It’s January and, as always, it’s cold outside, and during this colder season there is always a huge temptation to stay inside and enjoy home comforts! But remember, it is very important to keep your dog happy with exercise and stimulation. Not only is it important for their cognitive behaviour but also for their joints. Exercise is important to keep joints mobile and also keep at bay those extra pounds which can put added pressure on them. Here we have listed 5 top tips to keep your dog exercised this winter. Keep up with regular and normal daily walks Remember to wrap yourselves up warm but on those very cold days or nights remember to keep an eye on your dog. They may have fur but some can suffer from the cold as much as us. There are some fantastic dog coats out there – and because of the dark mornings and evenings if you can get one that is reflective even better. If your dog doesn’t need a coat, and seems to be managing, it is still a good idea to keep them visible either with a lit collar or reflective lead or harness, these are available from most pet supply stores and come in all shapes and sizes. It is also very important that in icy or gritting conditions you wash your dogs paws when you get home, the salt that they use on the roads and the antifreeze some people use on their windscreens can be very dangerous to dogs and also act as an irritant to their paws. No way we’re going outside Ok so what if the weather is just too terrible for both you and your dog – well don’t just sit there. Keep them entertained with fetch (did they get a new toy to fetch at Christmas), tug of war or hide and seek – keep those great Broadreach Nature Treats ready to show them what a good job they have done (but remember everything in moderation). Train the rain Dogs love puzzles and trying to figure things out. It is a great way to keep them cognitively alert. You can either buy a dog puzzle board from renowned retailers, which they can use their nose or paws to move and manipulate, or you can create your own with plastic cups and dog treats. Hide a treat under a different cup each time for them to sniff out. Old dog new tricks Dog training classes – they run all year round for all ages – and that old adage ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ is simply not true. Find one that takes place indoors so both of you can stay warm and dry while socialising. Push the boat out Hydrotherapy sessions – we are not talking about outdoor swimming as this is not safe in winter – rather booking a session with a qualified trainer who has an indoor pool. This is a super way to help those pets with sore joints as it is low impact. We hope that these top 5 ideas give you some inspiration on keeping your dogs active and moving not only with their joints but their brains too.