Cold temperatures and snow can make it difficult to walk and exercise active dogs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the “gym” inside. Below are some great ideas to keep your dog happy, entertained and fit during the winter months!
- Puzzle Games and Treat-Stuffed Toys: Puzzle games and toys that are stuffed with treats are great solutions to keep active dogs stimulated and entertained. They can keep these busy bodies occupied for hours with delicious treats and goodies. Click to download our free PDF for three yummy homemade recipes for your dog’s Kong or other treat dispensing toys.
- Hallway Fetch: No one wants to go out in the freezing cold or deal with snow and ice, but getting in that game of fetch is too important to wait for warmer weather. Simply find the longest hallway in your home and toss the ball or toy gently for your dog to chase. Be careful to secure breakable objects that might be nearby and throw the ball gently. Remember: this is only a light game of fetch.
- Hide n’ Seek: This one is fun and very similar to the childhood game. Firstly, have your dog sit and stay or have a friend or family member hold your dog while you hide. After 30 or so seconds call your dog’s name to come to you. The dog should follow your voice and try to find you! Call your dog’s name once every 10-ish seconds (if the dog struggles to find you, call out more). Once the dog finds you reward with a lot of praise, treats, and/or toys!
- Trick Training: Trick training is a great way to keep your active dog’s mind in shape! Decide on five or so tricks you want to teach your dog this winter and work on them daily while the weather is frightful. Visit this link to a great YouTube video for fun trick ideas. And if you need more help in teaching your dog these tricks, simply search on YouTube for ideas.
- Dog Agility Classes: Another great option to keep your dog fit this winter is enrolling in a dog agility class at your local dog training facility. Dog agility is a great and fun sport for you and your dog! It promotes teamwork, engagement, and exercise. Or if dog agility isn’t for you or your dog, you can look into rally, nose work, obedience and lots more!
These tips are great ways to keep your dogs happy and healthy over the winter, but daily walks and outings should still be a big part of your dog’s routine, no matter how brief or short they might be. We hope these indoor activities, in addition to your dog’s daily walks, help keep your active dog happy and healthy this winter!