How Do Your Dogs Exercise During Bad Weather?

January 25, 2013  

Answers to our Community Question of the Week

Even though our dogs look adorable in their winter coats and hats, we know that not all of them are keen to play in the snow and rain. So we asked our Facebook friends, “What do you do to keep your dogs happy and exercised inside when it’s too cold or miserable to spend any time outside? Do you adjust their diets to accommodate lower activity levels in the winter, or do they gain a little extra around the middle (like some of us humans do)?”

Stair-climbing, bed-jumping, ball-playing, laser-chasing, tug-of-warring, and hide-and-seeking are just some of the fun and creative ways we keep our dogs mentally and physically exercised during inclement weather. Thanks everyone for sharing.

We play fetch on the staircase! Perfect exercise for my dogs and tires them out fairly quickly. ~Rachel Horowitz

I throw my “no playing ball in the house” rule out the window and throw the ball until they beg me to stop. ~Jade Hitz

My husband and I get as far from one another as we can in our townhouse and take turns calling our pit bull baby. He runs everywhere, so he gets a pretty good work out and lots of belly scratches when we play this game. ~Candace Moncaí Korasick

We give our two clowns plenty of snuggle and massage time. They get new chew toys and plenty of horseplay in the living room. Their diet gets a touch more protein. They burn it off in the spring. ~Helen Clary

It kind of evens out, they go out for shorter walks, but we eat more, therefore they get less leftovers. Also there’s two of them so a tuggy rope with a dog at each end burns off loads of energy, clear away breakables first of course. ~Lin Beckett

I try to play with my dog inside by playing tug of war and believe it or not, hide and seek. He will run all over looking for me then when he sees me he jumps and runs. ~Renee Lowe

We break out the laser pointer! Vlad loves chasing the “buggie.” ~Jen Woleslagle

We run together outside, and during the winter we can actually do longer runs since Holly doesn’t get overheated as quickly. Sometimes she’ll refuse to walk in bad weather, but she never refuses a run. ~Skye McFarlane

My female does not play much. She is more keen to stare out the window at wildlife. My male loves to play and we play tug of war with him all the time. He loves it. ~Elise Redmond

Wrestle with them. ~Vanillope VonSchweet

Indoor daycare at Tailwaggers Inn. ~T Renee Tnarg

We play fetch in the master bedroom/hallway/stairs. If I sit in the corner of the bedroom I can throw the balls to the end of the hallways and sometimes down the stairs. You have to improvise! ~Jessica Blouch

Kongs with their meals stuffed in them! ~ColoRADogs

Gimli hates snow on his feet, so we jump on the bed. If you get his little motor going he’ll jump up and down for a half hour. ~Hayden Kristal

We play chase inside with Starla Rose. She has such a blast! Sometimes it’s dangerously cold here, so we all gain a little around the middle, but we make sure Stars stays healthy and active…and we all take plenty of snuggle naps! ~Elizabeth Schipper

One of my dog’s favorite things to do, rain or shine, is play with the laser pointer. It never gets old to her, and it definitely helps get her heart rate up and keep her active, even if we’re just playing indoors! Perfect rainy day activity. ~Jaime Sundquist

Our girls are always super active and keep each other occupied. We make sure to have play time with them though with tennis balls and ropes. Any time it’s above 40 degrees we try and take a quick walk outside too! ~ Samantha Tindall

We have a hidden supply of high value toys just for yucky weather days. Kong squeeze balls, Tugga Wubba, Squaky bowling pin, squeaky tennis balls. I also buy plush toys on sale for the same purpose; they get destroyed but it keeps them busy for a while. I’ve found no need to adjust diets, but of my four two are puppies and one is a senior. ~Theresa Mergl

Indoor daycare and doggie recreation center…Doggieville! Fabulous place! ~Annette Bolton

We hide treats all over our house for our beagles! Mental stimulation works wonders for them! ~Amanda Rambo

My dogs are happy being lazy couch potatoes summer and winter both, so they don’t gain weight in winter. They are not really more active in the summer. We have to measure their food to make sure they don’t gain. It doesn’t take much for them to pork up but we keep an eye on it. ~Tabitha Riley

We cut back food a little, but try to walk unless bitterly cold (like today’s negative 6 degrees!) Doggy daycare is a great. ~Sandra Whalen

We all dance! My house becomes a doggy disco. ~Zoe Mcgee

My two beauts have to have their serving size increased because snow brings out the crazy in them! ~Lindsay Lagasse

Laser pointer! Works every time to tire her out. ~Amy Steffens Rockway

I am very lucky to work at a canine rehab facility, so before my shift starts, my dogs get to swim in the large recreation pool. Playing agility and flyball year round helps, too! ~Diane Jurgens

My boxer and I put on weight in winter for sure, but we do indoor play! At 11 years of age her stamina isn’t what it used to be. But she loves to play catch me, throw the toy, and window watching! She still likes the snow, but hates rain. ~Arlene Applebaum

I play hide and seek with them with me running from room to room with all three of my babies; usually I have to stop because I’m laughing so hard and they’re right along with me. ~Marie Canouse-Searcy

My pit bull runs on my treadmill and loves it. Sometimes I have to put him in his crate when I use it or he tries to jump on with me! ~Laura Shultz

Hide and seek or hide the treats works wonders- a few brain games seems to be just as fun as a long walk for my pit bulls! ~Angelique R Leong

Doggie daycare and learning new tricks when we’re at home to keep their brains active! ~Laura Elizabeth

Lucky for us we live in Las Vegas so we don’t have to worry about the weather so much but when we do we just play a lot more tug! ~Susan Rhoads Elmore

We take the stairs instead of the elevator and do extra playtime! ~Adrienne Kowalski

I am not kept in my kennel so I can play with my four legged friend in the house and get enough activity. I still go on walks and we wear coats. ~TaTa Himes

We play tug-of-war and fetch with a rope toy. Also play time with mom in the yard for short periods even though it’s cold. Coats do help. I don’t mind that they gain a little weight in winter. It helps keep them warm. ~Sandy Wilson

Our Staffordshire Terrier, Gnawra Bones, loves indoor play of hide and seek, hunt the treat and tuggy toy. ~Sandra Harper

A laser pointer for my Rottweiler with my pit bull chasing him. Rope toys are great for tug of war with mom, dad or just between the dogs! And they both do zoomies outside, just not as long if it’s too cold! ~Carrie Carlock

We chase each other around the house, up/down stairs, we work on our “sit, stay, come find me” and she has a treat-ball sort of thing that we hide a portion of her daily food in, which she has to roll around to get the treats out. Plus I swear she must run for miles chasing things in her dreams. ~Heidi Luneau

I play with mine and their toys in the basement. ~Alyssa Kennedy

I hide treats all over the house. She’s so proud of herself every time she finds another one. Plus she gets all her food in her Kong, all day, so she’s always busy. ~Melissa Notigan

We taught ours to walk on a treadmill so that he gets all the exercise but in the warm house. He stays warm and we stay warm. ~Mike Reed

We take our pit bull mixes to Lowes and Home Depot as much as possible. Play hide and seek with toys and reward with tug of war and fetch! They love fetch. ~Mindi Peters

We do lots of ball and Frisbee chasing in the house and in the yard. Hide and seek with toys works too. ~Kimberly Otto-Biebuyck

We would be wrestling all over the place! ~Stephen Kenneth Koeswandi

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