Boredom Breakers for Dogs
We all can sympathize with our dogs around this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s just after Christmas and generally, the weather is cold and wet and in some parts snowy too.
For some of us, it can also be more difficult to get out to exercise our dog or indeed an older dog may well be reluctant to venture outside because of the climate.
Thankfully, there are few products on the market as well as some great tips to make things just a bit more interesting for your dog and to help relieve the boredom that some dogs can suffer from.
Exercise Is The Key
With weather than can be dreary, wet and cold, we could be forgiven for accepting that it is ok and easier to cut down on our daily walks and routines with our dogs.
This is a major mistake.
We have learned that dogs are routine based animals and as such, the daily walks are vital for continuing their health and wellbeing in a positive way.
We are making all of the decisions for our dogs as a strong alpha figure and therefore it is absolutely vital that we continue with a routine based program as this makes our dog feel happy and content.
Fair Weather Walkers
It’s not good enough to be a fair-weather dog walker. You see them all out in the summer months or when it is sunny, but you never see them in the winter, and if you think you may fall into that category, then I urge you to re-think!
A dog’s behavior can quickly diminish if they are not getting one of the four key principles that you need to be in charge of delivering.
We all need to exercise as humans and exercise is the backbone of giving your dog a great life. If you want the best from them it comes down to my 4 key principles which I call “HELD”
They are all equally important and you should have all 4 of these elements in your mind when you have a dog.
They do and should do, take over your life somewhat. I know my boy does and my wife and I have built our work schedule around our dogs for the last 20 years or so just to make sure that they are never neglected in all of these principles.
If you know the bad weather is coming and you usually do a couple of long walks every day with your dog then maybe 3 to 4 shorter ones are the answer.
If you don’t want to get cold or wet then this can be a good workaround, but spare a thought for your dog as they are also going to get cold paws on longer walks too.
And it’s not only the cold pavement and roads we need to worry about. The highways salt the roads this time of year and our dogs are walking effectively “barefoot” on this and it can be extremely harmful to them.
The defrosting salt can dry out the pads on your dogs’ paws and this can cause very painful cracking and it is then easier for infections to occur.
Antifreeze spills are another thing to look out for this time of year as this is a substance that smells very attractive to dogs but is lethal if ingested.
Just be mindful of that fact when walking near cars or noticing if your dog is sniffing near a vehicle.
Gently trim the fur around your dog’s pads to help reduce the amount of ice, dirt, and salt from collecting on their toes!
Make sure that you have the right equipment to keep your dog warm on the walks too.
Dog coats are the norm now and they come in all different styles and sizes for all kinds of breeds.
Dog coats are very important if you have a short-haired breed like a Greyhound or indeed for little dogs too as they feel the cold a lot more.
If you need to get one, make sure it has reflective properties like this one.
They are relatively cheap as well, so there is no reason why your dog needs to go cold.
Keeping Your Dog Warm At Home
Heating costs are always high whenever you live in a cold climate this time of year (Winter) and not everyone can afford the luxury of leaving the heating on in our homes overnight.
Dogs can often get overlooked in this matter and can get very cold in the home.
We need to make sure they have plenty of warm blankets to lie on and to be able to sleep in an area of your home where they can feel warmer with that extra bit of comfort away from the cold and any draughts.
You will know where this is in your home so make sure that they can get the benefit of a warmer night-time environment.
Dealing With Doggy Boredom
Just like us humans, dogs can get bored.
If they have to stay inside more because the weather is just too bad, then we need to try to find ways to entertain them more with this enforced”grounding”.
Dog toys are always a great go-to when we need to provide our dog with mental and physical stimulation.
Games that can give your canine companion are also a great way for you to bond with your dog too.
Playing a simple game of fetch indoors can really help your dog and reinforce recall which is always a great thing to keep doing with your dog all of their lives.
Dogs have dichromatic eyesight which means that they can only see in two colors, Yellow and Blue. These great toys below are absolutely ideal in this aspect and can give your dog that all-important mental challenge.
Hide and Seek is also another great way to keep your dog interested in doing what comes naturally and you can place little tidbits inside some chew toys around your home and this will also give them something to work on.
Interactive toys are great too and these can come in all kinds of guises and these kinds of puzzles involve placing a treat inside and your dog has to work out how to get it out.
Go easy with the kinds of treats though. I use my own LiverCakeRecipe that I have showed on here before and it really is easy to cheap and easy to make along with the fact that it is also very good for your dog.
You can quickly download it at LiverCakeRecipe
If you are thinking of getting into more of the brain training or stimulation kinds of activities, keeping the reward treats and tidbits healthy is pf paramount importance.
These kinds of activities are really great and they are also a solid go-to if the weather is really bad. It’s always good to have a Plan B.
Thanks for reading and hopefully we will have more sunny, dry and warm days this year so we can keep getting out and exercising our dogs.