Winter Dog Activities8 December 2022
Reviewed by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy on 25 May 2023
Nothing beats getting wrapped up in warm clothes and going for dog walks, but when the seasons change, it’s often a good idea to make exercise more interesting for dogs and change things up a little.
This is a great way of keeping canines on their toes and excited to see what adventures they’ll be on. So, if you’re looking to enjoy some winter adventures with your dog, we’ve got some great examples for you.
Remember, these adventures don’t always have to involve you embarking on long distance trips or spending lots of money; sometimes your adventures can be enjoyed closer to home, especially when you think outside the box!
Sign up for agility lessons
If you think your pet might enjoy testing out the course at agility lessons, then why not sign up and give it a go? Not only is it a wonderful way to exercise them physically, but your four-legged friend will also get an effective mental workout when they’re tackling obstacles.
There are plenty of benefits of agility training such as helping to reinforce basic obedience commands, as well as improving communication between dog and owner. Agility training has also been shown to improve the behaviour of dogs outside of classes as well.
A common misconception is that agility sessions are only for certain breeds but that’s really not the case. Dogs of all shapes and sizes can attend agility lessons. What’s more, it can often be held indoors in a warm place to keep dogs active and safe.
Try out obedience training
When winter weather restricts the dog-friendly adventures you might normally go on, you can spend some time to obedience training. It often surprises people just how much training you can get done when you’re indoors.
Either do it at home or if you know of a local indoor park or a place that is sheltered, then you can take a trip to get out of the house and do the training there; just remember to choose somewhere that isn’t surrounded by too many distractions or it might disturb your pup.
You can work on sitting, lying down, and asking them to stay to start with. Do this in various places around the house, or locations in the area you’re in. Why not spend some time training them to sit still at the door they arrive/leave through when you go out? You can use this to help towel them down when you get back from wet and muddy walks.
Kit Darling, Infection Control Coordinator for the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, claims that there are many benefits that come with obedience training. For example, you can look forward to building a closer relationship with your dog, giving them more confidence and feeling more relaxed, as well as helping to prevent unwanted behaviours from developing.
Go on a road trip
Road trips aren’t just reserved for you and your friends, dogs love them too! While there isn’t much research on the topic, experts have suggested that dogs typically enjoy road trips because of the massive range of smells, while it’s also believed that the excitement of being in the car with someone they really like is a factor too.
Road trips are a nice option for dogs who are less able to get out and about, especially when the cold weather affects them. You don’t have to venture too far from home; simply choose a place that you’ve not explored before. You can do some research online and pick out a dog-friendly destination that suits you all before setting off.
Doga is essentially yoga, but with dogs! This is definitely an alternative adventure for dogs and their owners, so if you fancy something new, then why not let it be doga? We all know that dog’s love a good stretch and it’s certainly beneficial for humans too. Additionally, it’s been said that this activity aids in strengthening the bond you have with your dog.
You can sign up to a local class or have a session in the comfort of your own home. Either way, you can do so in the knowledge that doga is known for its positive calming influence on the central nervous system and these aids sleep and improves digestion for humans and canines alike - perfect for the winter!
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