Exercise may come naturally for our pets, and ourselves, in the warmer months. It’s not shocking that we all love going on longer walks, spending time outdoors, being in the sun and having our dog beside us the whole time. As it gets colder though, it is even more important to get your pet moving, especially when it may be too cold to even go outside.
Dog exercise is a vital part to your dogs mental and physical health, as well as yours as the owner. There are ways to exercise your dog in the winter, while staying inside your warm home, that will even be fun for you! By following these dog exercises you can help address dog health problems, hyper dog breeds, overweight dogs, senior dogs or just your playful puppy! Practice dog care the best you can this winter and enjoy all the fun ways you can exercise your dog in the comfort of your home.
Dog Exercises with Owner
Let’s start off with a fun way to keep you and your crazy dog active when it’s too cold to go outside. There are endless creative ways to run around your house, but I love having a fetch race. Find a long hallway or clear some room in your living room to toss your favorite dog toy and race to fetch it! If you have carpeted stairs in your home, you can also walk up and down the stairs with your dog. This is a great dog exercise to build muscle, get rid of energy and feel like a real fitness dog coach! This specific exercise is best for hyper dog breeds.
I would avoid stairs for puppies, senior dogs, overweight dogs, dogs with arthritis and anyone with weak joints. If any of those apply to you or your dog - then Doga is what you need! Doga is dog yoga. This is a great physical and mental stimulation for your dog. There are many videos online to walk you through Doga stretches to gently calm a hyper dog. It is also an amazing natural medicine to calm your dog and keep them safe from injuries or health problems.
If you have a fun, but crazy puppy, and need extra ways to get in movement then we recommend getting a puppy exercise pen. You can buy puppy exercise pens easily online. They are a great way to designate an area just for your puppy to play. By having their own space, you can get specific hyper dog toys that will help stimulate puppy exercises that they can do on their own. You can also make DIY dog mental stimulation toys for your puppy. Try grabbing a couple dog treats, some toys, a muffin tin and make your own shell game! All you need to do is place a towel on the ground, place your treats and smaller toys underneath an upside down muffin tin and let your dog sniff and paw the goodies out!
Dog mental stimulation is a very powerful tool, especially for puppies. It helps your puppy use their natural abilities and use their brain to solve a problem.
Now that we’ve talked about puppy exercises, we will also share exercises for your senior dog. These can also apply to overweight dogs and help support dog injuries, dog arthritis, and other dog health problems. We’ve already mentioned Doga, but there are other dog exercises you can do this winter to support your senior dog. The first thing you can do is called Power Posing. Start with your dog standing in front of you (if needed, have them stand on a towel or yoga mat for extra padding). Direct them to a sit position. Then to a lay down position. Then bring them back up to standing. Repeat this process 2-3 times slowly.
The next exercise for your senior dog requires a short step or platform. This exercise is called a Back Extension. Either have your dog step up or place their front paws on a short platform. Keep this position for 5-10 seconds and help them step down. Repeat 2-3 times slowly. When caring for your senior dog, or caring for dog injuries, health problems or dog arthritis, remember that they don’t need as much exercise as other dogs. While it may be cold outside and all they want to do is sleep, even 5 minutes of these mobility exercises will be beneficial. Take these slow and reward their efforts (lots of treats)!
We all want to give the best dog care we can and exercise is a vital part to a healthy pet. Do these fun and simple dog exercises this winter, in the comfort of your warm home, and notice the difference it makes in you and your pet. Don’t let the cold weather slow you down!