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Daylight Savings: Safely Exercise Your Dog After Dark

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dog running inside

The days are getting shorter but your dog still needs the same amount of exercise. We have the tips and tricks you need for exercising your dog safely after dark. 

Outdoor exercise can still be an option, with precautions

Whether or not you have a yard or shared open space, exercising your pet doesn’t have to get hairy. You can still walk, jog or bike with your pets if they’re used to high activity.

Of course, you should always take precautions. Dogs should always walk on a leash and we suggest exercising in a well lit area. For extra precaution exercising in the dark, we recommend a reflective vest for you and your dog. Additionally, the true crime lover in us would be remiss if we didn't advise you to make sure you’re aware of your surroundings while out at night.

If you don’t feel comfortable exercising your pet in your neighborhood or community because of the amount of other pedestrians, there are ways to get pets more active with work-ins (as we like to call them) if they can’t get out as often. 

Work-ins that work them out

Indoor fetch. Clear a path away from furniture with sharp edges, especially for those less graceful fetchers. (And be mindful of your downstairs neighbors — this isn’t a great 3am option.)

Hide and seek. Hide treats or toys around the house. (Watch the treats though, they should be no more than 10% of their diet.)

Training. Pets enjoy exercises that also work their mind, so use this time to teach them some new tricks. The repetition is like a work out.

Follow the leader. Many pets enjoy following their owners from room to room, so invite them with you as you move throughout the house. Simply standing and walking can burn calories.

Toys. Laser pointers are fun for the whole family, and you probably have one in your home office. Cardboard boxes, paper bags and other disposables can be repurposed as well. 

Make them work for it. Place their food in an elevated area that your pet can easily reach and stand on. 

Treadmills. If you’re willing to invest the time and caution in training your dog on a treadmill, this can be a great way to replace long walks. First they need to get comfortable with the noise, then get used to standing on the machine while it’s not in motion — and even then, start very slow. You should always hold the leash yourself rather than tie it to the treadmill. (We don’t suggest trying this with cats. And the cat probably wouldn’t suggest it either.)

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