All dogs understand the word “walk”. But they don’t understand the word “weather”! And there are times throughout the year when its simply too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy and there’s too much snow on the sidewalks to venture outdoors to give your pooch the enjoyment of an outing along with the important daily exercise needed to keep him both mentally and physically fit.
Safe walking alternatives are particularly important for elderly dogs. Fortunately, dogs are wonderfully social creatures and will happily accompany you anywhere. So, consider your closest pet-friendly indoor mall a great option. If you have a fitness tracker, you will see that you can easily rack up steps by going around and around the mall from the ground floor up to the top. Some pet-friendly malls have potty areas and even a doggie care center should you need to do a bit of shopping in stores that may not allow your friend inside. So be sure to check out the mall options and their pet facilities within your radius from home.
Many buildings in newly gentrified downtown areas now provide a doggie run area. Some even offer indoor play areas. This is worth looking into if you are planning to move. Nevertheless, a high-rise building can offer your dog lots of exercises by simply walking the corridors on each floor and taking the stairs up or down to the next one.
If you live in an area that is subject to weather extremes year-round, consider investing in a doggie tread mill. This is a year-round answer. They are also an excellent option for older dogs who can’t walk too far but still need gentle daily exercise.
It’s also a great idea to invest in great doggie puzzles and board games and play with your pooch. Behaviorists say 10 minutes of mental concentration is equivalent to 40 minutes of physical play. And besides all such games involve treats. Your dog will never say no!