they are running after it. Then, call to your dog to have them find you. The better they get, the harder you can make your hiding place. You can also have another family member keep your dog distracted until you call for them.

Treat Dispensing Toys: There are lots of toys you can buy and even some you can make where your dog has to actively try to get the treat out. You can use a Kong-like toy where you put treats or peanut butter inside for them, a toy where they have to move and shake it to get to the treats, or even hiding treats under tennis balls in a muffin tin.

Obstacle Course: Set up a small obstacle course for your dog where they have to jump through a hoop, weave through cones, or crawl under (or jump over) a broom handle. This can also be mentally stimulating as they have to follow your directions to navigate each obstacle. Change things up once they learn the course to keep it interesting.

Power Walk: When it’s cold outside, make your walks short and brisk. Keep your dog moving rather than letting them stop and sniff everything in their path. Use this strategy for walks outside of their usual bathroom breaks, or after they’ve done their business and you’re heading home. Make sure to wipe down their paws and check for any salt or stones between the pads of their feet.

Doggie Daycare: Rather than letting your dog sit around inside while you’re at work or working from home, sign them up for doggie daycare. They’ll be able to run, jump, and play in a safe environment with other dogs and also have time to quietly relax on their own. It can also provide a change of scenery and scents to keep your dog stimulated.

If you’re heading out of town for the day, the weekend, or longer, board your dog at Lake Wylie Pet Resort. They’ll receive plenty of attention and play time so they’re not getting into trouble at home alone while you’re away. Contact us today to schedule your dog’s next stay!