The winter is a tough time for dogs. The cold temperatures make it dangerous for dogs to be outside for too long and the salt and ice can hurt their paws. However, just because the situation isn’t right to play with your dog outside doesn’t mean they have to give up their workout routine. Try these easy indoor activities to keep your pooch’s body and mind healthy.
1. Indoor fetch
Fetch is a classic game to play with your dog, but if it’s too cold out, it won’t be any fun. Instead, try taking your furry friend and a tennis ball into the garage or basement. Throw and bounce the ball around the room. Although you won’t be able to get the distance that you would outside, bouncing the ball around the room allows your dog to run all over the small space and get a serious cardiovascular workout.
2. Hide and seek
A game as old as time, you can play this childhood favorite with your dog as well. Simply place your dog in one room while you hide yourself or a treat in another room farther away, call your dog and give them a chance to find you or the treat in the hiding spot. This lets your dog use their nose to search for something. Repeat this a few times to get a good workout in and reward them with healthy treats.
Some people avoid tug-of-war with their dog because they’re afraid it will rile them up or teach them bad habits, but the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals explained tug can be a safe, fun activity.
“Playing tug with your dog can provide a wonderful outlet for her natural canine urges to grab and pull on things with her mouth. You can also use this game to exercise your dog and teach her important lessons, such as how to listen to you when she’s excited,” the ASPCA explained.
4. Build an obstacle course
Whether you want to practice agility training or just play with your pup, an obstacle course is a great indoor activity to get their blood pumping, according to Cesar’s Way. Include plenty of items to climb on and jump through and watch your dog have the time of their life.
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