The cold weather is hitting hard right now in many parts of the US and that makes walking your four legged friends much more difficult. Not only do you not want to go out in such frigid weather, but in some places it’s so cold that it’s literally too dangerous to go out for a walk. So I’ve been trying to come up with some alternatives to outdoor walks to get Sadie the exercise she (and I) needs. Here are a few of the options I’ve considered:
The treadmill is always a great option for humans and pets to get some walking done indoors. Unfortunately Sadie and I don’t have a treadmill at the moment, so I don’t know much about the process of actually using one with your dog, but most professionals suggest utilizing this tool if it’s available. However, Sadie has created her own treadmill alternative exercise for herself at home, which is both adorable and effective. You can read about Sadie’s treadmill alternative here.
Take your dog for a walk around the mall. Here in NJ, we’ve got dozens of indoor shopping centers all over the state where people go just to walk around and get some indoor exercise. At the mall closest to my house, I’m allowed to walk with Sadie on a leash. According to mall security, leashed dogs are allowed with you in all common areas of the mall, except the food court, as long as you are respectful of other patrons and clean up after and control your dog. Dogs are allowed in some of the stores, depending on rules of the individual store. The mall is a great place to walk as long as your dog doesn’t mind crowds of people and noise. You can check with the security guards at your local mall to see if they allow leashed dogs.
Make a game of going up and down the stairs. If you’ve got a safe staircase in your home that your dog is comfortable climbing, you can use that as a tool for cold weather exercise. If you want exercise yourself, then you can just go up and down the stairs, calling your dog with you to make sure he or she follows you up and down. If you get tired, you can throw a toy down the stairs for your dog to go get, then call your dog back up the stairs and throw the toy down again. Make sure you remove the toy from the staircase when exercise time is over, because you don’t want someone to trip and fall over a toy on the stairs.
Sadie and I will continue to brainstorm other fun exercise alternatives during this cold, crappy weather. We’ll let you know if we come up with any other interesting ideas. And we’d love to hear any ideas you have, so feel free to leave a suggestion below!