It’s snowing outside, freezing cold, and you can’t get your dog her normal exercise. You still have to go to work, and you need a way to get her some activity. This is when being creative goes a long way! This week is our final installment on caring for your dog during cold weather, and we’re focusing on indoor activities. Below are a few tricks on how to keep your pet exercised when spending a lot of time outside is not an option:
Does your dog have favorite toys or treats? Maybe even a family member? Play hide-and-go-seek as a way to get your dog’s brain working in overdrive from the comfort of your home.
For a less DIY approach, there are puzzle toys, which can be filled with food or treats. If your dog is watching his waistline, try feeding meals from these toys instead of in a bowl. It will take more time than wolfing down dinner the normal way, and be a lot more interesting for him. Just be sure to supervise use of these toys, just in case.
Learning takes A LOT of energy. Harness that and take 20 minutes to do a quick training session with your dog. Work on leash commands within the ready-to-go obstacle course that is your apartment, or teach your dog a new trick. Make sure to use lots of treats to keep it fun and high energy! A few sessions like this in a day will minimize how long your walks need to be, and make for an all star pooch when the weather warms up.
Dr. Sophia Yin‘s website has a wealth of information and images on how to work on specific manners in a way that makes it easy and fun for you and your dog.
Befriend your super and neighbors!
Many buildings have long hallways, open basement areas, or other limited-access spots that might serve as an option for indoor activity. Think games of fetch, training areas, and general romping when the park isn’t a good option. (Just make sure to get your building on board before hand!)
Your neighbors are probably facing the same winter weather issues as you. Do any of them have friendly dogs that would benefit from a little play time? If so, clear an area in one of your apartments and set up a play group. This is a great way to let them burn some energy and get to know your neighbors. You may even find someone who is able to help out trading dog walks and pet sitting down the line.
When you are lacking in K9 neighbors, you’ll be sure to find lots of play companions at doggie day cares. Doggedly Devoted is a great facility near our office in Harlem, with lots of indoor space set up for dogs to play while you are at work.
If you’re worried that your pet isn’t getting enough exercise, let us know! We’ll help you find resources to get you through to the Spring when long walks are an option again!