How do you help your pets keep exercised and stop boredom in beyond-cold temperatures?

The Crazy Dogs of Winter

Leaf in the Snow

We wrote in a Twitter/Facebook post last week that our cocker spaniel Leaf is going bonkers with all this cold weather. He likes snow but below-zero temperatures make it too frigid for us to walk him for a long time. So he’s not getting enough exercise.

We take him for a couple hours to doggie daycare, but that can be expensive if we do it too often. So we asked people what they do. Here are some of their responses. They may help those of you who are coping with the winter crazies.

Mary T.: I have just trained my dear darling beagle on the treadmill. She happily sits and waits for me to put her collar on and then trots for 20-30 minutes. Has made ALL the difference this winter!!!

Richard O: Live in Vermont with 3+ feet of snow on the ground right now. In 2004, I put in a big doggy door leading to a covered porch, leading down 3 steps into a BIG fenced yard. Even when I’m off at work, the dogs can come and go as they please. I keep a wide path shoveled in their yard. They both love to bound around in the snow.

Bob D: We’re taking Mabel (rat terrier; no fat, little fur) to Petco and PetSmart for walks around the store and a little socialization. The staffs are very friendly and accommodating. Doesn’t replace chasing squirrels outside, but better than nothing.

Judy M: If I get desperate, I’ll do some “living room rally” and set up a few cones. Or figure 8’s using one dog as a post, and a cone as the other.

Jennifer W: My Hearing Dog, Hattie has numerous interactive toys, which I give her to play with. Sometimes I give these to her or a special chew bone, perhaps a stuffed kong. Other times we do training work indoors to keep her busy. We work on obedience and other commands. I also work on teaching her new things, so the usual commands don’t become boring. It’s a win-win situation for both of us and helps pass the time on these cold winter dreary days.

How do you help your pets keep exercised and stop boredom in beyond-cold temperatures?

Allen and Linda Anderson
Angel Animals Network

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