As winter is quickly approaching, it is important to keep your dog active and healthy. Many outdoor activities can become off-limits due to cold weather conditions.
Whether it’s cold outside or not, your pet should still get plenty of exercise!
Check out this list of 7 indoor activities that you can do with your dog to keep them happy and healthy this winter.
Tips to keep your dog active and healthy this winter!
1. Indoor Fetch
It’s no secret that dogs go crazy over a game of fetch. Depending on where you live, the wintertime may bring rain, snow, or other weather conditions.
Frosty weather can make it impossible for you and your pet to play fetch outside. However, since it is a great form of exercise, consider adjusting this time-old classic for indoors.
Before you start your indoor fetch games, make you that you safely stow any valuables in your home. These can range from glass decorations and vases to delicate picture frames.
After you’ve secured your items, choose a soft toy that won’t cause too much damage if it happens to land on anything.
Consider a soft, plush stuffed animal or a rope toy to build momentum as your dog fetches across the room. The key is to use your space to your advantage. Have a long hallway? Use that as the perfect fetch area, since there is minimal furniture.
2 Bubble Party
Reminiscent of childhood parties and green lawns liven up a sleepy fireside pup with a bubble shower! At the sight of bubbles, most dogs will jump, chew, lick, or attempt to pop each bubble. However, since your dog may try to eat the bubbles, make sure you choose a solution that is pet-friendly.
Many pet stores offer food-scented bubbles, with options in chicken and peanut butter fragrances. Aside from your dog getting the exercise required, the cleanup is minimal, perhaps with only a few wet spots.
Don’t have the energy to blow the bubbles yourself? Pick up an automatic bubble machine and sit back while your dog gets its much-needed exercise.
3. Outdoor Walks
Perhaps already a daily ritual between you and your pet, walking your dog is important because it helps weight control and increases blood flow.
In addition to these health benefits, outdoor walks allow your pet to socialize with other dogs. However, many dogs may not take to walking on snow or ice, as it can be dangerous.
To avoid any potential slip falls, or other injuries that could hurt your dog, consider picking up outdoor wearables. Believe it or not, dog clothing has many benefits that go beyond just looking cute—it offers protection. For particularly cold or icy streets, pick up some booties to avoid cold paws.
Additionally, there may be a lot of chemicals on snowy sidewalks, such as antifreeze or salt solutions. Booties help protect your dog’s paws from chemicals and frostbite.
Don’t have money for booties? Make your own at home or keep your walks short and make sure to rinse off your dog’s paws once you get back home.
For dogs with short coats, pick up a nice, sweater to keep them warm. Clothes are a great addition for your pets during wintertime, and also make for super cute pictures and holiday cards!
4. Teach Your Dog New Tricks
Lack of interaction with other pets can dull your dog; make sure you stimulate their mental alertness by teaching your dog new tricks!
You don’t need a lot of indoor space to teach your pet some basic tricks, such as shaking paws, barking on command, rolling over, playing “dead,” or standing on their hind legs.
Best of all, you can stretch out the training sessions over a couple of weeks, making this an activity with long-term potential.
Make sure to pick up your pet’s favorite snacks and give them treats for good attempts. After you’re done with one trick, move on to another!
5. Adequate Outdoor Shelter
For some pet owners, keeping their dogs indoors is not an option. For these occasions, make sure that your dog has an adequate outdoor shelter that can keep the dog warm.
To make an adequate dog house, make sure you choose a house that is large enough for your pet to move around in. If you’re making a house from scratch, feel free to add insulation to the inner walls. For bedding materials, choose a soft fabric (old blankets work great) that is also easy to wash and dry.
One of the most important aspects of a dog house is to keep its bedding dry. Make sure to do a daily check on their bedding to ensure no excessive rain or snow has crept in. A dry, safe shelter is essential to keep your pets safe in the wintertime.
6. Balanced Diet
Long gone are days at summer dog beaches, and it is only natural that dogs will be less active. In order to appropriately meet your dog’s dietary restrictions, make sure you’re adjusting your pet’s diet with lower calorie meals. If you’re not sure how to determine the adequate diet for your pet, look up their body condition score.
Body condition scores are indicators of ideal caloric intake for your pets. Make sure you keep your pet from overheating and becoming overweight or obese.
It’s best to choose healthy meal options during the winter. Besides, there will be plenty of holidays for you to give your dog treats and yummy food.
7. Mealtime Puzzles
In order to make the most of mealtime or treats, get a puzzle-like food toy for your dog, such as Kong toys. Whether your dog is highly active or is calmer, dog food toys will get their senses prickling and paws moving.
Ideal for stuffing raw or cooked dog food, your pet will release anxiety and work on problem-solving skills as it reaches its treat.
For a simple way to make your own fun treats, take yummy dog snacks and freeze them. To make these treats a bit more fun, take an old cereal or shoebox, fill it with treats, and wrap it in gift paper or newspaper.
Once your dog smells the box, it will know that there is a treat inside, waiting to be eaten. Just be mindful that this may require some cleanup. Don’t worry, your pup will appreciate it.
Now that you have fun indoor games and activity ideas, keeping your dog safe, healthy, and entertained this winter should be simple! Pick up dog booties, sweaters, or meal toys for your pup.
Some dog clothes and accessories stores specialize in healthy and eco-friendly dog toys, clothing, and much more. Don’t get caught off guard—start preparing for your dog’s wintertime wardrobe today!
Guest Author Bio:
Carolyn Clarke is a professional pet trainer, dog owner, and freelance writer from Los Angeles, California. She shops at WholeWoof for high-quality clothes, treats, and toys for her Golden Doodle, Arnie.”
DISCLAIMER: DogExpress does not endorse or take responsibility for the content in the guest post.