Dogs of all ages, and sizes need their exercise, even in the winter months. However, there are times when it’s just too cold outside, especially when we have freak weather conditions, and the wind chill is hazardous both to us and our pets. At times like this we need to think about different ways we can still keep our senior pets active, but comfortable. Having said that, let us take a look at some ways to exercise our senior pets during the winter months, and don’t worry as it’s a lot easier than it sounds.
Most senior pet owners know how crucial it is for exercise, and to keep our pets limbs moving, but sometimes it can be difficult to find ways to exercise our pets when it’s too cold to take them outdoors. However, if you have a long hallway then you can play tug of war games, or indoor games of fetch, just make sure there is nothing in the hallway that can be broken easily, or clear the hallway for winter. In addition, younger, and smaller dogs can enjoy a game of fetch using a stair way, although this is not recommended for larger dogs with potential joint problems, as this can make them worse, for instance if they have arthritis.
Many areas now have indoor pet spas, which are available even in winter, and can be excellent for older larger dogs as well as smaller and younger ones too. Moreover, those with indoor pet pools are excellent for large dogs with joint problems as the water takes pressure of their limbs, and can even help relax them, just be sure they are completely dry before taking them out in the cold, even if it’s just a small way to the vehicle. Not all areas have pet spas, so you would have to research your local area online, or ask other pet owners if they know of any pet spas in your area.
When it comes to exercising your senior pet inside, try to think of something new that you haven’t tried before, like playing hide and seek, or if your senior pet likes following you around the house, take a walk all around the house, including up stairs. Another great option, especially for larger dogs is using a treat ball, or food dispensing ball or toy, although small dogs love these too. These toys, or balls can be stuffed with treats, or dry food and as he plays with it, food is released, giving him more incentive to play for longer when a regular ball may be left alone.
Exercising senior pets during the winter months is not, so big a challenge as you may think, don’t overlook your own exercise equipment like for instance, a treadmill. Treadmills are good for us humans when it’s too cold to go jogging, but dogs can also be quite at home on a treadmill, just make sure you supervise while he’s on it. Treadmills are also good with larger dogs, but make sure you start it off on the lowest setting, so that if he becomes uncomfortable with it he can easily jump off.
Thinking of ways to exercise senior pets during the winter months can be a bit challenging, so we hope we have given you some ideas to help you and your senior pet during these chilly times. However, you may have to consider changing some of your environment in your home if you don’t have much space. Nevertheless, some ideas we’ve mentioned don’t even need a lot of room, although larger residents can create mini obstacle courses and more. Whether you decide to play tug, hide and seek, or take him to your next yoga class, any exercise you can give your senior pet during the winter will keep him active, less anxious, and prevent him from becoming obese, leading to a healthier pet which lives longer.