With a little creativity you can keep your dog mentally stimulated and exercised while Old Man Winter takes over the great outdoors. Keeping your pup mentally exercised is half the battle in burning off the indoor blues and, is of equal importance to physical exercise.
Providing meals in a treat dispensing ball or puzzle dish is a quick and easy way to engage the K9 brain. Why not banish the bowl and replace it with a fun and mentally challenging food puzzle that will aid in keeping Fido entertained and busy? Following their noses is another activity that works your dog's brain; which is why a hide and go treat seeking game is another excellent choice to mentally challenge Fido.
My winter walk strategies include:
- dressing myself in layers, once you start walking you may need to unzip or unbutton the outer shell
- gauge the direction the wind is blowing, walk into the wind on the way out of the house so that it will be at your back on the way home
- wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from blowing snow and high winds
- use non slip mittens or gloves so you can keep a grip on the leash, I got several pairs at Dollarama that are awesome!
- walk in back lanes instead of streets, they tend to have less traffic, better lighting and, more protection from wind gusts
- take a shorter route that doubles back on itself to keep you closer to home just in case you feel overwhelmed by the cold and need to get back inside immediately
- wear a piece of reflective clothing or put reflective tape on the leash so that you are visible to pedestrians and cars
- wear non slip foot wear, snow and ice are slippery and you definitely don't want to take a tumble on a dark and snowy night
- take your cell phone with you in case of emergency (slip and fall for instance)
Get yourself prepared well in advance of the dropping temps and falling snow so that you are ready to rock out the winter months! If possible have multiples of everything, mitts, hats, scarves, dog boots & jackets so you can have backups for wash days. With the right attitude and proper gear, you and your pooch will have a great winter, whether it be indoors or out!
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