If the winter months always end up with your dog packing on some extra pounds because it's too cold to head outside, it's time to get creative. You may not be able to get your dog out for its daily walks, but there are still some ways for it to get some much-needed exercise during the winter. Here are four simple steps you can take to help your dog stay lean and healthy this winter.
Switch to a Puzzle Feeder
If your dog's used to digging into its food bowl without taking time to breathe, that could be part of the weight gain problem, especially if its daily exercise has been curtailed due to weather. One way to help your dog slow down at meal time, and give it some exercise, is to switch to a puzzle feeder. Puzzle feeders require your dog to work a little harder to get to their food. You can also toss a tennis ball into your dogs food bowl. It will have to move around the bowl to get to the food.
Sign Up for a Doggy Gym
If your dog has been gaining some weight this winter, and it's starting to affect its health, it's time to join a doggy gym. Doggy gyms allow your dog to work out during the winter with other health-conscious dogs. Best of all, you can join in the fun, which means you'll be getting some exercise at the same time. If you're worried about your dog joining in with bigger dogs, you shouldn't be too concerned. Most doggy gyms divide the classes up according to size, temperament and breed.
Invest in a Canine Treadmill
If there aren't any doggy gyms near you, you're not out of luck. You can invest in a canine treadmill for your dog. Canine treadmills are specially designed to care for the specific needs of dogs. You can speed it up, or slow it down based on your own dogs level of athletic ability. This type of exercise is particularly beneficial for dogs that suffer from arthritis. You can set the speed so that your dog can take a leisurely stroll in the comfort of their own home several times a day.
Take Advantage of the Clear Days
If your dog simply isn't satisfied unless it can get outside for some fresh air once in a while, take advantage of the clear days. Plan your calendar around the days when the weather is calm. Even if you can only get outside for a couple of minutes, a few days a week, your dog will appreciate the walk in the fresh air.
Don't let your dog get too overweight this winter. Use the tips to help keep the pounds off. If your dogs weight gain interferes with its health, be sure to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. They can provide you with weight loss solutions to help your dog. Sometimes, you may need an emergency vet for urgent health care concerns. Contact a company like Animal Emergency Clinic for more help.