When we turn back the clocks, it can be tempting to turn down the outdoor time with our pets. Shorter days and cooler weather make being outdoors less appealing. But, cutting back on outdoor exercise time can be a problem for our pets – especially for high-energy dogs in need of lots of active play.
In fact, insufficient exercise is a leading cause of problem behaviors – from chewing on the furniture, to howling, to having “accidents” in the house. To avoid these problems, Best Friends trainers recommend keeping your pet active all season long.
Go for a walk. Put on a warm jacket and brave the cold. A daily walk or run will allow your pet to release excess energy – and it’s also good for you. (If your daily excursion is after dark, be sure to wear reflective clothing.) If you have children, the daily walk to and from the school bus is a great opportunity for your dog to get some exercise.
Get out and play. Your children will also enjoy rolling around in the autumn leave -- or winter snow -- with a high-energy friend.
Join a meet-up group. Dog owner meet-up groups are popping up all over the country, and many schedule indoor sessions during the winter months. It’s a great opportunity for your dog to enjoy some active canine play, while you socialize with other dog lovers. Go to MeetUp.com and put in your zip code to find sessions near you.
Send your dog to camp. A great outlet for high-energy dogs is a program like day camp. Dogs exercise and socialize with other dogs in a safe, supervised environment. In addition to giving them exercise, these programs actually improve social skills while diminishing negative behaviors at home. To see if your local Best Friends offers a day camp program, go to the Locations page on our website.