Don’t Let the Cold Hinder Your Pup’s Winter Fitness Options

Written By: Jillian V, CVT

The days are getting shorter as the season inches closer to winter.  As the temperatures drop, we often need to be creative when it comes to exercising our dogs.  Not everyone has the ability nor desire to brave the cold, people and pets alike.  Here are some ideas for exercising your dog indoors this winter.  Of course, be mindful of any dangers in the household (wires, glass, etc.) before starting any of these activities.

8 Fun Indoor Dog Games: Playing With Dogs | Purina

Hide and Seek:  This can be with a treat, favorite toy, or human!   Some pets may require a trail to follow, while others have noses that are dialed in on their favorite scent.  Start easy and increase the difficulty as they become proficient at seeking!

Obedience training:  While not generally a physical activity, obedience training with commands can be a good workout for their brains. 

Agility:  The American Kennel Club has a good explanation how to create some agility obstacles from household materials here

PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Dog Feeding Mat

Foraging:  Something I’ve picked up from owning parrots is foraging.  There are foraging toys for dogs available online here, but you don’t have to find them to purchase.  I’ve used cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls, and other “shreddables” for my dogs.  Take care in monitoring them to make sure they aren’t trying to eat the cardboard.  Dry treats/kibble would be best with this idea.  You can also find more DIY ideas here.

Snout view of an adorable Black Labrador playing with a tennis ball indoors.  FPV, First person perspective as cute pet dog sits and waits for owner to  throw ball during a game

Fetch:  Depending on your layout and space available, you can play a short game of fetch inside your home.  Make sure you are also considering the floor (don’t want a slippery one) and any stairs/levels that could be hazardous.