7 Fall and Winter Exercise Tips for Your Pets
We know our clients consider their pets an important part of the family. When you care so deeply for your pets, it’s natural to want to make sure they are happy and healthy. When the sun is shining, it’s easier and far more desirable to spend loads of time outdoors with walking and playing with our dog friends — but what happens in fall or winter when it’s too cold and dreary to be outside for long? Just like you, your dog needs to follow a regular exercise regimen to stay healthy and expend the energy that builds up after spending all day indoors. Here are eight tips to ensure your dog stays active this season.
1. Play with Scent
You can create a fun exercise by stimulating your dog’s scent ability. Stuff treats or peanut butter inside of puzzle feeder toys, such as a Kong Wobbler or Buster Ball, so your dog can chase it to his or her heart’s’ content without ever leaving the house.
2. Pick a Game
If you have a big enough space to play a small-scale game of fetch with a small object such as a tennis ball, this is always a go-to option — otherwise, hide and seek is a good alternative. You can hide a toy… or yourself! Use something as a distraction while you hide (try throwing a treat the opposite direction or having another family member or friend call your dog into another room). Once you find your hiding spot, call your dog and see how long it takes for him or her to find you.
3. Learn a New Trick
You don’t need lots of space to help your dog to learn a new trick, and it helps them to engage their mental agility. Teach them the basics if they don’t already know them, such as a simple “sit” or “shake,” or go for something more complicated like “play dead.”
4. Go on a Walk … Indoors
While there are specific treadmills for dogs, you can also use a human one. Start off slowly by offering a treat to entice them, then work up to the same speed and time you would normally use on walks.
5. Sign Up for a Class
Much like classes at the gym, there are also classes for your dog! Sign them up for swimming, flyball, or indoor agility. This way they can learn a new skill, exercise, and be social!
6. Fun in the Powder
Bigger dogs tend to really like snow, and as many of us know, it can take a lot of energy to tread through it. Should it snow in Seattle, bring your dog outside with you, or bring them along on a weekend trip to the mountains. Just make sure to stay in tune with their body language… as soon as they start to display signs of chilliness, bring them indoors to dry off and snuggle by the fireplace!
7. Hire Help
If you don’t have the time or the ability to walk and exercise your dog, especially during the workday or while you’re away on vacation, hire a compassionate professional! Sarah’s Pet Care offers dog walking services and off-leash dog park trips, so dogs can stretch their legs, run around, and get some much-needed TLC.
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