Winter can be pretty rough on us human folk in places with extremely low temperatures. For dogs, these months can be even more difficult. They’re under-exercised as they go on fewer and shorter walks; they’re forced outside during blizzard conditions to do their business; and the combination of ice, snow and salt wreaks havoc on their sensitive puppy paws. If you’re looking to keep your dog happy, healthy, and entertained over the next several months, here are some helpful tips.
Use Feeding Toys
If you’re worried that winter is forcing your dog into a sedentary lifestyle, make eating more active! Feeding balls, time-release puzzle feeders, and an array of other food puzzles can be stuffed with dog food, forcing dogs up a sweat for their kibble. With mealtime doubling as an exercise routine, your pet will not only burn off some pent-up energy, but have a lot of fun trying to figure out how to get the food out. (Bonus: you’ll get a kick out of watching, too!)
Practice New Tricks
Another good way to pass time indoors during cooler weather is to hone your pet’s talents. You can teach your dog just about anything, like how to high-five, army crawl, or dance to your favorite dance hits. Since many tricks encourage exercise, this is a great way to tucker out your pet without leaving the comfort of your apartment.
Plan a Puppy Playdate
Does your pet need some quality time with his four-legged friends? Visit a climate-controlled, sheltered play area where your dog can socialize with other canines. If you live in a city, you likely have several options nearby, ranging from doga studios (downward dog?) to doggy daycares that often have indoor, open play times for a small fee. Your pet-friendly apartment may even have a covered pet run or other play space you can use to a host a puppy playdate with your neighbors.
Seize Nice Weather
Make the most of days that are unseasonably warm and sunny by taking your dog on a walk or to the dog park as you would in the summertime. If the nice weather follows a winter storm, consider dog booties or using a wax as a protection against ice, salt and chemicals, so the walk isn’t cut short.
With a few modifications to the usual routine, winter can be entertaining and healthy for you dog. Make sure to keep Fido active with feeding toys, trick practice or a long walk with the right wintertime gear. If that’s not enough, register for a class or playdate in an indoor dog gym. Just promise if you try a doga studio, you’ll send us a picture!
How do you keep your dog’s spirits high and health in good shape during the winter months? Share in the comments!
Like what you just read? Why not subscribe to the AMLI Blog so you don’t miss another post?