Ten things for your dog to do on a cold day!
Has the cold got both you and your dog cooped up and suffering from cabin fever? Here are the top ten things to do to keep you and your pooch entertained on a snowy winter’s day.Anxiety: Being couped up inside is no fun for anyone, and our four-legged friends can sometimes become anxious during these long winter days. Boredom, lack of regular exercise, and lack of companionship can be strong inducers of anxiety for some dogs, especially those that are young or highly active. You can help mitigate this anxiety by providing plenty of physical and mental stimulation through daily walks, lots of toys, and by keeping to a strict schedule for play time, quiet time, feeding time, and sleep.
1. Teach that old dog new tricks.
There’s nothing more rewarding than taking ten minutes and teaching your dog to shake, rollover, or play dead. Engaging your pet in training exercises strengthens the bond between you two plus creates the added bonus of giving you something to show off.
2. Treat your dog to a day at the spa.
So what if it’s too cold for a hose-down in the yard? Take this time to beautify your pup indoors. A good solid brushing will help discard constantly shedding fur and skin cells, stimulate oil production to yield a shinier coat, and promote better skin circulation. Clip your dog’s nails, brush your dog’s teeth, and indulge him with the coup-de-grace: a full body massage!
3. Make a new dog toy.
Have any old towels or ratty blankets lying around? Add a few hearty knots and your pup has a new toy, plus you earn bonus points for recycling.
4. Push the furniture out of the way and par-tay!
Turn up the music and dance with your dog, or play tug-of-war as you would outside. Have a wrestling match or play hide-n-go-seek. This isn’t horseplay in the house – it’s dog play!
5. Invite a friend over for a puppy play date.
Some indoor socializing can help shake down those wintertime blues.
6. Take time to dog-proof your home.
Check for exposed wires, enticing decorative plants, accessible trashcans, small children’s toys, and anything else that may seem like an open invite for doggie mayhem.
7. Snap some pictures to create a memory.
Get creative. Here’s the time to get just the right profile picture of your dog for next year’s Christmas cards. If you’re into scrap booking, dedicate a page to the day you were snowed in together. Or, nothing says subtle, classy artwork like a single, framed paw print. Kid’s acrylic water-based paint is non-toxic and non-staining, so knock yourself out!
8. Clean the (dog) house.
No, this doesn’t exactly sound like fun, but creating some time to scrubbing all your dog’s food and water bowls and washing his blankets, bedding, and toys helps not only your home, but keeps your pet more hygienic as well.
9. Read a book.
This may sound corny, but sitting down next to your dog and reading aloud is definite quality doggie time: you are both relaxed and the sound of your voice is comforting to your pooch. Getting to the end of the latest James Patterson novel is a major plus too!
10. Take a nap!
What’s better than a cozy mid-day snooze all wrapped up with blankets and your four-legged friend? Please remember to donate old blankets or anything that your local animal shelter may need – Shelters are not the warmest place for homeless dogs and cats:( Adopt!
Dr. Anna O’Brien is a veterinarian in the suburbs of Washington D.C., where she shares her home with three cats, a black Lab named Shadow, and a husband.
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