Not only is it cold outside, but we have less daylight hours to engage with our pets outside. We’ve compiled a list of activities for you to do with your dog if you’re hoping to avoid frost bite. Tip: Save these for those rainy summer days too!
HIDE AND SEEK
While your dog may enjoy going for long walks and getting some fresh air, we understand that sometimes this isn’t practical. Use this opportunity to play a game with your dog. Pippa is a huge fan of Hide and Seek – we’ll gently roll a ball into another room in the house and as soon as she’s turned her back we’ll hide out somewhere. Usually it’s behind a curtain or in the closet, but as soon as she returns with her ball a new game starts of her trying to find us.
Puzzle toys are a great way to keep your dog busy. At least until they master the art of opening those little contraptions. Hide a treat in each compartment of one of these toys and as soon as your dog's nose gets working they’ll be searching for ways to access them. Some puzzles they’ll need to slide a compartment open either with their nose or paws while others require them to lift a lid off with their mouths. Eventually they will remember how to gain access, so try get a few different ones.
Use this indoor confined time to train your dog some cool new tricks. A few ideas you could teach them are:
- Name their toys and have them retrieve the toy you ask for by name
- Open/close a door – tie a cloth around a door and teach them to tug on it until the door opens. When they do this, simply tell them “open”
- Bring your slippers – If you’re to cold to get your own slippers, why not see if your pooch is interested. You’ll need to start by teaching them the name of the object along with the fetch command
- Cleaning up the house may require a little more time and effort. Dedicate a basket to your dog's toys and teach them to pack them all away. You’ll need to teach them a combination of commands including, “Take It,” “Bring It,”and “Drop it” once they're over the basket. Once they have completed this, use your clicker and say “pack your toys away”. The little bit of effort now will be worth it for the help around the house.
CHALLENGE THEIR NOSE
You can get your dog's natural tracker skills to come out if you’re confined to the indoors. Hide a couple treats around the house and set them off to find them. You can also do this with their toys, but we personally find that treats just give that much more motivation. To aid them, we tend to slide the treat along the floor to leave a scent trail.
GO FOR THAT WALK!
You know as much as they’d love all of the above, what they really want is to explore the outdoors and the fresh air will do you good to, not to mention the health benefits that exercise has on you too. Be sure to dress them (and yourself) warm if they don’t have a natural coat to offer protection from the elements and don’t forget the shoes in case there’s any ice on the floor that could hurt their feet. While it may temporarily be cold, you’ll both feel better afterwards.
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