If warming your car up is the most exposure you have to cold weather, your dog’s probably not too happy with you. Rain, snow or shine, your dog behaves better and feels more content when a little exercise makes up part of the day.
So Lace up your sneakers and grab a leash – or a ball or your car keys. Exercise can happen nearly anywhere. Take a look at 10 ways to keep your dog cheerfully panting – even when the weather outside is frightful:
1. Fetch it! When inclement weather makes an outdoor jaunt impractical, a rousing indoor game of fetch can get your dog’s heart rate up. Toss the ball or toy up the stairs or in a totally different direction to keep him guessing.
2. Do some dog-friendly shopping. Since your car’s warmed up already, there’s probably something you need from your local pet store, right? Your dog will appreciate a car ride and a change of scenery. Allow your dog to walk up and down the aisles for exercise, and you both can check out the latest toys or food puzzles like a classic Kong or a Goodie Bone.
3. Make a food challenge. When’s the last time your dog had to sniff out dinner? Keep things interesting by hiding her bowl of food in a different location in your home. You can also use various products (see #4) to get her to work for treats. Or you could simply hide a few small treats in different parts of your home.
4. Sign up for a class. An agility class could be a lot of fun for your dog and you. Depending on your pet, a simple obedience class or a canine citizenship class also might meet your needs. You’ll both get exercise and spend time together. No doubt you’ll have exercises and skills to perfect during the week when you’re at home.
5. Try new tricks. Learning a new skill can be a great activity for you and your dog. Can your dog roll over? Can she pull off your sock? Will he jump through a hoop? Take a look here for fun ideas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C98zf6rUFAo
6. Play hide and seek and tag. Where does your dog want to be more than anywhere else? With you, of course! Distract your pet with a small treat – and run away to hide. Your dog can get a good bit of exercise running around the house to find you. When she finds you, run! You just started a great game of tag. You can switch things up and be the one who chases rather than the one who’s chased.
7. Discover Town N Country’s Doggie Day Care. For those days when you have too much going on, don’t leave your pet sulking at home all day. Doggie day care offers your dog supervised active time with other dogs. You’ll both be happier at the end of the day.
8. Town N Country’s walking service. When you’re away or whenever you need it, you can hire a Town N Country staff member to walk your dog. (The price stays the same – rain or shine.)
9. Walk anyway. Even when it’s snowy, most dogs still like to get outside. Tell yourself you’d pay a lot for an Alaskan dogsledding trip and embrace the cold for an active 20 minutes. Your dog will adore you even more, and you’ll get a good workout. (And don’t forget to wash paws to remove salt from his feet when you come back inside.)
10. Insert YOUR idea here. And then go to our Facebook page and share it.
If you have questions or would like to discuss your dog’s fitness needs, give us a call. We’d love to help your pet live a long, healthy life – no matter the weather.