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Jenn Giacoppo

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 Veterinarian Dr. 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.”

4 Responses to “How to Make Sure Your Pup Gets Enough Exercise in Winter”

  1. Susan says:

    How about the treadmill? My pup is not happy when it is icy out and he can’t have his walk. So… He walks on my treadmill everyday and he loves it! His collar is safely connected to the stop button and I never leave his side. Everyone is happy!

  2. well said. lots of great ideas to get your dog more exercise. i live in an apartment and i rescued (adopted) an senior maltese, he is afraid of the stairs.
    i found for him the best exercise is to stand in the bathroom with the door open and say “i’m gonna get ya” and he runs to the other room and back two or three times and fast as his little legs can carry him. i try to do that at least ten times a day.
    really, if people can find anything to keep their little dogs happy and moving – no matter what, it’s sort of like people (a body in motion stays in motion).

  3. Cynthia B says:

    Treadmills are a great way to exercise your dog. I have a 2 year old rescue pup who is full of energy. They say to exercise your dog long enough so that when you get back home to lay down to rest. We would walk for an hour in the morning and an hour at night and he still had more energy than I had time for. I couldn’t get him to calm down enough to focus on any training. A friend of mine trained his dog to use a tread mill and I asked him to help me with sandy. OMG new dog. Now he stand by the tread mill and barks so I will turn it on for him and our walk are half an hour outside with plenty of time for training. I just want to remind every one that having a dog is like having a 3 year old in your house for the next 15 years. You need to dog proof your house and keep it dog proofed even the best behaved dog will slip up if given the right motivation.

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