If you are anything like me, I often struggle to keep up my exercise routine during the cooler months - the short winter days, combined with harsh weather can mean that I am often not very enthusiastic to head outdoors.
It’s a well known fact that dog owners are generally inclined to exercise more and I can honestly say that my own dog does encourage me to get active on those otherwise lazy winter days. This has many positive impacts on my health over the long term and but also similar benefits for my dog– just like us, dogs need daily mental activity to prevent boredom and physical activity helps to prevent them from becoming overweight.
I find it easiest to get out the door when I’m feeling organised and don’t have to think too much. The DOOG Walkie Belt has been an absolute saviour for me - it sits like a belt on my hips and is really comfortable. I just hang it near the door for easy access and it houses my dog walking essentials -poo bags & treats as well as keys, phone and money. This frees up my hands to actually focus on walking the dog. Being made with all-weather nylon, cotton fabric and soft canvas, the belt can withstand any weather condition making it extremely durable.
If the conditions outside make it unbearable or dangerous to walk, it is still possible to make sure your dog has some daily exercise indoors – you just need to be a little creative.
Here are 4 fun things you can do with your pooch inside.
Do some obedience training sessions- training is fantastic way to tire your dog out as all that concentrating takes a lot of effort! Use treats as rewards and choose to practise things that encourage your dog to get moving, like teaching the recall from various locations around the house.
Do some trick training - this is a fun way to bond with your dog. Choose tricks involve movement, such as teaching your dog to jump through a hoop or your arms, spinning and rolling over. Be sure to teach one trick at a time.
Play games You can’t go past a game of fetch to get your dog moving Games like “Find It” are easy for most dogs to learn. This game involves hiding your dog’s favourite toy and asking him/her to find it by sniffing it out. Start teaching this game by making it very easy for your dog in the beginning. Get your dog excited about the toy by playing a game with it and then let him/her see where you ‘hide’ the toy but be sure to place it somewhere clearly visible and easy to retrieve. Ask him/her to ‘find it’ and make a huge fuss when your dog retrieves the toy. Once you are confident that your dog understands what the command ‘find it’ means, then start placing the toy in different places around your house like behind cushions or under the couch.
Put out a treasure hunt - take your dog’s daily ration of dry food and make a ‘treasure hunt’ around your house so that your dog has to work for his food by sniffing it out with his nose.
Remember, If your dog’s exercise needs are not met, they will likely find another outlet for this energy which is often behaviours like chewing and digging, so make it fun for you both and rewarding for them.