It’s cold outside. Sometimes it’s practically freezing, sometimes it’s literally freezing and sometimes it’s way below freezing, and you’re not equipped with that cozy warm coat that your dog has. But even if you’ve got a teacup Poodle wrapped up in a dog sweater, chances are that your dog is more eager to head outside than you are this time of year. With snow and ice on the ground and a bitter chill in the air, walking the dog isn’t always a blast come December or January. But your pet still needs a lot of exercise – so what’s the solution? Consider a few of these ideas.

Go for shorter walks more often. If being outside for long durations is too uncomfortable, try to take shorter walks more often with your dog. In the end, he or she will hopefully get about the same amount of exercise, and once the cold has started to seep through your layers, you’ll be able to head back in and recuperate before the next stroll.

Hit up an indoor doggie gym. Believe it or not, these exist. Often referred to as indoor off-leash dog parks, these locales are a great way for your pet to burn off excess energy and get into shape without adventuring into the Antarctic chill. Plus, your dog can socialize with a number of new friends. Do a quick online search to find the best indoor dog parks close to you!

Play a bit around the house. You’d be surprised how much an indoor game of catch can contribute to your dog’s daily exercise – especially when you’re talking about small breeds. It can’t hope to match the calorie-burning extravaganza of a dog park, but cumulatively, it’ll definitely help. So, grab a tennis ball or tug-of-war rope and have a blast! Take a look at our previous blog post on indoor games to enjoy with your dog on a rainy day.

Get in on the outdoor action. If you’ve got a yard or know of a snowy park where you can let your dog off the leash, there’s no reason why the two of you can’t have fun romping around together. And while it’s certain to be cold outside, if you’re putting your fair share of enthusiastic energy into playing, you’re more likely to stay warm and probably get a workout yourself. Leaping around in the snow is actually pretty great exercise – and your dog will love the companionship! This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.

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