How to keep pooch and parent happy with the upcoming cold season? By Katelyn Schutz, CPDT
1.Hire a professional dog walker. Let us do the hard work for you! If you’re not a big fan of the winter weather, hiring a professional dog walking service may be the perfect balance to meet your dog’s exercise needs this winter.
2.Get appropriate outdoor gear for your dog. Keep your dog protected from the elements to ensure safety out on walks. Jackets and sweaters can provide warmth and shield wind and snow. I recommend paw protection from ice, salt, and snow — try all-natural Musher’s Secret waxes, or doggies booties. Consider using pet-safe salt or de-icing techniques around your home. By making the winter safer for your dog, you can enjoy more outdoor exercise and activities together. Don’t forget to let your professional pet sitter know where you keep all your outdoor gear for your pooch, so they can utilize them as needed during visits.
3.Continue (indoor) socializing. As a professional dog trainer, I commonly see “spikes” in requests for training dog reactivity in the spring. I theorize this phenomenon happens after a dull winter, considering the significant lack of exposure to others over an extended period of time. Consider enrolling in a weekly group class over the winter to keep your canine out and about around others. Organize play groups, or take advantage of indoor dog parks like the Zoom Room or Bay View Bark. Take your pooch on car rides and field trips to the pet store or the vet, just for fun. For a happier hound, keep socializing your pup throughout the winter too.
4.Enhance indoor activities. Make more out of your indoor time with your pup. Keep your dog’s mind active by turning mealtime into playtime, with interactive puzzle games, and scent/nose work games. Play hide and seek throughout the house to keep your dog engaged. Teach your him a new trick, or a toy by name. Give her some chew time with a bone. Teach your pup to walk on a treadmill. The possibilities are endless for indoor fun!
Winter doesn’t need to hinder your dog’s physical or mental health. Follow this advise and stay active!