Winter exercise tips for your dog
Rain or shine, your dog needs daily exercise whatever the weather. But in the dead of winter, sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to go – combined with bad weather, at times it’s impossible.
If the wind, rain, snow, or ice keeps you from safely walking your dog this winter, not to worry – there’s still some things you can do to help maintain your dog’s mental and physical wellbeing. Here’s a few of our favourite winter exercise tips for your dog.
Hire a dog walker
If you or an elderly family member is concerned about potential injuries from falling on ice or snow, it might be worthwhile hiring a dog walker to get you through the winter months. Local dog walkers will come and collect your dog, walk them, and bring them back home on a schedule that suits you for a modest fee – a great solution if you’d like someone to take over for a month or two while walking in winter weather conditions is more hazardous.
Let them out to play
An outdoor space where your furry friend can run around is an ideal alternative if you can’t get out on a walk. If you have a back garden your dog can go outside to play in all the better, but even a walk up and down your front walkway for a few minutes can help them get some fresh air.
Play a game
Playing a game with your dog is a great way to help them get active and mentally engaged around the home. When we’re busy we don’t always make time for fetch and other games, but spending 30 minutes in focused game play in lieu of a walk is a great alternative. Try a game of hide and seek – throw a treat in the opposite direction and then run and hide while your dog is distracted. Then call them to come and find you – it’s great exercise and also a fun way to practice following commands.
Try the treadmill
Do you have a treadmill at home just gathering dust? Why not repurpose it for your dog – spend one or two days familiarising them with how it works and slowly work up to walking on it for ten, twenty and even thirty minute blocks. It might not be as stimulating as a walk outdoors, but is a good alternative to expend some energy when going outside isn’t possible. There are also smaller, more specialised dog treadmills available for purchase that can be useful if your dog spends a lot of time alone during the day – this is an expensive solution however, so unless it’s something you feel you’d regularly use, it may not be worth the investment.
Top up your training
The winter is a great time to send your dog back to Puppy School. Indoor training centres offer great programmes to top up behaviour of both dog and owners, and are a great way to get your dog active and interacting with other animals. Some training centres even offer classes where dogs can go and play and be active one or several times a week.
Make dinner a challenge
Dogs have a great sense of smell and are incredibly motivated by food; use this to your advantage and turn their daily meals into a challenge. Toys and puzzles that utilise food are a simple and inexpensive way to turn dinner into a stimulating game for your dog. Putting their food into a Kong toy or creating your own homemade obstacle course out of cardboard boxes is an ideal activity on a day when you can’t make it out for a long walk.
Do you have any winter exercise tips for your dog?
Silversurfers Features Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfers Features Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!