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Is it ever too cold to walk the dog?

If it’s so cold you are tempted to skip your dog’s daily walk, then one thing you can do is practice some obedience training indoors with your dog instead.

This change to the routine might actually leave your dog more tired than usual.

I used to live in Fargo, N.D., where it was brutally cold almost every winter. There were often a lot of excited, bored and anxious dogs there in the winter because they did not get out for enough exercise.

It had to be pretty cold for me to use the weather as an excuse not to walk my dog. When I originally wrote this post, the windchill was -35. Sure, I could’ve gotten bundled up and been OK for a short time, but that was just too cold for my mutt Ace and a lot of dogs to be out for more than 10 minutes.

Instead, we went for a quick 10-minute jaunt and then worked on some training indoors. Ace loves to train, and it’s something that should be worked into our daily routine anyway.

If possible, on extra cold days you could split your usual longer walk into two or three shorter walks so your dog still gets some exercise. Another good way to exercise your dog in the winter is to join a dog obedience club or an agility club where all the training will take place indoors.

What do you do to exercise your dog when it’s this cold?

My dog Ace when it was -35 degrees!

Ros - PestieWestie

Saturday 1st of January 2011


Love all the comments & ideas!

I have two small terriers (1 x 13yr old Westie & 1 x 10 month old Border cross)who get cabin fever really quickly when the weather gets bad. As well as giving them lots to do inside the house - hide & seek, chase toys, training/new commands etc - we also try to take them out with us on errands etc even if it's just a short trip in the car to get groceries. They seem to appreciate the "outside the house time" even if it's not real exercise. They have also been known to sit in the workshop at the bottom of our garden while my hubby fixes stuff or works on his car.

I also get dog-friendly people to visit -with their dogs if possible - it seems to cheer them up a little.

I appreciate this won't be good for everyone, small dogs are certainly slightly easier on the house/furniture than my old lab used to be I have to say, antique tables and small children have been knocked right over in her haste to get to whatever it was that got her attention...:)

Hope the weather eases up over there for you all xxx

Lindsay Stordahl

Saturday 1st of January 2011

Yes, that is a great idea to take the dog along on outings, at least when it's safe for them to be in the car. Sometimes it's too cold for that too! But Ace does come along with me a lot in the winter. He appreciates it.

Doug Quinn

Thursday 19th of August 2010

Hey! When It's cold around my house I just use a pair of Yaktrax shoes that work great for walking in the snow, and just walk him like I normally would. Ofcourse with a huge jacket. :)

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 15th of January 2010

Yeah, it depends on each individual owner and dog. Sometimes I just stop by for some indoor playing or even just lounging around so the dog gets some attention if her owner is at work.


Thursday 14th of January 2010

Lindsay, what do you do about your dog walking/running clients when it's too cold to get out. Do you drop in and give the dogs some indoor playtime?

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 13th of January 2010

Haha! Had to laugh about your last comment! That's so great that you trained Mackey to use the treadmill. She obviously loves it!