How To Exercise Your Dog In The Winter (Yes, They Still Need It!)

Indoor Dog Games, Toys, Fun Activities

dog puzzle for indoors

Are you looking for a way to exercise your dog in the winter and keep her fit?

If you have a dog, then you know that the best thing about winter is all of the snow. But if your pup can’t go outside for some reason, it’s still possible to stay active indoors with them! Here are some simple games that won’t require much space or materials and will keep your dog entertained during the winter months.

Ways To Exercise Your Dog In The Winter

Keeping your dog mentally challenged during the winter months indoors can be a little tricky, but it’s definitely not impossible. All you need are a few new toys and some games to play!

  • One of the best ways to keep your pup engaged in winter is by giving them a bunch of new toys that they can play with in the warmth, but dogs, just like kids, get bored with the same toys after a while. What they really want is you: your time and attention. This is how they stay mentally active and happy.
  • Try some games and activities that are specifically designed for indoors. These games will be just as much fun for your dog as outdoor ones, and makes a great substitute on days where you don’t want to leave the house!
  • For active dogs, a dog treadmill might be the best investment you can make! This equipment allows your dog to get tons of aerobic exercise right alongside you! (Learn more here!)
  • Find new toys that challenge your pup during the winter months. Take this time to teach them new tricks and behaviors. Keep them busy so they don’t get frustrated or lonely.

Some Indoor Games You Can Play With Your Dog:

Chase The Tail

Just like their ancestors used to do in the wild, dogs love chasing after things that move quickly! To play this game, get two squeaky toys – one larger than the other – and tie them together with string so they are at opposite ends of each other. Tie one end to something high up on a wall or door frame (or anything else your pup can jump up to) and throw the smaller toy so that it lands a few feet away from it. Once your dog goes for the smaller toy, pull on the string so that it startles them and causes them to lunge at the larger one. When they do, let go of the smaller toy so they can grab it and carry it back.

Then, repeat the whole process again.

Race To A Treat

You can also use a string to play this one with your dog. Tie a treat to the end of a long piece of string and hold it out in front of you so your dog can see it. When they start to lunge for it, move the treat just out of their reach so they have to follow it as you move around the room. The goal is for your dog to catch up and eventually grab the treat from the string, which will be fun for them because a) they get a tasty treat afterwards! and b) that means they’ve “won” at being able to play again.

Hide And Seek

This game is one of the easiest to play with your pup, but they will definitely still enjoy it. Put a few treats in different spots around the house and ask your dog to “go find it!” If you have an older dog that has trouble running or jumping for too long, make sure to space out the treats a little bit so they don’t get to tired.

Obstacle Course

Another fun indoor activity for your dog is to build a simple obstacle course out of some plastic bowls or containers for your dog to run through. Use a lot of treats or kibble to keep them excited and interested, and praise them when they do a good job!

You can also use this time to teach them new skills or tricks. For example, you could start by giving your dog an easy command to perform like “sit,” then put some food in the last bowl at the end of the course. When done correctly, give your pup lots of praise and a few treats to let them know they did a good job.

Play Ball!

Or any other type of toy to fetch with. Dogs can enjoy chasing and fetching balls indoors when you want to play with them, but it’s too cold outside. Some dogs might also become frustrated if they are unable to chase after the ball, so make sure the room is large enough, safe and free of any objects that might cause your dog to trip.

Tug Of War

If your dog likes this game, then there’s no reason to stop it just because the weather is cold. However, if you’re playing tug of war with your pup inside, then you’ll have to be more careful about it. Try to make sure there are no sharp objects nearby that they can accidentally grab onto, and make sure you’re the one to let go first if your dog does win! Otherwise, this game is still safe indoors.

Some other fun ideas we love that help you exercise your dog in the winter:

Indoor Dog Toys: Puzzles, Balls, Frisbees

Puzzle Toys

Another option is to buy some new puzzle toys that they can figure out. These toys can be anything from a simple maze to something more complicated like a Rubik’s Cube, or the Mad Scientist Dog Toy that has been designed for dogs. If you have an older dog that has trouble running or jumping for too long, make sure to space out the treats so they don’t get tired.

You can easily find puzzle toys at local pet stores or online, and they are usually very easy to clean. It can be fun to make the puzzle more difficult by hiding small treats in different areas of the toy, which forces your dog to figure out how to get them out. Playing with puzzles like this can also help keep your dog’s mind stimulated during cold winter days.

If your dog is new to puzzles and toys, you might want to give them some simple instructions on how these toys work before putting them in front of them. You can also try popping the treat into the toy and letting your dog figure out the rest.

If they have a hard time figuring it out, you can always try taking a few pieces of kibble or treats and smearing them in different spots near the puzzle so they can find them when they start to get hungry or frustrated. Also keep in mind that not all dogs are interested in puzzles and toys, so don’t force one on them if it’s not something they want to do. Try a few different things and see what they enjoy!

Indoor Frisbees for Dogs

There are a lot of different types of Frisbees that can be played with indoors, and they all have their own unique benefits. Some of the most popular options include the standard Frisbee, the Flyer, and the Wubba.

The standard Frisbee is probably the most popular type. It’s perfect for throwing and catching indoors, and it’s also very durable. The Flyer is a little bit smaller than the standard Frisbee, which makes it better for indoor use. It’s also made out of a soft foam material, which makes it safe for dogs to catch. The Wubba is a toy that combines a Frisbee with a ball.

It’s important to exercise your dog in winter, but if you do venture out into extreme cold, make sure your dog is properly prepared with a coat and something to protect their foot pads.