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How to Make Sure Your Pup Gets Enough Exercise in Winter

Sure, there are awesome products like winter boots to protect paws from cold and salted streets. Coats, hats, scarves (Isaboo has one!) are also all options.

Longer playtimes sometimes have to get cut short. You may not make it to the dog park when there’s a sub-zero wind chill. Your dog may not want to spend as much time outside, even if energy levels still stay high.

If you are heading outside, keep proper attire in-mind and remember that the more aerobic the exercise, the warmer your pup will be, reminds the experts from the ASPCA.

But if you’re facing more time indoors than your dog is used to, it’s time to get creative. The good news is that it’s not tough, as long as you have a solid understanding of what your dog needs. Here are some simple ideas that anyone can try:

1. You don’t need to move much: Games like hide and seek are perfect for busy dogs in small spaces – and quite frankly, it’s adorable to play. You’ll challenge their training skills (commands like “Sit!” and “Come!”) and have fun doing it. Here’s how to play from the ASPCA.

2. Busy minds make better dogs: Try puzzle toys that contain treats or teaching your dog a new command like spinning or backing up. Give Fido lots of things to chew on in order to fight boredom. This redirects their focus from your furniture or shoes to more productive activities.

3. Be a stair master: If you live in an apartment building or have a split-level home, you’re in luck, according to petMD. As long as your dog’s knees are healthy, jogging the stairs is a great way to make use of indoor space. You’ll get a pretty nice workout yourself, too!

4. Make a playdate: Socialization is very important to your dog’s physical and mental health, according to VetStreet. Indoor daycare facilities are awesome because they provide large spaces to run and lots of pals to play with. If that’s not an option for you, have a friend who lives nearby bring their pet over (or vice versa) for some friend-time.

We also checked in with our friend, NYC VeterinarianDr. Charles Berk, about how to have a healthy pup in the winter.

“In addition to working on exercise, I recommend that owners adjust feeding schedules seasonally based on activity level,” he says. “For some dogs, like bulldogs, that means decreasing portions of meals in the summer, but for most other dogs, it means decreasing  the amount of each meal in the winter.”

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