Winter is the perfect season for hibernating. What better way to spend this cold, snowy season than cuddling up in a blanket with your furry friend, sipping hot chocolate as you read your favorite book? In fact, you might notice that your dog has been a bit on the lazy side as well and has taken to snuggling closer to you more often than not. He might even give you a puppy-dog eyed, “Do I have to?” look when you tell him it’s time to go outside to potty.
As much as you and your dog like staying indoors during the winter, however, it’s not the best for your dog’s health (and your own). If your dog has been more lethargic lately (and you haven’t been walking him), you might notice that he’s put on a little extra weight. Even though you might not think that adding a few extra pounds is a big deal, the added weight can take a toll on your buddy’s health over time.
Combat the winter weight gain with these 5 fun exercises for your dog!
Play Hide-and-Seek – This is a great game to get your dog up and fully engaged. You can certainly hide a treat or a favorite toy, but sometimes it’s even more fun to try to hide yourself from your dog. Distract her with a small size of her favorite treat and hide in another part of the house. Your dog will enjoy trying to use her senses to find you, wherever you are! Plus, it will really tire her out afterward.
Make Him Follow His Nose – Your pup’s little wet nose houses incredibly powerful sniffing abilities. Engage your dog’s senses by requiring him to use his nose! Instead of just putting down a bowl full of dog food, make him work for his dinner by creating an obstacle course he has to complete before finding his food. Better yet, hide his food in a box or put it in a food puzzle. Your dog will fill his belly, have fun, and tucker himself out quickly!
Make Doggy Play Dates – Do you have friends who have dogs? Why not spend some time together this winter? Get together with your friends and their dogs in a neutral space or, if your pets are more familiar with each other, at one of your homes. Your dog will be happy to see your friend’s pet and will have lots of fun running around and playing with him! It’s also a good excuse for pets and humans alike to get out and socialize during the gloomy days of winter.
Sign Up for a Class – Looking for a change of pace? Try signing up your dog for an indoor agility class or a swimming class. He won’t just enjoy the physical activity, but he will also like the opportunity to meet and socialize with other “students” and appreciate learning something new.
Get Outside Anyway – We know you don’t want to get off the couch where it’s nice and cozy, but your dog would love to get out and exercise a bit, even if it’s cold out there. Besides, many breeds of dogs, especially most big ones, enjoy snow and colder weather. Spend half an hour or so with your dog in the snow – the activity will leave your pup exhausted and his muscles toned. When you both come inside, be sure to wash off his paws to clean off any salt or de-icing chemicals.
Don’t let your dog be cooped up when it’s cold outside. Bring her over to BauserHaus! She’ll get plenty of exercise and get to socialize with dogs her own size. Find us online at www.bauserhaus.com to learn more!