As the weather becomes colder, it can be harder to get your dog outside for the long walks he needs to stay fit and fabulous. Here are some tips to get your dog active without freezing your tails off outside.

Please note that you should always check with a vet before instituting a new exercise regimen for your pet.

  1. Pump it up! If you have stairs in your home, you can have your dog run them to expend energy and exercise his body and mind. Stand at the top of the stairs and throw a toy down to your dog, then call him to you. After only a few throws, he’s guaranteed to be tuckered out.
  2. Make it a challenge. If you have the space, set up a small obstacle course for your dog to run through using couch cushions, dining chairs, and blankets. Leave treats after every obstacle to encourage him to explore and navigate the course. This will exercise his mind as well as his body.
  3. Think on it. Dogs need mental exercise as well as physical exercise. Make sure that you’re running through your dog’s obedience training each day to keep him sharp. The excitement of working with you will provide great mental exercise.
  4. Get those steps in! Treadmill training your dog may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to indoor exercise, but the treadmill is one of the best options for people and pets with only a little indoor space. Getting the dog used to the treadmill can take some time, so it’s important to be patient. Start by putting your dog on the treadmill and giving him a treat. Repeat until he becomes comfortable. Then take him off the machine and turn it on. Allow your dog to check it out and give him a treat as he sniffs around and gets used to the sound of the running treadmill. After the dog is completely comfortable jumping on and off the treadmill and with the sound of it running, turn the treadmill onto the lowest speed and have your dog walk on it. It can be helpful to stand at the front of the treadmill to encourage your dog to walk toward you.   Never leash or otherwise attach your dog to the treadmill. As he gets more comfortable you can increase the speed until he gets his workout in!

Keeping your pup in shape and well exercised will help cut down on health issues later on in life and will keep him from expending energy on less desirable activities (like chewing your shoes, couch, and remote.) Don’t let the winter cold get either of you down.

We want to hear from you! What’s your favorite way to beat the weather and work up a sweat with your pup?