It’s cold. It can be hard to get out of your cozy bed in the morning, let alone muster the strength to leash up and get outside. Unless you have a breed that loves the snow, such as huskies or St. Bernards, you might need to get creative with ways to exercise your dogs. In fact, for some breeds, the cold temperatures can be dangerous without the right precautions.

We have five great ways to exercise your dog without lacing up your snow boots.

  1. Games

Mental stimulation is going to be key in the winter month. Games are a great way to interest your dog and even teach them something new. You can play hide and seek for a fun indoor activity. Have your dog remain in the stay position, or have someone hold Fido back, and go hide. Call for your dog and they will use their noses, ears, and problem-solving skills to find you. Fetch across the living room is another go-to, but turning your living room into a mini obstacle course could be even more fun.

2. Nose Workout

Your dog’s nose is an incredible tool. Tapping into this potential can be a great way to stimulate your dog and keep them from being bored. Hide a kong with frozen peanut butter somewhere in the house and have your dog find it. Hide a treat under a cup and make your dog figure out which cup you’ve hidden it under.

3. Teach them a job

Giving your dog a job fulfills them and their pack instinct in a great way. Teaching your dog to throw away trash or turn off the light can be useful for you and it will make your dog feel like they have a purpose. This could take multiple steps, however, and even more treats. Start small when you want to teach your dog a job. All of this training is great mental stimulation for your dog and working closely together is going to strengthen your bond, as well.

4. Sign up for a class

Your local training center or pet store is sure to have a class going on. You can sign up for anything from basic obedience or manners classes to agility classes. Your dog is sure to learn something new with an added bonus of some socialization with other dogs and new people.  The training center or pet store will have a large area for you to work in and a change of scenery is going to be great or both of you.

5. Bundle Up

Get Fido a sweater, put on your hat, and get out there. We promised you wouldn’t have to lace up your snow boots, and we mean it. But on those nicer winter days, it is still great to get out for even a quick walk so your dog can experience the different sights, smells, and landscape of winter. If a break in the cold comes your way, be ready to get out there strut your stuff.