Dear Jeni: How do I ensure that my pup is still getting enough exercise during the winter months? 

It’s understandable that when the sun goes down and the temperature begins to drop we just want to stay inside, but there are a few simple ways to keep your four-legged family member active and to keep you warm!

Hide and seek. This is a great way to keep your dog stimulated mentally and physically; toss your dog a treat then run to another room, give your dog a moment then begin to call its name.

Teach a new trick. Dogs love to learn something new. Teaching them a new trick keeps their mind alert and active. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they learn by practicing just a few minutes every day.

Sign up for a class. Sign up for an indoor class at a local pet care facility. Your dog will be able to expend energy and socialize; they’ll also learn important skills and proper manners!

Get outdoors. Of course, this is still necessary and important for your dog. Bundle up and get your pup outside; running through snow is a great exercise for bigger dogs. Limit outdoor time to 30-40 minutes, as too much time in the cold can be dangerous. And, always make sure to wash any salt or ice melt chemicals from your dog’s paws when you return inside!

- Jeni (aka The Doglady)