Or exercise for the geographically-challenged. Living in New England, as some of you may know, there are few months out of the year when going outside is remotely pleasant. (If you’re not into extreme winter sports.) I’m currently relocated to a warmer climate, fret not. But I still use these methods. If you don’t have a Husky or ‘husky’ pup, you’ll need indoor options when in cold climates. Or if you have a full-furred pup living in a hot climate!
ONE: make breakfast, lunch, or dinner a work-study-entertainment program.
My dogs only get a little dry food once a day. If we’re having a lazy day, I’ll fill the bowls with the right stuff then sit on the floor. I have hardwood floors but it works on carpet. I toss each piece across the floors and make them chase/find it. They love it. Think it’s a game. And they get a little extra exercise. Do one piece at a time. And remember, do NOT try this with wet food. You’ll thank me for that bit of wisdom.
TWO: use a treadmill.
(Waiting for laughing to stop…) OK! Yes, a treadmill. Not a fancy two-stepper or climber or ski-machine or anything else. But a simple flat, FLAT, treadmill. One with the climbing option is nice but really the variable speed should get you all you might need. Living in a cold climate is tough with littles. My dogs’ paws would freeze just looking out the window. We used ours every day in the winter. Introducing them to the machine is crucial. I won’t talk a lot about behavior methods but how we used the treadmill. I started by putting their treats near the machine, closer, closer, on it. On it! Until they would get on the belt by themselves (with the treadmill OFF). Then I put a harness and a leash on and walked on/off the belt. On/off the belt. Treat. On/off the belt. Treat. Next day, we get on the belt and off we go at the LOWEST setting. With one of my dogs I even had to set a treat at the end of the treadmill so he could stare at it. Lovingly, eagerly. I haven’t had a dog that wasn’t, at the very least, unafraid after using these methods. It doesn’t hurt to put out good energy. Lots of ‘yay’s! And ‘good dog!’