Winter can be a bummer for most people. You get up for work and it’s dark. You leave work in the evening… and it’s dark. Not to mention the fact that it’s cold as all get out. It can be very difficult to motivate yourself to be active, let alone make sure your dog is being active, too.
So what can you do to keep your pup active this winter without freezing your paws off? The experts at Germantown Vet have a few suggestions for you!
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best—get outside and play ball or go for a walk. And romping around outside can be even more fun if it’s snowing! But remember that your dog’s paws are sensitive, and long exposure to snow and ice can lead to cracked paws or injury.
Play Hide & Seek
Hide and seek isn’t just for the kids anymore! It’s a great game that you can play with your dog. Have your dog sit or lay down and show them a treat, then move out of their sight, touching the treat along the floor and furniture until you put it in its hiding place. Once it’s there, tell them to search for it. Start out with easy hiding places that aren’t too far away—as your dog gets better, you can make the game more challenging.
Do Some Indoor Training
Winter is a great opportunity to do some indoor training of new skills. Some great ones to consider include:
- Search – find something in the house (see hide and seek above!)
- Place – teach your dog to go to a specific place when commanded, such as a dog bed
- Here or come – if your dog hasn’t mastered this one, winter is a great time to start
- Look – have your dog maintain eye contact with you when you ask
- Bark or speak – teach your dog to bark on command
- Quiet or hush – if you’re going to teach your dog to bark on command, make sure you teach them when to be quiet, too
Take a Training Class
If you want to incorporate some socialization for your dog along with the training, enrolling in a training class is a great idea. It’s a great excuse for both you and your dog to get out of the house—and who knows, maybe your dog will meet a puppy pal!
Manage Your Dog’s Diet & Weight
Do you need help managing your dog’s diet and weight during the winter months? Our experienced veterinarians at Germantown Vet are here to help.