The weather is getting colder, and it's important for everyone, including your dog, to stay active and in shape.
Dogs need exercise and stimulation to keep them happy and healthy while spending more hours inside. Finding fun things for you and your pup to do in cold weather is challenging, but the American Kennel Club offers the following ideas to make winter a little more bearable.
– Build an indoor agility/exercise course. This can be as modest as putting a broom atop two buckets, or simply holding it, to create a small jump. This is a great way to teach your dog to master the leap while keeping him active. Make sure to do your research to ensure that any agility/exercise equipment you use is appropriate for your dog.
– Arrange a play date. This can be with another dog or other people for interaction. Winter often forces hibernation, but it is beneficial to keep your pup socialized and remind him how he should behave around others.
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– Teach him a new trick. Whether you have an old or young pup, you can teach him some new tricks. Dogs 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. Some day cares offer socialization classes, which is a good way to have your dog interact with other pups and cut down on the time he spends alone.
– Come up with a scavenger hunt. This will encourage your pup to exercise his body and his brain and tire him out enough that he needs a nap afterwards. Allowing pups to work and strategize also reduces anxious or destructive habits that are often exacerbated by increased hours spent indoors.
For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at www.akc.org.