Exercise Your Pets Without Going Outside

URBANDALE, Iowa  --  We are not the only ones with cabin fever. With little to no exercise in the last couple days, dogs are beginning to get a little rowdy.

Veterinarians recommend dogs get 45 minutes to an hour of exercise a day, but in these record-breaking low temperatures, they say dogs can only be outside for a couple of minutes at a time. That’s why they recommend bringing them to an indoor doggie day care.

“We have a big two rooms so they can run around, that way you don’t have to worry about them being outside in the cold because they can only be limited so much time out there to go to the bathroom,” Urban Pet Hospital and Resort Veterinary Technician Amber Springer said.

Springer said if it is too cold outside for you, it’s too cold outside for your dogs.

“Their paw pads are like your hands so if you put gloves on your hands you need to put something on their paw pads,” Springer said.

She recommended booties or even Vaseline, but that only works for a short amount of time as dogs can get frostbite in a matter of minutes.

“Anywhere where there is less fur. So, you’re looking at the nose, the ears, the paw pads of course because they’re constantly touching the ground, underbelly because there is not as much fur,” Springer said.

 Urban Pet Hospital and Resort becomes a spa with their underwater treadmill for older and heavier dogs.

“We’ll do the water therapy because it’s easier on their joints and stuff,” Springer said.

Or, just dust off that treadmill in your basement and take your dog for a walk inside.

“Sometimes it’s good to have treats to have the incentive of getting them on the treadmill and then start it kind of slow. Sometimes if you get on it with them, and kind of walk with them to show them that it’s okay, some dogs will actually like it and it’s a really good exercise to do for sure, you can burn a lot of energy off of them,” Springer said.

But it’s not all about physical exercise, veterinarians say keeping dogs' minds stimulated is the same as burning energy.

“If you can like stimulate their mind by like having them find treats or if they have a favorite toy, you can hide it and have them go look for it, that kind of stuff, it’s the same thing as getting them outside running,” Springer said.

The Urban Pet Hospital and Resort is $25 a day but there are other doggie daycares around the metro with a range of prices.

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