Winter Activities for Your Dog
For all the summer pups out there, the impending frost can be one of the most dreaded times of the year. It not only puts a damper on outdoor activities, but fitness as well. If your dog relies on clear skies and a moderate climate for exercise, it may be time to think of an alternative. Fortunately, gains can still be made indoors, even if the weather outside is frightful.
If your dog is looking for a rigorous workout, but doesn’t feel like braving the cold, agility training is the perfect solution. Enrollment is quick and easy and classes can be found at local shelters, agility clubs and a variety of other places in the community. You can also set up a course at home if your dog needs some extra practice or if you’re looking to save a few bucks on training.
Agility training is a great way to impart new skills on your dog and keep her in shape. And since training takes up quite a bit of time, it will allow you and your dog to grow closer and build a stronger relationship. It’s also one of the first steps your dog needs to take to become certified as a canine good citizen, which is ripe with countless other benefits.
Dogs receive a lot of stimuli from going outside and socializing, whether it’s on their daily walk or trip to the dog park. However, once it starts getting cold, it’s a lot harder to stay outdoors for long periods of time. Luckily, with help from dog-specific brain teasers, you can not only provide entertainment, but also challenge her cognitively and thus increase brain function.
Playing hide-and-seek with your dog is a great way to teach her important skills such as how to sit and stay and also how to search for, locate and bring back a specific object. Also, hiding treats around the house and telling your dog to find them is another stimulating challenge that teaches her valuable tricks that can be applied to other aspects of her life.
Sometimes your dog just needs some good, old-fashioned fun to keep the winter woes at bay. Having to stay inside does greatly diminish the amount of activities you can take part in, but there are still plenty of games that can be played. If you and your dog are bored on a frigid day, there are quite a few games you can play to pass the time without having to succumb to old man winter.
Although typically an outside game, fetch can just as easily be played inside. To avoid breaking everything in your home, use a softer ball and clear an area for you and your dog to play. And if you’re really trying to tucker her out for the evening, throw the ball up and down a set of stairs a few times. This is a great workout for not only her reflexes, but her overall strength as well.
Winter can be a bit of a drag at times, but in no way does it have to deter you from having some fun with your dog. It may require some extra time indoors, but so long as you’re stocked up on toys and ideas for games, you should be able to keep yourselves entertained no matter how much snow is on the ground.
Adam Holmes is a real a winter guy, but his dog isn’t a huge fan of romping around in the snow. Fortunately, they reached a compromise and spend an equal amount of time now playing indoors. And when he’s not doing that, he writes for wireless pet fence provider, Havahart Wireless.