Keeping Pets Active in Winter: Fun Indoor and Outdoor Exercises

Keeping Pets Active in Winter: Fun Indoor and Outdoor Exercises

As the Australian winter approaches, the cooler temperatures and shorter days can make it challenging to keep your pets active. However, maintaining an active lifestyle is essential for their physical and mental health. With a bit of creativity and the right strategies, you can ensure your pets stay fit and entertained throughout the winter months. Here are some fun indoor and outdoor exercises to keep your pets moving, regardless of the weather.

Indoor Exercises

Interactive Toys and Puzzles

Interactive toys and puzzle feeders are excellent for stimulating your pet's mind and keeping them active indoors. These toys challenge your pet to work for their food, engaging their problem-solving skills and providing physical exercise.

  • Puzzle Feeders: These feeders make your pet work for their treats, providing both mental and physical stimulation. They come in various designs, from simple treat-dispensing balls to more complex puzzles that require your pet to slide, flip, or pull components to access the food.
  • Interactive Toys: Toys like treat-dispensing balls or toys that mimic prey can keep your pet engaged and active. Look for toys that move unpredictably or make noise to capture your pet's interest.

Obstacle Courses

Creating an indoor obstacle course can be a fun and effective way to keep your pet active. Use household items like chairs, pillows, and boxes to set up jumps, tunnels, and weave poles. Encourage your pet to navigate the course using treats and praise.

  • Jumping: Use cushions or low furniture to create jumps for your pet. Start with low heights and gradually increase the difficulty as they become more confident.
  • Weaving: Set up a series of objects, like water bottles or cones, for your pet to weave through. This activity helps improve their agility and coordination.

Tug-of-War and Fetch

Classic games like tug-of-war and fetch can be easily adapted for indoor play. Use soft toys and ensure you have enough space to avoid knocking over household items.

  • Tug-of-War: Use a sturdy rope toy for a safe game of tug-of-war. This game is great for building muscle strength and providing a good workout.
  • Indoor Fetch: Choose a soft toy or ball to play fetch indoors. Ensure the area is clear of breakable items, and use hallways or larger rooms for more space.

Hide and Seek

Playing hide and seek with your pet can be both fun and mentally stimulating. Hide treats or toys around the house and encourage your pet to find them. This game sharpens their scent-tracking abilities and keeps them moving.

Dance Sessions

Dancing with your pet is a fun way to get both of you moving. Play some music and encourage your pet to move along with you. Use treats to guide them through spins, jumps, and other playful movements.

Training Sessions

Winter is a great time to focus on training. Teaching your pet new tricks or reinforcing existing commands can be mentally and physically engaging. Short, frequent training sessions can keep their mind sharp and their body active.

  • Basic Commands: Practice sit, stay, come, and other basic commands to reinforce good behaviour and keep your pet mentally engaged.
  • Advanced Tricks: Teach fun tricks like roll over, play dead, or even more complex behaviours like fetching specific items or dancing.

Outdoor Exercises

Winter Walks

Winter walks in Australia can be enjoyable if you and your pet are prepared for the cooler weather. Dress your pet in a warm coat if necessary and consider booties to protect their paws from the cold and damp ground. Keep walks shorter and more frequent to prevent them from getting too cold.

Beach Outings

Australian winters are mild compared to other parts of the world, so beach outings can still be a viable option. Many beaches allow dogs, and the softer sand can be easier on their joints than hard surfaces. Running, fetching, and swimming can provide excellent exercise.

Agility Training

Agility training isn't just for professional competition dogs. Setting up a simple agility course in your backyard can provide excellent exercise. Use tunnels, jumps, and weave poles to create a challenging and fun course.

Bush Walks

Australia is home to many beautiful walking trails that are perfect for winter hikes. Choose trails that are well-maintained and safe. Always keep your pet on a leash to protect them from wildlife and other hazards. Bring plenty of water and snacks for both you and your pet.

Backyard Playtime

Even if it's chilly, playing in the backyard can provide a good workout for your pet. Set up games like fetch, frisbee, or chase. Incorporate some training exercises to keep their mind engaged while they get their physical exercise.

Safety Tips for Winter Exercise

Protect Paws

Winter conditions can be harsh on your pet's paws. Cold, damp ground and rough surfaces can cause irritation and injury. Use pet-safe balms or booties to protect their paws during outdoor activities. Always check their paws for signs of injury after walks.

Stay Warm

Ensure your pet stays warm during outdoor activities. Invest in a good-quality winter coat that covers their body well. Breeds with thin coats or smaller dogs may need additional layers to stay warm.


Even in cooler weather, it's important to keep your pet hydrated. Carry water and a portable bowl on longer outings, and encourage your pet to drink regularly.

Watch for Signs of Hypothermia

Pets can suffer from hypothermia in cold weather. Watch for signs such as shivering, lethargy, and weakness. If you suspect your pet is too cold, bring them indoors immediately and warm them up slowly.

Adjust Activity Levels

Adjust the intensity and duration of exercise based on your pet's health, age, and tolerance to cold. Older pets or those with health issues may need shorter, gentler activities.

Boosting Immunity and Joint Health with Petmima Products

Keeping your pet active during winter is crucial, but it's also important to support their overall health with proper nutrition and supplements. Petmima’s Advanced Bone Broth + Hydrolyzed Collagen is an excellent addition to your pet’s diet during the colder months. This product offers a range of benefits:

  • Joint Health: The glucosamine and chondroitin in the bone broth support joint health, which is particularly important for pets that are less active in winter.
  • Gastrointestinal Health: Hydrolyzed collagen promotes a healthy gut, helping with digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Bone Strength: The vitamins and minerals, including hyaluronic acid, support strong and healthy bones.
  • Healthy Skin & Coat: The nutrients in the bone broth and collagen promote a healthy skin and coat, which is essential during the dry winter months.

Incorporating Petmima’s Advanced Bone Broth + Hydrolyzed Collagen into your pet's diet can help ensure they remain healthy and active throughout the winter.

Keeping your pets active during the Australian winter requires a bit of creativity and planning, but it's essential for their physical and mental well-being. Whether you're engaging in indoor activities like puzzle feeders and obstacle courses or enjoying the milder outdoor weather with beach outings and bush walks, there are plenty of ways to ensure your pet stays active and healthy. Remember to prioritise their safety and comfort, and always consult your vet if you have concerns about their winter exercise routine. By incorporating a mix of fun indoor and outdoor exercises, and supporting their health with Petmima products, you can help your pet thrive even in the cooler months.

Back to blog