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4 Tips to Keep Your Dog Active This Winter
My yellow lab, Luna is 8 years old but if you met her in real life you would think she’s much younger. Labrador Retrievers have a reputation for having an “extended puppy hood”. Most of them grow out of it by the age of three but Luna is still as hyper as ever as she enters her senior years.
I’ve mentioned many times before that Luna loves to go on runs and hikes with me on our farm and even as the weather starts to turn (we has snow this past weekend…what???) it doesn’t stop her from needing lots of exercise and an outlet for burning off energy.
My other dog, Doug the Pug is 11 years old. She wants to come out with Luna and I on our adventures but she has a hard time going on long walks since she’s getting older.
Luna may love to go out on runs in the cold, rainy and snowy weather, but I on the other hand do not.
As the days get shorter it means even less opportunity to get outside and play. Today I’m discussing some ideas to help keep your dog mentally and physically active this winter.
I recently headed to PetSmart to stock up on dog food and some new toys for my pups this winter. They have everything you could possibly need for your pets. I love that dogs are welcome inside the store and I like to meet and talk with other dog owners while I’m shopping. In addition to dog food and supplies we also buy all of the supplies for our fish tank there. When my daughter gets a little older and wants to get a pet hamster or Guinea pig I’m sure sales people at Pet Smart will be seeing a lot more of our family there.
I picked up a package of Purina® Pro Plan® Savor Adult Dog Food for Luna. It is available in real chicken, beef, lamb or salmon as the #1 ingredient in all dry formulas. The dry formulas feature a combination of crunchy kibble and tender shredded pieces for a taste and texture dog’s love. It’s available in a variety of dry and wet foods, plus snack and meal enhancements.
For Doug, I bought Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ Dog Food. It contains a blend of brain-supporting nutrients for cognitive health: arginine, DHA & EPA, antioxidants including vitamins E and C, and B vitamins including folic acid and pyridoxine. High-quality protein, including chicken is the first ingredient.
Here are some of my ideas to keep your dog active this winter.
Purchase some new toys for your dog to play with indoors
If your dog is going to be indoors all day while you are at work or school you better have something to keep them entertained,otherwise they will find something on their own and it will probably be a nice pair of shoes or furniture that becomes their chew toy. Head to your local Pet Smart and pick out a few new toys. One that always seems to work is a big rubber chew toy with a hole in the middle. Place peanut butter and dog treats in the center and let your pup try to get the treats. It will keep them busy for hours.
Keep them mentally active by teaching them new tricks
This is something I learned years ago at a puppy obedience class. Teaching your dog a trick like sit, lay down, roll over etc. actually provides them with so much mental stimulation that’s its like exercise. We used to bring home Luna from her training classes and she would be absolutely exhausted for the rest of the day, and we didn’t even do physical exercise! It was from the mental workout she got during obedience class. Try purchasing a clicker and some new dog treats and teaching your dog something new like “shake a paw” or “roll over”. If you don’t know how to start, check out some online videos for guidance.
Take them to doggy daycare on days when you have to work all day and it’s dark by the time you get home
Doggy day care is a great option for dog owners who work full time and don’t have a lot of time to exercise their dogs after work. Instead of keeping your dog cooped up all day, take them to day care where they can play and socialize with other dogs and people. Even if you can only afford it once a week, your dog will love you for it.
Get together with other dog owners for an indoor dog meet up
We used to attend a local pug meetup in our town. A group of pug owners would get together with our dogs and we would socialize while they played. If you can find a space big enough to host several dogs it’s a great way help your dogs get some exercise
What tips do you have to help keep your dog active this winter? Share with me in the comments.