Exercising dog in winter

How to keep your dog active in winter

When winter temperatures drop below the freezing mark and the days are short, it can be hard to find ways to give your dog the exercise he needs. 

At our animal clinic in Toronto, we know that the winters can be harsh. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find ways to keep your dog active and fit! Here are a few ways to provide your pooch with more exercise during winter.

Bundle up

Even in the cold and snow, you’re going to need to take your dog outside for regular walks. And just like you put on a coat, scarf and gloves to go outdoors, so too should your dog be protected from the winter weather.

If your town uses heavy amounts of road salt, booties are essential to protect sensitive paw pads. For dogs that aren’t blessed with a thick winter coat, an assortment of dog jackets and blankets are available for purchase.

Play in the snow

Most dogs love snow. Don’t avoid your regular parks just because it’s wintertime. Especially after a fresh snowfall, your dog will have fun running, playing catch and all the other things he normally enjoys doing. This is a great way to provide your pup with exercise.

Play inside

If you’re not able to spend as much time outside, aim to play hide-and-seek, indoor fetch (which is especially easy with small dogs) and other indoor games in order to get your dog’s heart rate up and make sure she’s good and tuckered out at the end of the day.

You can also design obstacle courses to have her sniff out treats and buy treat-dispensing toys that she has to play with in order to get the treats out. There are even doggie treadmills available.

Sign up for doggie classes

Dog classes aren’t just for obedience training. You can also sign up for indoor agility or dog swimming classes, even if you don’t plan to have your dog participate in competitions. It’s a great opportunity for her to get some exercise, learn new skills and have fun with other dogs. Most cities, Toronto included, have organizations that offer a variety of classes.

Winter care tips from our vets

The veterinarians at our animal clinic in Toronto can give you all the advice you need to ensure that your pet has a happy, healthy winter. Visit us at Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital anytime you need advice or a checkup for your dog.