There are many ways to take care of your dog during the winter months. While it may be tempting to spend all your time indoors, it is important to make sure your dog gets some physical activity and stays healthy.
Part of this routine can include staying on top of dog grooming in Portage and elsewhere in Indiana. But another crucial part, staying active, can be tough during colder months.
That is why we want to help by giving you tips on how to keep your pet physically active during those cold winter days in Northern Indiana.
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Active in the Winter
Keeping your dog active is a terrific way to avoid health problems, unpleasant behavior, and pent-up energy. This gets tougher when the temperature drops and all you and your pet want to do is stay inside. The good news is that you do not have to spend all your time outdoors in the cold to get them the physical attention they need. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:
- Get active indoors: Stay active indoors by getting creative with various games and activities. Consider playing hide and seek to keep both you and your dog moving. If you have a high-energy pup, they may enjoy running up and down the stairs chasing their favorite toy.
- Keep Their Nails Trimmed: Be sure to watch your dog’s nails. After three-to-four weeks, the nails will start to “tick” on the floor, causing your dog to lose traction while playing. This lack of traction can make them less willing to play inside.
- Do not neglect outdoor activities: Fresh air is important even during the winter months. Head outdoors for walks when the sun is shining and temperatures are warmer. Try to add variety by exploring new routes. Be sure to monitor weather conditions to avoid potential winter hazards. Dogs love to play in the snow. Now could be a fun time to have a friendly snowball “fight” toss with your fur friend.
- Make mealtime fun: Slow feeders or treat puzzle cubes can turn mealtime into an activity. This can slow down your dog’s intake and encourage mental activity to make eating more fun. While this will not mean they get more exercise it hits on another important bonus of physical activity: mental stimulation.
- Dog Grooming: It is important to stay on top of your dog’s grooming during the winter months to avoid matted fur and overgrown nails. Your dog will enjoy activity time to its fullest when they are well-cared for. Most dogs love the extra attention they get from their dog groomer. They love being spoiled especially when they get treated to those Ozone Baths. See your local dog groomers regularly to ensure your pet is not getting matted or smelly. The team at Smoochie Pooch can teach you how to do quick and easy grooming between appointments.
- Teach them a New Trick: Now is a great time to teach your dog—especially puppies—a few new tricks. Some common tricks are:
- Shake a paw
- Bang, play dead
- Roll over
- Sit and stand pretty
- I am a good boy/girl – take a bow
- Ring around the… object
- Fetch – me a beer
- Sit, stay, lay down.
These games are fun for both you and your dog and they help to keep them mentally stimulated and out of trouble. There’s even a book on Amazon that shows you how to teach your dog 52 tricks.
- New Toys: Visit your local pet shop for toys and activities that entertain your pup. In addition to slow feeders and treat puzzle cubes you may find other exciting options at the Smoochie Pooch pet stores (does pet stores make the cut?) that suit your dog’s interests and activity level. These toys are an important element to keep your dog moving during the winter months.
Connect with Smoochie Pooch in Indiana
During the winter months and all year long, Smoochie Pooch provides trusted, quality care for your dog. We offer convenient locations for salon grooming along with a fleet of grooming vans that will deliver personalized grooming to your home.
To learn more and book an appointment for grooming, contact us today.