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.
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!
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!