Winter can be a stressful time for dogs. It’s cold, it’s icy, it’s just not fun to go outside and get all the exercise they need every day to keep fit, physically and mentally.
Here are our top 5 ideas to help keep your dog busy, happy and healthy during the long winter months:
Winter is a great time to teach your dog some fun tricks. Learning new tricks and behaviors is great mental exercise for dogs! Zak George is one of our favorite positive dog trainers on YouTube. He has a wide variety of videos that will give you great ideas of tricks you can teach your dog. From sit, roll over and play dead to ‘say your prayers,’ whisper and even do math, Zak’s trick YouTube playlist is a great place to learn how to teach your dog some fun tricks.
Hide and Seek:
Hide and Seek is a fun game for dogs. And it’s a great game to teach them to come when called. Start by putting your dog in a sit, stay and then go hide in another room or a closet or even upstairs if you have different levels in your home. Call your dog and have them find you. When they find you give them a nice treat and give them a ‘good boy/good girl!’
The find it game is a great game for dogs to play at dinner time. Instead of giving them their food in their usual bowl, take some of their food and place around the home on container lids and let them search your home for their dinner. Find It! is a great mental and physical game to keep dogs happy.
The Ottoman Game is a game many of our dogs love to play for their dinner. Start with an ottoman or a little rug or mat if you don’t have an ottoman. Teach your dog to go to the ottoman and lie down, then give them some of their dinner. To increase the difficulty you can send them to the ottoman/mat from farther and farther distances.
The Muffin Tin game:
If you have a muffin tin and a few tennis balls or other round dog toys, this game is a wonderful way to mentally exercise your dog, teach them to problem solve and use their noses. Here’s a video showing one dog having a great time with the Muffin Tin game: