Winter is here! In many areas of our country this is one heck of a cold time for us. When you have a dog, what do you do? How do you keep Fido active, entertained and happy? How do you stay sane? Below are a few activities that will keep your pooch active during the winter months, both indoors as well as out!
- Play games with your pooch while indoors. No matter the size of your pet you can always find fun things to do. How about playing a game of hide and seek? Games stimulate your dog’s mind and keep him active! Another game your dog can play indoors is fetch! Even a short distance toss will engage your dog and tire him out. Get a small Nerf ball or tennis ball and clear some space!
- Take your pet to “Pet Friendly” indoor places when the weather won’t permit them heading outdoors. More and more retail establishments are welcoming our furry little friends. If you’ve been socializing your dog, he’s sure to mind his manners and enjoy a little time away from home all the while engaging his senses. Remember, taking your dog out and about builds his confidence thereby reducing anxiety producing behaviors!
- Enroll your dog in a class. This is a great time of year to reinforce obedience skills and consider agility training in a controlled, indoor environment.
- Play in the snow! Depending on your dog’s age, breed and personality, most dogs enjoy the outdoor weather. Get some fresh air and take them for a quick walk. Make snow angels. Toss snow balls! Big dogs tend to love a romp in the snow. And it really does tire them out. Don’t let them stay out there too long though. They are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia!
- Have a doggie play date! Invite some friends over and tell them to bring their pups. Getting the pups together with one another is a great way to exercise them mentally as well as physically! Even if they are just chasing each other from room to room, it’s exciting for them!
- Toys with goodies inside of them can provide hours full of fun! Kongs or treat mazes are a fantastic choice for mental stimulation.
- Technology is not just for us humans. There are now many apps available to encourage training and mental stimulation. If your dog is bored, there’s an app for it!
Keep these activities in mind as the days get colder and grow darker earlier. With a little creativity, you can reduce cabin fever for both you and your dog. The key is to mix things up and keep moving!