Friday, 20 January 2012

Keep your pup happy and warm in the winter months

It’s January in Winnipeg, which basically means we’re all bundled up inside trying to keep warm. It also likely means our dogs aren’t getting out as much as they need. It’s not easy to spend an hour or two at the dog park, or go on an evening walk.

Even when it’s 40 below (which I know we’re all feeling right now) it’s important for our dogs to exercise. Here are some alternatives to outdoor activities if you've found yourself "stuck" indoors lately.

One of the simplest solutions is Doggy Daycare. There are many facilities around the city which offer daily indoor daycare services for your dog to play, learn and socialize with other dogs. It’s a great opportunity for your dog to let out some extra energy and learn social skills from other dogs too. Daycare can be a bit pricy though.

Another option is obedience classes. May sound odd, but obedience training is a great way to work your dog mentally. And a mentally exhausted dog can often be just as tired as a physically exhausted dog! Obedience classes are a great way to connect with your dog and involve the entire family too. Usually classes run for six weeks once a week, giving you an opportunity to get out of the house with your dog on a regular basis.

Have you ever heard of rally obedience? It’s a combination of standard obedience commands (sit stay, down stay, formal returns, etc) and the concept of working a “course” like you would in agility. The neat thing about rally is you don’t need expensive equipment or very much room; it’s easily something you can do in your living room or basement. The Canadian Association of Rally Obedience offers a list of novice exercise cards with a brief explanation of the activity.

What do you do to keep your dog(s) exercised in the dead of winter?


KCR said...

There is a large number of people who enjoy the outdoors with their dogs all year long. We skijor and kicksled when we have snow, and scooter or jog the rest of the time. I protect my dogs feet, give them plenty of water, and run them in sheltered ocations for short sprints. Just cause I want to stay in, doesn't mean they want to. And no, I don't own huskies.

chiromomma said...

I agree with KCR. We still take Jack out every day. His little paws need some good protection but he still loves it out there. But for extra exercise and fun this time of year we use our treadmill. He loves it! He usually wants to walk on it for atleast 30-45 minutes and if I stop it earlier than he would like he barks. So cute!

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