I know some dogs are lazier than others but when it comes down to it, all dogs need exercise.   Just as with us humans the benefits to their health and general well being are countless.  While our two preferred methods are running and fetch, there are of course days when it’s impossible for us to get outside.  This Winter alone we’ve seen blizzards, temps below zero, and I’ve been nursing some knee issues on and off.  Now we’re entering the rainiest season of the year and it won’t be long before temperatures climb into the triple digits.  Needless to say we have to get creative with our entertainment and exercise now and then.

First of all there is tug-of-war! I know this option isn’t for everyone, particularly dogs who get aggressively possessive.  Some people will also tell you not to let your dog “win”.  All I can say is know your dog, read the signs and quit if things get ugly.  But if your dog can handle it and enjoys it, tug can work a lot of muscles your dog rarely gets to utilize.  My dogs love it.  What’s more is a lighthearted game of tug is often encouraged in puppyhood to strengthen the bond between dog and human!

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The  FitPAWS-Peanut  While this won’t necessarily tire your dog out quite as much as cardio, it’s a great option for strength training your dog between cardio sessions as well as rehabilitating injured or aging dogs.

The Chase-It  This one might require you to move some furniture around if you have a big dog or a tiny space but it’s so worth it if your dog has any kind of prey drive.  In fact this is the first “game” that Elsa and Bardia participated in together.  It’s irresistible to my guys.  If we can get outside I swing it around so they can chase at full speed.  Inside I either bounce it around sporadically so they have to hop and dodge or I just run through the house dragging it on the ground.

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Agility.  Many agility classes have indoor options for inclement weather or easily distracted dogs.  Even if you don’t plan to compete, this is such a fun option for a hobby.  Not only will it keep your dog on point during off seasons, but they will love it and you two will be closer than ever.

There you have it! Now, I’d love to hear, how do you keep your dog happy when stuck indoors?