Few things feel better than staying warm indoors in winter, but it is important for everyone to stay active and in shape – including our pups. They need exercise and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy while spending more hours inside.
Finding fun things for you and Fido to do in cold weather is challenging, but the American Kennel Club offers the following ideas to make winter a little more wonderful.
▪ Make him use his nose with a scavenger hunt. This will encourage your pup to exercise his body and his brain and get him ready for a long nap by the fireplace. Allowing pups to work and strategize also reduces anxious or destructive habits that are often exacerbated by increased hours spent indoors.
▪ Build an indoor agility/exercise course. This can be simple; your dog won’t judge you. It can be as modest as putting a broom atop two buckets, or simply holding it, to create a small jump and teaching your dog to master the leap.
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▪ Arrange a play date with another dog or other people for interaction. Winter often elicits hibernation, but it is beneficial to keep your pup socialized and minding his doggie manners around others.
▪ Teach him a new trick. Contrary to popular belief, you can, in fact, teach an old dog new tricks, and our pups are always eager to learn and please. Exercising the mind is just as important as keeping in physical shape.
▪ Take him to a doggie day care that offers socialization classes. This will also help cut down on the time your dog spends alone. These establishments often have significant square footage that allows for physical activity and warmth simultaneously.
For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at www.akc.org.