Rain, snow, wind, hail, and cool temps make most of us want to cozy up by a fire and stay inside. Although that is a fun part of the season, if you have dogs (especially active breeds) you will want to make sure they get exercise during the winter months.
Two of our dogs, Hogan and Calvin, are German shorthaired pointers. The German shorthaired pointer, often referred to as a GSP, is an active hunting breed. Hogan and Calvin helped me train for multiple marathons. When Hogan was younger he ran over 16 miles in one run, Calvin has run 20 miles by my side.
The dogs need exercise even when we’re dealing with the winter months! The truth is, most dogs enjoy exercising even when it is cold outside. Spending 30 to 60 minutes exercising outside in the rain or snow won’t harm a healthy dog. In fact, it will help keep them healthy!
My dogs also enjoy puddles! When we have a lot of large puddles, I take them to the park with a tennis ball and play ‘puddle fetch’. It is one of their most favorite games to play and it keeps them very fit!
After exercising outside (and getting all wet) I make sure I dry them off when we get home. Dogs, just like humans, get cold if they’re left wet. Then they cuddle by the fireplace.
Lenny, our Scottish terrier, does not require as much exercise as Hogan and Calvin, but he still needs to get out. I take him to the mailbox every day (even when Mother Nature has a storm brewing), when we get back I make sure I wipe his paws and dry him off.
So, suit up in your warm gear and take your doggos outside to get some healthy exercise! When you get home, make sure you dry off your doggos and keep their bedding cozy and dry as well.
Here are some other winter tips:
Make sure you dry your dog off when you get home from a wet outdoor activity. Wipe their paws off, too. This will warm them up and it just might help keep your floor clean.
If it is foggy out, or dark, make sure you’re wearing bright clothes. If you run, walk, or jog in urban areas then make eye contact with cars before you enter the cross walk. You may want to put your dogs in bright gear as well.
Don’t leave your dog outside (especially overnight or all day) in freezing temperatures. They need shelter! I personally think they need a soft cozy toddler mattress with awesome sheets. 🙂
You can buy your dog cute hoodies, raincoats, boots, shoes, etc. depending on your climate and your dog’s preferences. We LOVE the gear sold by @canadapooch, our guys have multiple items!
Can’t get outside? Try playing indoor games such as hide and seek (let your dog find items using his/her nose), follow the leader (have your dog follow you all around the house), or inside fetch. Inside fetch can be a little tricky for a big dog but it works great with little dogs like Lenny.
Have you tried using a treadmill? I don’t have experience with this one but I always enjoy seeing videos of dogs using treadmills! YouTube has a ton of great videos.
Do you have any exercise tips for your dog during the winter? Tell us in the comments! I hope you have a GREAT and active winter!
Hi! I’m Nik (short for Nikole) from @pointandwag. I’m a mom of three humans and three furry family members. I have two GSPs, Hogan Sandwich and Calvin T-Bone. I love to run with my German Shorthaired Pointers! Hogan is now considered a ‘senior’ dog, so I’ve had to make some running adjustments. Calvin is 4 and could probably run 100 miles. I also have a Scottish Terrier, Lenny Spaghetti, who’s a just a pup. I’ve never had a little dog but must admit, everything they say about TERRIERS is true. He’s awesome! We’re the @pointandwag crew.