Making It Through Winter: Occupying Your Dog Until Spring

training-your-puppy

People may say they find it difficult to keep their kids occupied and busy all the way through winter, but it’s even harder when you’ve got a dog! Energetic and playful, many dogs tend to need a lot of exercise and stimulation so they don’t make your life hell. Here are some tips on how to keep them busy through winter when you can’t take them out quite as much…

Training

Even if you think you’ve already trained your dog, chances are that only means that they’re housebroken, that they can walk nicely on a leash, and that they sit on command. If you have enough space in your home then you can practise any tricks there. You could teach your dog how to give high fives, how to roll over and how to play dead. Honestly, staying inside in the winter is pretty boring for all of us, not just dogs – teaching them tricks is a great way for you to have some winter fun too! Invest in some toys from http://indestructibledogtoys.org/ as a reward for great behaviour.

Keep Your Dog Warm

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It’s a good idea to invest in a coat for your dog, particularly if she’s small. During the coldest weather, you could also get her to wear boots – touch the ground and imagine how you’d feel if you had to walk barefoot on snow and ice! The pads on dogs’ feet are very sensitive so you need to make sure that you protect them. When you get home from walks, make sure that your dog’s feet are dry and that you give her ample time to warm up. You should also make sure that your dog’s sleeping environment is as cozy as possible. Even if she’s an outside dog, put fleecy blankets and a heater inside the kennel, and make sure it’s insulated well.

Feed Your Dog Well

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Your dog may gain a little weight over winter, because he needs to cultivate an extra layer of fat to keep warm while it’s cold out. First of all, yes, you could also use this an excellent excuse as to why you’ve piled on a few pounds over the festive season – and second of all, it’s okay to feed your dog a little more over the winter, although you should make sure that you aren’t overfeeding him. Make sure you monitor his weight and that clean water is provided at all times so he doesn’t get dehydrated.

Go Hiking

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Use your dog as an excuse to get yourself and your family out of the house. Your dog needs exercise and so do you – but your dog will be a whole lot more vocal about getting it than you and the rest of your family are. Wrap yourself up warm – include the dog in that, and buy him or her a doggy coat! – and go to your nearest open space or hiking spot for a bit of recreational walking. You could even let your dog off the leash for a while if she has good recall – she might be a lot easier to spot in the undergrowth if it’s been snowing than she usually is!

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