During the winter In most states throughout the country, it can get chilly and damp. Many Boss Dog® customers live in colder climates in Canada, the Northeast or the Midwest in the United States, where pet owners are dealing with lots of snow and zero degree temperatures. I know less than ideal weather makes exercising your dog challenging and a pain. But you need to remember, a happy and healthy pet has to move.
Your dog needs exercise even when it’s cold out
How much exercise does your dog need? That depends on your pup’s age and health condition. A puppy is going to need way more than a senior. But for most dogs, a walk around the block isn’t enough. Most canines need a 30 to 60 minute daily walk for optimal benefit. Your dog should begin showing signs of being tired by the time you stop.
I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Kelby. He’s a pretty active, big dog. Every day I try to give him at least 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise, whether that’s my kids playing with him in the house, taking a walk, or simply letting him run around in the backyard. Even in the dead of winter when it’s absolutely miserable, we keep Kelby moving.
I also have a small dog named Toby. Just like Kelby, we always try to get Toby outside no matter what. Lots of people think toy or small breeds can get enough exercise inside the house, but that’s not true. Smaller dogs can get far more movement outdoors. Just be sure your little dog is not out in extreme weather conditions.
How to exercise your dog inside
When it’s bad outside, there are still many activities you can do with your pup:
- Run up and down the stairs with your dog: stand at the top of the stairs and throw your pup’s favorite toy down and have them bring it back up to you.
- Make an obstacle course: buy an indoor agility set or make your own. Then have the animal run through the tunnel or line up pillows to form a tunnel.
- Feed your dog through food puzzles: Your dog should work for its food. Make eating a game and something they have to earn.
- Play with tug toys: if your dog is not aggressive or dominant, buy some tug toys so you can play together. Make sure you always have control over your dog when playing with these kinds of toys.
Winter can make your dog gain weight
Making sure your dog is getting exercise is even more important for your pup’s weight. A Banfield Pet Hospital study found the majority of dogs in the United States are overweight. Obesity has been found to be a factor in diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disease. It makes other common orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis even worse. Extra weight has been proven to stress joints, ligaments, and tendons.
Develop your dog’s exercise plan based on your lifestyle
If your dog’s exercise regimen doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, you’re not going to keep up with it and your dog will suffer. Make sure you come up with a plan that’s realistic, especially during the winter. If you live an active lifestyle, take your dog for a brisk walk or jog if it’s not too slippery outside. More of a home body? Play ball with your dog while you’re watching TV during commercial breaks. Do something you know you can do daily with your pet.
Winter! There is no time like the present!
Even though it may be challenging, lets get your dog moving this winter! After you get your dog huffing and puffing, treat them to something of high value that serves as a tasty reward: like any of our Boss Dog® Brand products. And don’t forget, the daily sessions you spend with your dog strengthens the emotional bond between the two of you. That’s treating your pet like a boss and giving them special time with you.