Written by Jaci Rothe
Midwest winters can be rather harsh and unpredictable. As a dog owner, you have most likely noticed an obvious abundance of built up energy in your Fido during the wintertime. The MEHS team has gathered ideas for entertaining four-legged friends during the cold months when they cannot spend as much time outdoors.
Tip 1: Play with Toys
Toys, toys and more toys. During the winter season, invest in interactive toys for your pup, such as a KONG, wobble balls, treat dispensing toys or food puzzles. These toys promote both physical and mental activity, providing a challenge to your dog that will entertain him or her for hours on end. Also, invest in a tug of war rope or a ball to play fetch with your dog inside.
Tip 2: Training Class
Sign your dog up for a training course. Training classes are beneficial to your dog because he or she will get to exercise and it gets the dog out of the house and into a stimulating environment with other dogs. There are a variety of training courses to choose from, such as basic obedience training or indoor agility classes. If you would like to perform training at home on your own, there is a variety of online resources, such as the ASPCA website or petMD.
Tip 3: Play Dates
Set up a play date for your pup. If your dog does well with other dogs, invite over a friend or family member’s dog. Set out some toys and let the two dogs play for a couple of hours. A play date is an easy, yet effective way to keep your dog entertained and active.
Tip 4: Daycare or Pet Store
Take your dog to doggy daycare. Dog daycares are becoming more and more popular. If you have one in your hometown, consider dropping your dog off there for the day while you are at work. Your dog will spend his or her entire day playing with the staff and other dogs. When you pick him or her up on your way home from work, he or she will be exhausted and content as ever. If there is not a doggy daycare near you, consider taking your dog on a trip to your local pet store to get him or her out of the house for a while.
Tip 5: Quick Walks
When weather allows, bundle up and head outside. Take advantage of any meek winter days that come along and take your dog outside. Play fetch or go on a brief walk. You will both enjoy the fresh air.
The winter season can drag on, but springtime will be here before we know it! In the meantime, these activities will help the time pass and allow you to spend quality time with your dog. For tips for caring for your pet this winter season, visit https://www.mehs.org/blog/7-tips-for-winter-pet-care.