Winter is coming, according to one of my favourite TV shows and the recent colder temperatures. The colder weather brings lots of challenges to many of us, lack of motivation, less exercise, inevitable weight gain, and boredom. All of these things can also affect our dogs.
Here are some ideas to help keep you and your canine friend entertained in the upcoming months:
1. Play a game with your dog
Depending on the space you have, fetch can be played inside as well. I like to buy a smaller version of my dog Norman’s favourite outside toy to use when we play indoors. Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek? First, throw a treat to distract your dog and then hide! Use their name or the command “come” to give them a hint while they are searching for you.
2. Make them work for their supper
There are many great products that you can buy that present a challenge to your dog that they must solve to get their meal or a treat. You can also make your own obstacle course in your house with food at the finish line. It’s fascinating watching your dog try and figure out their course of action. Another easy challenge for them is to just present them with their meal covered by a cardboard box.
3. Sign up for a class
Winter is a great time to learn new skills together or maybe get a refresher on the commands they already know. Mental stimulation can be just as exhausting as physical activity for our pets.
4. Go OUTSIDE!
Yes it’s cold, yes it’s dark, but there is nothing better than taking a walk with your dog. The health benefits alone for both of you is reason enough to get out in the fresh, although brisk, air. Trust me, and you won’t regret a little cold when you see that happy tail wagging in front of you. Of course, use your common sense before heading out on a wintry walk. Always take the weather conditions into effect and your pet’s current physical health. Start with shorter walks if your dog is not used to getting a lot of physical activity.
**Keeping your dog physically and mentally active over the upcoming months will help to keep your dog out of trouble because it will decrease boredom. Continuing to do things together will also increase the incredible bond you already have with your four-legged best friend!
Written by BJ Gordon, Receptionist