11 great ways to exercise your dog during the winter.
1. Indoor Games
Play fetch if you have a long hallway, large open room space or play tug-of-war. First of all, dog’s love this game, so let them win sometimes, but not every time, they need to learn that you are still the boss. Hide small delicious treats all over the house for your dog to smell out, they love the challenge and it can furthermore build on your close bond. Play a chasing game, most dog’s will let you get close and then dart away, my dog is particularly cheeky and will let me think I’ve nearly got him before escaping at the last second.
2. Stair Climbing
If your dog is young and healthy try throwing a ball or toy up to the top of carpeted stairs for an aerobic game of fetch. Dog’s can easily over do this and exhaust themselves, so keep a close eye on them and take regular breaks.
3. Treat Balls
Using toys like a KONG to stuff with delicious treats is a great way to keep your dog entertained for hours, rewarding them along the way as they successfully manage to release a treat or bit of food. Try freezing a KONG filled with your pet’s favourite wet food and use this as a method of feeding them.
Specialised dog or even human treadmills work well to exercise your dog. Start slowly with your dog on a leash and use high-value treats as motivation whilst they get use to the new sensation of having the ground move under their feet. Slowly increase the speed until they are trotting and always stay with your pet to ensure they are happy and enjoying the activity. Never leave them attached to the treadmill unattended as serious injury and exhaustion can occur.?
5. Tricks and Training
First of all, dog’s love to learn, so use this time to try some new training techniques or tricks as well as reinforcing their existing commands or training that may need more practice. Get your dog to help tidy his toys into a basket, you’re getting a close bond with your dog and a clean house at the same time!
Look at your local directory for an obedience or training class with your dog. Another great option is indoor agility, flyball or doga (yoga with your dog). It will be good for both of you to get outside in the fresh air and is a great opportunity for socialisation.
7. Doggie Gyms or Swimming
These gyms offer many exciting ways to exercise your dog, including indoor swimming pools and dog parks.
8. Dog Friendly Outings
Meet up with friends who also have dog’s for a shop or cup of coffee, you get to catch up with your friend and most of all your dog gets to socialise too. Additionally there are lots of fun places that are happy to let dog’s in, just do some research and enjoy.
9. Doggy Daycare
If your dog gets along well with other dogs and you can find one you like, doggie daycare is a good option to help keep your dog fit over the winter. Make sure to check out recommendations and references and check out the facility first so you’re comfortable that your dog will be happy and well cared for.
10. Dog Walkers
If you’re a bit of a fair weather walker and really dislike the cold outdoors, hire a recommended and reliable dog walker who can ensure your dog gets a daily walk with other dogs.
11. Play Dates
Invite some friends who also have a dog, to your home and make some?homemade dog treats?for your dog to share with his friends. Here’s a great recipe:
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 Cups Quick Cooking Oats
2 1/2 Cups Warm Water
1/4 Cup Flax Seeds
1. Mix together the flour, oats and flax.
2. Stir in water and peanut butter.
3. Knead dough, working in more flour until dough isn?t sticky.
4. Roll 1/4 inch thick, cut into circles or any other shape and bake on greased cookie sheet for 40 min at 350 degrees.
5. Turn oven off and leave in oven with door closed until completely cooled and hardened.