Bulldog wearing a Dan and Sam puffer jacket

How to keep your dog active


Bulldog wearing a Dan and Sam puffer jacket

Just like for humans, exercise is essential for your dog’s mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Exercise is crucial in helping your dog maintain a healthy weight and muscle tone and preventing them from engaging in problematic behaviours caused by boredom. Whilst exercising in the warmer weather seems easy to achieve by enjoying a walk or run in the sunshine, playing in the fresh air, or taking the opportunity to be outside, it is not always as simple when it comes to winter. We know how hard it is to stay motivated and active as the colder months come around. Because of this, we have come up with some of our best tips to help keep your pet active, healthy, and happy this winter.

Dachshund enjoying the outdoors in a Dan and Sam raincoat

1. Maintain your usual walking schedule

While it might not be the first thing you feel like doing, one of the most practical ways to keep your dog active this winter is to maintain your usual walking schedule. When the weather allows, bundle up and take your dog for a brisk walk and explore. Be mindful of any discomfort they might be in due to the cold weather, as extremely cold weather can damage your pet’s paw pads and nose.

2. Play with your pet indoors

Another effective way to engage and stimulate your pet is to play with them indoors. Games such as fetch, tug of war, hide-and-seek, or chase are all excellent ways of exercising your pet. They get them up and moving, engage them mentally, and encourage them to use their natural instincts.

Puppy enjoying a Dan and Sam dog toy

The added benefit is that playing can be a great way to build and strengthen your bond with your pet, while also providing them with the exercise they need.

3. Invest in some boredom-busting toys

We understand that you aren’t always available to actively engage in play with your pet. In these times, try turning to fun, interactive, boredom-busting toys to provide the mental stimulation your pet needs. Some great options include snuffle mats, licking mats, interactive puzzle toys, treat dispensers and more. Chewing and sniffing are all fantastic forms of exercise for your pet. These types of games encourage natural foraging and hunting instincts in our pets and provide hours of entertainment. One thing to be aware of when using food-related boredom busters is that if your dog has lowered its usual levels of exercise, you may need to be careful with the number of treats given to ensure they don’t gain unnecessary weight. Try using some of their kibble or normal meals instead.

4. Teach your dog tricks or obedience skills

Teaching your dog tricks or obedience skills is another great way to provide them with mental and physical stimulation while serving an intensely practical purpose. Training your dog can be hard work, not only for you but also for your pet. Take the cooler months as an opportunity to fine-tune existing skills or tricks or teach them new ones.

Chihuahuas outdoors in Dan and Sam raincoats

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