Too cold to walk Fido?
How to battle the winter blues for your dog.
The cold months of winter can be a
frusterating time for dog owners and dogs as well. It is often too
cold to walk our pets in the howling wind.
The truth is that dogs, like humans, still do require physical exercise and mental stimulation to maintain physical and mental health.
The amount of exercise required can vary between breed, size, and age of dog. A good place to start is 20-30 minutes of heart-thumping exercise at least 3 times per week. A fenced yard is not generally sufficient for exercise unless you are interacting with your dog. Outdoor activities in mild weather can include jogging or playing fetch. There are many types of jackets and boots available to help keep your pet warm and protect their paws from ice and salt.
Dogs who do not get a chance to exercise often display a variety of behaviour problems. This includes excessive barking, fence chasing, chewing and destroying objects around the yard and in the house, digging, and general misbehaving.
This winter has been especially harsh with long periods of extreme cold, but there is still hope!
There are many indoor activities that can provide physical exercise and mental stimulation. Teaching your dog basic tricks (shake a paw, go to your mat, roll over) or advanced tricks (spinning, backing up, fetching your slippers or gloves) using positive reinforcement methods will keep your dog physically engaged and mentally stimulated through problem solving.
Indoor games such as Hide and Seek or
finding treats allows your dog to exercise his/her muscles and brain.
These types of games also strengthen basic behaviours such as Sit,
Stay, and Come.
Dogs love to use their noses to find their meals.
There are many interactive dog toys on
the market as well. These toys are designed to encourage your dog to
sniff and problem solve in order to reach the prize inside. Many pet
stores carry these products or you can ask your pet store staff if
they are able to order some in.
Be sure to check with your vet if your
dog is just beginning a new exercise program. When given the green
light be sure to keep things upbeat and interactive. Have Fun!
Check out http://www.keystonetraining.ca/linkcollections to help you teach your dog the tricks and behaviours mentioned here using positive reinfocement methods.
Remember a tired dog is a good dog!!!
In : Exercise
Tags: winter exercise mental stimulation winter blues dog tricks dog games