The leaves finished falling a while ago. If you live in the north, you probably look outside to see a blanket of snow; in the south, the air is brisker and you’re probably spending more time indoors. Likewise, your dog isn’t enjoying the freedom of warm weather and long walks these days. Being cooped inside a house all winter can make your dog bored and anxious, and anxious dogs often act out by destroying your possessions. All dogs need to work out their energy during the day, but that’s hard to do when the temperature drops. Here’s some fun winter-oriented activities you can do with your dog to help keep entertained and in shape.
DIY Dog Sledding
Okay, this one’s tricky, but it’s a fun way to get your kids (two-legged and four-legged) out of the house for a little bit. Hook a harness up on the dog, attach the leash to the sled, and have one person lead Fido while another rides along in the sled.
Any ski bums out there are going to love this, especially if you can’t always get to the slopes. Strap on your skis, grab the poles, and attach your dog’s leash to you. Let him pull you along while enjoy the ride. Just remember, Fido will probably get tired out before you. This is a great activity to practice your cross-country skiing and exercise your pup at the same time.
Little dogs especially will love this. Since they need less space to run around, they’ll get more energy out indoors than bigger dogs would. Find a long stretch of hallway or open space where you can throw Fido’s favorite toy. You may even try putting obstacles in the way for your pup to maneuver around. Or you could even try throwing it up the stairs to help your dog work out his muscles.
Some companies actually sell treadmills specially designed for dogs. However, you can train your dog to use your treadmill. Start out by holding or tying a treat at the front of the treadmill. Set it on a slow speed and encourage your dog to walk with it. As Fido gets more comfortable, you can increase the speed. Just don’t walk away and leave him there! You may want to train him to jump off the side so he doesn’t risk hurting himself by falling off the back.
Be Tough – Take a Walk
Lastly, try taking your pup for a short walk. Whether it’s around the backyard or down the street, getting out of the house and exploring will prevent anxiety and keep him active. It may be cold outside, but remember: dogs get cold, too; it won’t be long before Fido tries to lead you back inside to get warm.