One of the hardest parts of winter for anyone, furry or not, is staying in shape. As soon as the weather begins to get colder, opportunities for exercising outdoors become less and less abundant, making for some unwanted winter weight. Whether youíre trying to preserve your summer beach bod, or stave off those holiday pounds, exercising with your dog can do wonders. Fortunately for Fido, there are plenty of advantages to increased activity during the colder months as well!
Going outside for the first few months of fall is pretty tolerable. Odds are, there is still some sun shining, and temperatures are usually reasonable. For those who canít sweat the summer, this time of year is perfect for some outdoorsy fun with your dog. All you have to do is throw on a light jacket and youíll be enjoying the cool weather in no time.
- When it comes to fun fall traditions, diving into a great big pile of leaves is one of the oldest. If you have the space, rake up some piles in the backyard for your pup and watch him run wild. Your dog may need to watch you do it a few times to get it down, but once he does, it will allow for some awesome autumn afternoons.
- Given the temperature, hiking during the summer can be difficult for you and your dog. Luckily, as the weather cools off, a long weekend hike wonít be such a sweaty experience, giving you and your dog more time to soak up the mountain scenery.
- Similarly, keeping up with daily walks is highly recommended as a way to get your dog out of the house, and also socializing him with the outside world. This helps your dog get used to interacting with people and other dogs, thus lending to less behavioral problems.
Depending on where you live, going outside during the fall and winter might not always be an option. Once Jack Frost starts nipping at your nose or snout, it may be time to take the fun indoors. Although being holed up inside can seem a little dull, there are still plenty of opportunities for fun to be had with your dog.
- Hide and seek is another activity that both humans and canines can enjoy. What youíll need is a handful of treats, an eager dog and one other person. Position yourselves around the house with a decent amount of distance between you. Then, take turns calling the dogís name, and once he finds you, reward him with a treat and then repeat.
- If you donít have a friend with you, hiding dog toys around multiple rooms in your home is a great way to get your pup up and about. Bring your dog into the room and encourage him to find the hidden toys. If he seems a bit confused, point out a few of the toys so he can better understand the game.
- Indoor agility classes, although sometimes expensive, are an excellent outlet for your dog in the winter. Dogs can be enrolled in these classes at local shelters and kennel clubs. While youíre there, you can also sign your dog up for obedience workshops and many other beneficial training courses.
Once the warm weather starts to dissipate, it may seem like all the fun is over, but this isnít always the case. Sure, romping about with your dog outside might necessitate a few more layers than in the warmer months, but with the right attitude, and maybe some hand warmers, you and your pooch can enjoy yourselves no matter how frightful the weather. Adam Holmes is an outdoorsman and writer for wireless dog fence provider, Havahart Wireless. Heís currently training his two dogs for CGC certification and is greatly looking forward to enrolling both of them in agility this fall.