Winter in Colorado can get pretty bitter, which makes things difficult for some breeds of dogs to stay active. Those of us that have short coat or lean built dogs can struggle to keep them active in the winter. On those days where the mercury is low, what can you do to get your dog some exercise when you can’t take them outside? I asked myself this question as I have a hyper girl who absolutely hates the cold. After a little research I found the following tips that I think are pretty handy, all of which can be done in warmth of your home or apartment!
• Fetch Inside. This one makes sense, but I never really thought of it. Just find the longest open distance you have in your residence and simply play fetch. This works great in a longer hallway, or even on a staircase which will wear your pup out even quicker!
• Back and Forth. This one requires at least 2 people. Set yourselves up on different ends of your residence, or in different rooms; and simply call the dog back and forth. Make your pup run around back and forth between the people in the house. This generally excites them because they are getting a lot of attention from multiple people at once!
• Hide and Seek. Similar to the previous paragraph, you can hide from your pet and make them find you. Usually works great to wear them out as they are more mentally stimulated trying to hunt you down. If your dog isn't much of a hunter you can always try Chase! Where you chase your pet around the apartment and get them excited running around!
• Hide a Treat. If you are not really keen on doing the hiding yourself, you can always just hide treats for your dog to find. This requires a little training as they have to know you are hiding the treat. Start with very easy hiding places and work your way up to more advanced hiding places.
• Extra Attention. Sometimes all your dog really needs is a little extra attention, and maybe some snuggle time.
• New Toys. If your dog loves playing with toys, bringing home some fresh toys for destruction can do the trick. You can also get toys that are actually games or puzzles in which your dog must work to get a treat. These tend to work for wearing your dog out as they require more mental stimulation. Shop Toys
• Tug of War. Another easy way to wear your dog out while you sit on the couch is to find a rope toy and play tug of war with the dog. If your dog is into tug of war they will usually want to play for hours! If you want to be more active or involved there is always wrestling! Wrestling with your dog (Not too rough) can wear them out quickly if you keep them moving and playing, also it gets them more physical attention which they love!
• Doggie Daycare. If you can afford to take your dog to doggie daycare this is a great way to make sure your dogs is worn out by the end of the day! While you are at work your dog will be socializing, and running around in a warm building with other dogs having fun.
• Treadmill. This one is another that requires training as most dogs are not going to be keen on walking on a moving object. This one seems more likely for dogs that need to burn a lot of energy and some hard playing will not get the job done. I did not believe that people would walk their dogs on the treadmill, but it is actually a very common thing.
As you can see there are a number of ways to keep your pet active when the weather turns cold. I know my dog and I both tend to gain a little weight during winter, but make sure you keep your pup active. If you know any other ways that you keep your dog active in the winter, feel free to let us know!