Keeping your dog active during winter is just as important during any season. However, walking your dog during the freezing cold weather can be tricky. Depending on the breed of dog; not all dog breeds are well-adjusted to the colder climate.
Not entertaining your dog or keeping the active, will lead to boredom and in some cases; naughty behaviour. Dogs need mental stimulation just like humans, so it's important that you try your very best to show them lots of attention and keeping them active indoors if the weather is far too perishable to take them for a walk.
The cold, harsh temperatures or snowy, wet conditions can actually be harmful to your dog if they're not cared for correctly. The grit and salt used to melt the ice can damage the sensitive pads on your dog's paws.
After giving them a walk you must wipe down their paws and make sure they're entering a warm home and bed. If you’re unsure of what temperature is safe to take your dog outside; further information is provided below on the safe and dangerous temperatures for taking your dog outside.
To help keep your dog active and entertained during the colder months, we have enlisted 6 top tips to keep your dog entertained indoors.
Teach them tricks.
Teaching your dog new tricks is a great way to keep them happy and entertained. Providing as little as 5 minutes an hour of training will tire your dog out. There are lots of great tricks on the internet and you might want to teach them a rather difficult one as using their concentration and focus will help keep them stimulated and tire them out as well as keep them happy.
A great trick for this time of year is teaching your dog to wipe their paws on the doormat outside the house.
Hide their treats around the house
Another very fun game that dogs love playing is; treasure hunting for their favourite treats. Simply place them outside of the designated room and hide treats in areas that are safe and easily found and accessible for your pooch. Get them excited by encouraging them to find the treats and make a fuss when they've managed to find their treat.
Only provide 2 or 3 treats as you don’t want to overfeed them; especially as they're not playing outside as much as usual.
Make them work for their food
Instead of placing their food in their bowl, have them work for their food as they will work up an appetite. This will stimulate them mentally and physically by building up a sweat trying to get to their dinner! You can place their food in a kong and leave it to them to lick and shuffle their food out and into their mouths. Please be aware if your dog is unable to get their food out as they will be missing out on their meal.
Attend agility classes
Dog agility classes are becoming more popular and are a great way to keep your dog active, socialised and happy. It's also a great way for you to meet other dog owners and share your experiences and tips on raising a healthy dog. Attending agility classes will provide your dog with the right level of exercise and mental stimulation. It's also a great way for them to become properly trained and their behaviour fine-tuned for outdoor and indoor play.
Dog agility classes also allow time for you and your dog to bond without any interruptions.
Playing fetch indoors can be dangerous if not executed properly, but can also help tire your dog out and burn calories if done correctly. You will need to ensure that you have ample room for the throw of the toy and enough stretch for the dog to run and fetch. We suggest that you use a soft toy rather than a ball or hard toy so nothing gets damaged or smashed during the game.
If you do this a few times in a row you are going to have a dog that's ready to snooze in no time.
Tug of war
Playing tug of war is a great way to bond with your dog and improve their mental stimulation. Playing this game is a great way to teach your dog how to release the toy and game over. It's also a great way to teach your dog that fun game playing includes enforcement served by their owner.