4 Proven Boredom Busters for Your Pet!

The winter solstice has come and gone and although the days are getting longer, we are smack dab in the dead of winter. The extreme temperatures and snow don’t lend themselves well to romping around, sniffing, or doing any of the other outdoor activities your dog craves. Spending significantly more time inside takes a toll on their mental and sometimes physical health. If you’ve got a dog with any more energy than a slug, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Let’s explore some winter boredom busters and keep your pets safe, happy, and healthy until their paws touch grass once again.

Move It!

Exercising your dog indoors may seem tough, but it just takes a little creativity. Playing tug is a great full body workout and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t cause aggression. Rope toys are perfect for this game. Do you have stairs? Make use of them by throwing toys upstairs and asking your dog to retrieve them. Nothing beats a game of hide and seek- it’s classic fun and will keep you (or the kids) busy! Don’t forget the cat- they love a good game of chase. Skipping treats across the floor rarely fails.

 

Food is King.

Foraging for food is a natural behavior, and your pet will literally eat it up! There are so many interactive and food dispensing toys on the market that there is bound to be one your dog loves. The experimentation process can be a lot of fun, but we find that Nina Ottosson toys and Kongs are best sellers for a reason. If you don’t have toys, you can hide treats or pieces of kibble around the house for your pet to find. Cats love searching for treats, and we often hide them in kitty towers to encourage exercise. If you have a multiple pet household, make sure everyone has a separate space so no one feels the need to compete!

Spend Some Quality Time.

Winter time is the perfect time for bonding. We bet your dog would be a willing participant in helping you practice some basic canine massage techniques or taste-test the many wonderful DIY treat recipes the internet has to offer. Learning a new skill or trick is a great confidence booster, and you never know where it might lead you. You may find you have the next agility, obedience, or nose-work superstar on your hands!

Need Help?

As professional pet sitters, we have all these tricks up our sleeves and so much more! We understand behavioral problems stem from lack of stimulation and that being cooped up in the house for extended periods of time (i.e., a long work day) invites trouble no matter the season. Winter is the perfect time to try out a dog walker! Let us venture out into the snow and cold for your pet’s potty breaks and exercise. We’ll take advantage of the midday sunshine and offer your pet a safe way to release all of that pent up energy. It really is the ultimate way to avoid the winter blues.  Contact us today!

Fun Ways to Exercise with Your Dog

Fido is your best friend, fellow adventurer, and snuggle buddy. Why not add personal trainer to his resume and exercise with your dog? He’ll never cancel plans, make excuses, or pass judgment. Whether you want to feel the burn or squash your inner couch potato, your pet is the key to your success. Here’s how your hound can help you shed those pounds and have fun at the same time.

Before beginning any exercise regime, it’s important to consider your dog’s health, breed, temperament, and training level. Always mind your dog’s comfort and safety. Should he become an unwilling participant for any reason, it’s time to stop and reassess.

Fuel Your Body.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to slack on one of the most important self-care aspects- your diet. Making healthier food choices will allow you to feel better overall and give you more energy to tackle your workouts. Trying new foods with your dog can be really fun! Have you seen those viral videos of dogs trying broccoli and cauliflower? Be sure to do your research on what foods are safe if you choose to experiment together.

Upgrade Your Walk.

If your walks are becoming part of the daily grind, take a new route! The pace will naturally increase (as will your heart rate) when your dog takes in the new scents and sights. For an added challenge, sprinkle in intervals of walking and jogging between blocks or navigate some hilly terrain. This activity will tire your dog’s brain and body so you can do your post-workout stretches in peace.

Try Doga.

You guessed it, dog yoga. It’s less about the crazy poses and more about the bonding experience. It incorporates gentle stretching and massage techniques, and can be a great option for older, stressed, or anxious pets. Joining a class is a fun way to socialize with other pet lovers. If home workouts are more your speed, check out these tips to incorporate your dog into your yoga routine: https://www.chewy.com/petcentral/doga-benefits-yoga-dog/

Explore Your Competitive Edge.

For the more high energy duos, agility may provide the thrills you seek. Emphasis is placed on communication between handler and dog as they race around a course navigating tunnels, poles, and hurdles. It’s a killer cardiovascular workout and an adrenaline rush to participate in this fur-flying, crowd-cheering sport!

Embrace Variety.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends an average of 30 minutes of exercise daily. The good news is that the benefits of exercise are cumulative and activities can be customized to fit your needs. Is it too cold for a 30 minute walk? Try splitting it into two 15 minute walks. Did you overdo

your workout the day before? Do some yoga to relax your muscles. No matter what you choose, your best friend will be there to cheer you on and your bond will be stronger because of it.

How do you incorporate your dog into your healthy lifestyle? Share it with us in the comments!