Creative Ways to Exercise Your Dog When It’s Too Cold to Go Outside

Do you have an active dog that needs exercise and entertainment, no matter how wet or cold it is outside? In the fall, it seems like it never stops raining, and then winter comes, and it’s too cold to go outside most days. Sure, you could take a freezing, wet, miserable walk outside, towel dry your dog when you get back, and live with the lingering wet dog smell. But, we’ve got some creative ways to give your dog some exercise and fun indoors, so you can both stay warm and dry.

Ways to Entertain and Exercise Your Dog Without Leaving the House

When the cold, wet weather strikes, and it prevents you from playing outside with your dog, it’s time to get creative. Since daily exercise is vital for both you and your dog, you need to find ways to exercise and entertain your dog from the comfort of your house. Here are some fun ideas to get you started:

  • If your dog doesn’t already have a treat puzzle, winter is an excellent time of year to introduce one. Not only does it make them work for their treats, it provides a mental challenge that can keep your pooch entertained for hours.
  • Teach your dog a new trick. It doesn’t matter if your pooch is young or old, learning something new can be exciting and fun.
  • Get some indoor exercise by running some laps up and down the stairs or around the house. If you don’t feel like running too, throw a ball or toy so your dog can chase it.
  • Do you have a treadmill? Many dogs can actually be trained to walk on a treadmill. Obviously, this activity will need to be supervised closely, and extreme caution will need to be taken to prevent injury.
  • How about a game of hide and seek? Have your dog sit and stay while you go hide or have a family member hold him until you find the perfect spot. Either way, your dog will catch on quick and have a blast trying to find
  • Create an obstacle course in your family room. Use cardboard boxes, chairs, big pillows, and whatever else you can think of to provide some fun for your pooch and then go through the course with him.
  • Hide your dog’s favorite treats or toys around the house, so your pooch has to search for them. You could even wrap them up in towels or blankets that he has to dig through to get to the prize.
  • Name your dog’s toys and then practice having him go find each toy by its name. Your dog might have a whole new vocabulary by the time spring comes.

Remember to use your good common sense. Some of these exercises might not be a good idea for your dog, especially if he has health issues, arthritis or hip problems. Be aware of slippery stairs and floors, too. If in doubt, check with your vet before you get started.