Even though Old Man Winter has us in his icy grip, you can still keep your dog happy and healthy by exercising both her mind and body. If you just can’t stand the thought of bundling up and heading out into the snow and ice, here are some tips to help you out:
• Consider taking a class with your dog. She can learn some new skills or brush up on some old ones. Many classes not only give your dog some great physical exercise, but mental stimulation as well. Plus, it is a great time for both of you to meet some new friends!
• There are many puzzles and games available in pet stores that will have your dog searching for treats behind sliding doors or buried in hollow toys. These wonderful canine games will challenge her mentally and keep her occupied for hours!
• Hire a dog walker or take your pet to doggy daycare for a chance to get out of the house and socialize with others.
• Teach an old dog new tricks! While your dog may have mastered “sit” and “lie down”, try teaching her some new tricks such as “roll-over”, “shake a paw” “leave it”.
• Change it up. Keep your dog engaged with their playthings by alternating toys every week or so.
• Run some stairs. If your dog has good mobility, doing some reps up and down the stairs can give you both a great work out. If stairs aren’t your cup of tea, try tossing a ball down the stairs and have your dog retrieve it. She’ll be tired in no time, and then you can both settle in for a nice winter’s nap on the couch!
An hour of healthy activity each day will help avoid winter boredom and keep your dog healthy and happy all winter long!