The weather is finally changing, folks. I’ve been in South Carolina for the past two months and up until today, I was still wearing a tank top. This morning, though, I woke up to frost on the grass and a thin layer on my car windows. I couldn’t believe it! When I jumped in the car to take my little girl to the groomer I couldn’t turn the heat on fast enough.
Sooo … let me start by saying that I’m not the biggest fan of the cold. Around this time of year, I usually cut back on my outdoor walks around the neighborhood and start doing a lot more stuff inside. Are you the same way?
Despite my lack of wanting to be outside in the cold, my dogs still need their exercise (I can tell you from experience that a tired dog is a good dog). That’s why it’s important to get creative and find ways you can keep your pups stimulated when they’re stuck inside. Since my article on “6 Indoor Dog Activities To Keep Your Dog Stimulated” was such a hit, I figured I would write another that focuses solely on exercise. So here you have it — 7 Ways To Exercise Your Dog Indoors:
The iFetch is basically a dog version of an automatic tennis ball launcher and provides hours of entertainment! You can either use it outdoors or indoors. Just set how far you want the iFetch to launch the ball — 10, 20, or 30 feet — and start playing! If you want to join in on the fun, you can drop the tennis ball into the iFetch and let the machine do the rest of the work. OR, you can teach your dog to put the ball in the opening himself! Watch the iFetch in action:
Do you have stairs in your house? If so, you already have a great workout tool right at your toe-tips! Join in on the challenge by running up and down the stairs with your pooch OR simply stand at the top of the staircase, throw one of his favorite fetching toys down to the bottom of the stairs, and encourage him to bring it back up to you. Do this a few times and I’m sure your dog’s muscles will fire up, leaving him wanting a long nap!
3) Indoor Agility Course
Outward Hound makes a fun “Zip Zoom Indoor Dog Agility Starter Kit” that’s available on Amazon. It comes with a dog tunnel, weave poles, and jump obstacles. Use treats to guide your dog through the course and have some fun!
If you have a treadmill at home then it’s time to put that baby to good use. First, let your dog sniff the treadmill and get used to the noise. Then, place your pooch onto the belt and give him a treat. Standing in front of the treadmill with a handful of treats, turn the machine on to its lowest speed and encourage your pup to walk. While you can use a leash, NEVER tie your dog to the treadmill! Also, NEVER leave your dog on the treadmill unattended.
5) Scavenger Hunt With Treats
Hide your dog’s favorite treats around the house — under tables, pillows, etc. — and make your pup hunt for them. Not only is running around the house great exercise for your pooch, this game will also keep him mentally stimulated (double bonus)!
While it’s important to know the risks associated with tug-of-war, it can definitely be a great game to engage your pup both mentally and physically.
7) Doggy Playdate
Playdates aren’t only for human kids! If your dog has a furry friend, or you know another pooch you think your dog will get along with, set up a playdate. Make sure to have lots of toys and games available for them to play with. Whenever my guys have a playdate with their furry friends, they chase each other around the house, play tug-of-war, wrestle a bit, and then wind up finding a spot on the couch to crash!