Exercising Your Dog in the Winter
As pet parents, we know that daily exercise is crucial to the health and well-being of our four-legged family members. Unfortunately, sometimes our Canadian winters lead to days that are too cold, too snowy or too icy to be able to safely take our dogs for a walk, so it’s important to always have a back-up plan!
If the weather outside is quite bad and you don’t feel comfortable taking your dog for a walk outdoors, consider taking them for one inside! If you have a treadmill at home, you can try to train your dog to walk on it if suitable for them. Make sure you’re very careful in doing so though! Start off at a very slow speed and give your dog plenty of time to investigate and get used to the treadmill and how it works so there aren’t any surprises.
If you and your dog are stuck indoors, toys can help keep them active and entertained. With an open design featuring hexagon cut outs and stretchy material, the JW Hol-ee Dog Roller is both durable and flexible. Using this toy is a great way to make tennis balls last longer as they can be stuffed inside the flexible ball, so your dog can chase after it for hours.
Puzzle toys, such as the Hide-N-Slide Treat Puzzle, can challenge your dog and help keep them mentally stimulated on cold winter days. Suitable for dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds, this treat dispensing puzzle features several compartments to hide treats or kibble in – just watch as your dog discovers how to slide the knobs to release the hidden treats inside!
While you and your pooch can have tons of fun playing together, you can also set up a playdate for them with another doggo! If a friend or family member has a dog that yours gets along with, invite them over so they can play together and encourage each other to keep moving!
Sign Up for Classes
Signing your dog up for a class is another great way to exercise them while the weather outside is bad. Agility classes often take place in a facility with tunnels, ramps, weave poles and more, which can provide your pup with plenty of exercise!
Shorten Your Walks
If it’s not too snowy or icy outside and you still want to take your dog for a walk, consider shortening the length if it’s very cold out as dogs are still susceptible to dangers such as frostbite. Take your time, don’t rush and enjoy careful, leisurely walks as your dog could easily slip on a hidden patch of ice. You should also keep your pet away from any puddles that you encounter while walking in the winter, as these could contain antifreeze or other winter maintenance chemicals that can be seriously harmful to pets.