In a recent blog post, we talked about alleviating your pet’s joint pain during the winter months. As most of us know, joint pain tends to increase as the barometric pressure drops and the temperature decreases. Our pets also feel this change and experience more joint issues during the cold time of year as well. Keeping active with exercise and movement helps loosen the joints and alleviate discomfort, but how do we keep our pets more active during this sometimes limiting time of year when it is cold outside? We have put together some winter dog activities that will make the cold months less intimidating for you and your pet.
Most dogs love to chase and fetch toys and this game is a great way to promote your pet’s physical and mental health. And, just because there’s snow on the ground, it doesn’t mean your companion doesn’t want to play fetch with you. You can use a bright-colored toy or ball so your dog doesn’t spend more time hunting for it in the snow than retrieving it and returning it to you. It’s also a great opportunity for both of you to get outside and get some exercise.
Take a Hike
Just because it is cold doesn’t mean to stop going on walks and hikes. Bundle up and take a shorter walk around the neighborhood or along a favorite trail. Keeping moving helps your dog maintain muscle tone. This is crucial to combatting arthritis and joint pain. There are many health benefits associated with exposing yourself to nature and the great outdoors. It only makes sense that this will benefit your pet as well.
Allowing your dog to play with other pets from time to time improve your pet’s social skills. Playdates give your dog stimulation he or she needs when it is too cold to go outside. Invite pet-owner friends and their pets to a meet and play event at your home, and have some indoor winter dog activities lined up for the get-together. Socializing is a vital part of the mental health of your dog. It also helps keep your dog happy and physically fit.
Roadtrip to a Pet Store
When it is too cold to play outside, remember there are indoor spaces that are pet-friendly, too. The big-box pet stores allow leashed pets to roam the aisles and do a bit of shopping by your side. The stimulation of a car ride and chance to look at treats and toys can be a fun winter excursion for you and your furry buddy. And, it is a great way to get some indoor exercise as you walk up and down the aisles.
During the winter we are often cooped up inside. This can be a perfect time to teach your pet a new trick. You can work on social skills and interacting with guests. Try teaching your dog to pick up their toys and keep them in a specific area. Teaching your dog behavior modifications stimulates their mind, increases the bond between the two of you and makes owning a pet much more enjoyable. Don’t forget to reward good behavior with a treat!
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind during the wintertime. Remember to limit the amount of time your pup spends outdoors in snowy, cold weather. And when the weather is really severe consider bundling up your pet with a jacket or even dog boots, especially if your pet is short-haired and sensitive to the cold. Bring along some water to keep your dog hydrated. Eating snow may contain dirt, salt, chemicals, and other unhealthy debris. And remember, older dogs and those with arthritis may not be able to battle the cold outdoors for very long so they should not be left outside during winter.
At Flexpet, we care about animals and keeping them as healthy as possible! We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our products and how they may help your pooch. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.