As the days get colder and we feel like winter is dragging on we all might be suffering from the winter blues, including our dogs.
Experts at the Animal Behavior College say that being housebound for extended periods of time can results in restlessness. Just like us, dogs can get bored. Sometimes this boredom can lead to destructive or unwanted behaviors.
Here are some ways to help combat the winter blues with your pup:
- Maintain A Regular Walking Routine
Yes, it might be cold, dark, and dreary outside, but keeping a consistent schedule with your dog’s walks is good for their mental enrichment. The backyard is good for potty breaks and to blow off some energy, but walks allow them to see, smell, and experience new things. If there is snow or ice on the ground, make sure to look into boots for your pup. So grab a sweater for you and your dogs and get outside.
- Enroll Your Dog in Daycare
Daycare is not for all dogs, but those who are fixed and well socialized will thrive having playtime with other dogs when weather prevents outdoor playtime. Having other dogs to play with is a great way to relieve pent up energy. It’s a great way to make friends too!
- Take time For Training Session
Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, all dogs will benefit from training. Not only do dogs love to learn and please their owners, but training keeps your dog engaged and is a good way to release energy. Ken Nolte at Elton Training recommends that owners engage with their dogs a few times a day by asking for sits, stays, downs, or a game of hide and seek.
- Take An Obedience Class
As previously mentioned, all dogs will benefit from training. There are a variety of training classes available whether you are starting to learn the basics, want to up the level of obedience, or need a quick refresher. Not only does training strengthen the bond between owner and dog, but allows dogs to socialize with others. The AKC offers a program called the Canine Good Citizen. Not only does CGC training create long-lasting trust between you and your pup, but also ensures you’ll be good neighbors and friends to everyone around you. This program also lays the foundation for other AKC sports and activities like obedience, agility, tracking, and performance events.
- Play Games
Certain breeds were bred to do specific tasks. Such as labs were bread to retrieve so creating a game of hide and seek or fetch so creating a game that involves that these is great for the mental stimulation. Here is a list of games to try out based on your dogs breed.
- Last But Not Least, GIVE A DOG A BONE
Dogs love to chew! Not only is chewing a natural instinct, but it will keep them entertained for an extended period of time, good mental stimulation, and great for maintaining dental hygiene. Click here for great natural chews your dog is sure to love.
There is no need for you and your dog to suffer from the winter blues. Not only will these activities keep your dog entertained, but you as well. This is a good time to prove you can always teach an old dog new tricks, create memories, and strengthen your relationship with you dog.