You and your dog don’t have to swelter in the heat and humidity on hot summer days. There are awesome alternatives to walking your dog that can be done inside the comfortable temperature of your home. After all, why do we walk our dogs? We want them to have exercise, mental stimulation, a chance to rummage around a bit, and have a special time with us. But, when the weather too hot, there are other options.
Exercise can be high or low impact. For an active experience – take them to a secure field, a friend’s large yard, a tennis court, or a dog park. For low impact exercises, ACE (Animal Centered Education) Free Work such as distributing food on different surfaces and at different levels instead of filling a bowl, provides opportunities to seek, find, chew, and eat.
Swimming is a fun activity that dogs love. Games are awesome activities – try a flirt pole, urban agility (rudimentary course on your property – Parkour can even be done in your living room), tug games, playing pattern games (left to right, up and down, circle, figure 8’s), tossing a Frisbee or a ball are all great forms of exercise in place of a walk.
Mental stimulation can be satisfied through games and smell. Consider sniffing games, scent work, sniffaris, hide and seek around the house, snuffle mats, licky mats, food puzzles, and trick training.
Scavenging – snuffle mats, snuffle boxes, ACE Free Work, and peanut better filled Kong toys can delight your dog for longer than it takes to catch a treat!
Companionship – play games, give your dog a brushing or a massage, talk to them or just relax with them.
Davy, my German shepherd, loves attention, being brushed, brainwork activities, and exploring. Ginger, my hound dog, likes sniffing and eating. Both are easy to please without taking them for a walk on a hot summer day. You can keep your dogs safe, comfortable, happy, and content with some new exciting choices. What would your dog choose if they could? I challenge you to include three things besides a walk that you can do with your dog this week. Share your experience with a post and a picture.