Winter days are short and cold, but that doesn’t mean that you and your pet have to be stuck moping around inside all day. In fact, keeping your pet active and stimulated is important all year-round for their health. Fox Animal Hospital has created the following list of five ways that you can have fun with your pet this winter. Enjoy!
Play Hide and Seek
You can play this game by hiding your pet’s toys or treats, or YOU can be the one to hide and let your pet seek you. If your pet is trained, simply give the “stay” command as you leave their sight to go find your hiding place. When you’re ready, yell their name until they come to find you. This game works great for herding breeds.
Buy a New Toy
There’s so much more for you and your pet to do on a cold winter day than just sit around. You can kiss those winter blues goodbye with a new interactive or treat toy for your dog or cat. From food puzzles to treat balls, there are hundreds of options available that can provide physical and mental stimulation. Just be sure to inspect the toys before and after your pet plays with them to make sure they’re still safe.
Teach Your Pet a New Trick
Stay, sit, roll over…believe it or not, both dogs AND cats can learn these tricks. Training your pet is a great way to improve their overall behavior and strengthen your bond with them. And if you feel you need some additional help with training your dog, remember that Fox Animal Hospital offers behavior counseling services.
Go for a Walk or Jog
With the mild winter we’re having, why not take your dog for walk around the block or bike trail? And if your dog is more of the active type, or if you just want to make the walk more interesting, you can try walking and jogging intervals. Be sure to watch out for ice patches on the pavement, though, and always remember to wipe your dog’s paws of any sidewalk salt. If necessary, you may want to consider having your dog wear booties for protection.
Do you and your dog like to sprint? Turn your back yard into a field for a game of tag! Tag your dog and take turns chasing each other around. This is a great cardiovascular workout for both of you, and you may be surprised at how much fun you can have!
If you have any questions about these tips for how to have fun with your pet in the winter, or if you’d like to schedule an appointment at Fox Animal Hospital, give us a call at 847-869-4900.