Just because the dog days of summer are long gone doesn’t mean you can check out of exercise with your dog. While winter may limit outdoor time with your pooch, daily exercise and stimulation is still extremely important for your dog!
Here are a couple of things you can do to help combat dogs with cabin fever this winter.
—Play hide and seek. Working out a dog’s mind is as important as a physical workout. One way to stimulate your dog’s mind while simultaneously taking advantage of the great indoors is to engage in problem-solving games like hide and seek. Show your pup his favorite toy and then hide the item. Use commands and vocal cues to help your pooch find his toy. If your dog doesn’t initially realize the point of the game, drop more hints or walk toward the area of the hidden toy. When he finds the object, praise him and offer a treat. Eventually he’ll catch on and even look forward to the game!
—Show him a new trick despite the old saying because mostly every dog can be taught new tricks. Dogs love to show-off and they have a natural inclination to please their masters—especially if there’s a treat at the end of the lesson! Teaching him a new skill like sitting or staying on command are great mental exercises that force your dog to listen to and process what you’re saying. Other tricks, like teaching your dog to do an army crawl or playing catch can in no time poop your pup out physically.
—Have him chew it out!
Chew toys are important for dogs at any age. Not only do they strengthen teeth and jaws, they also aid in keeping your dog’s mouth clean. And here’s another added bonus—dogs will play with them for hours! So when the mercury dips, toss a chew toy your dog’s way and have peace of mind that his brain and his oral care are being tended to.
—Set up your own doggy play dates! Chances are your pup isn’t the only one in the neighborhood sad and shut-in this winter.How about gathering all your hood’s hounds at your place (or at one of your neighbor’s!) and let playtime ensue! Socialization and exercise doesn’t have to be costly or complicated—simply gathering together a few dogs within a safe walking distance from your house is more than enough entertainment for your pooch (and might even be a chance for you to meet a few of your dog-loving neighbors as well).
Above all—have FUN this winter and get cozy with your canine companion by including them in your activities and events.
Don’t let the seasonal rush keep you from engaging with EVERY member of your family! Our dogs are family too!
LOVE AND RESPECT ANIMALS!