Baby it’s cold outside! Five ways to keep your pet from cold weather boredom.

The cold has hit Chicago!  With temps hitting the negatives we’re not spending very much time outside with the dogs.  No matter how much they-and we- are bundled, after a few minutes we’re all ready to come inside and warm up.

Dogs are natural scavengers.  They’re meant to be on the move, exploring and learning about their surroundings.  In the winter when we’re not able to spend the time outside that they need, so they have a tendency to become bored.  Boredom in dogs can lead to destructive behavior

oliverheatdish
After a session of Tag! Oliver is enjoying sitting in front of the heat dish.

s like chewing or destroying inappropriate items, anxiety, excessive barking and generally make them not so fun to be around.  Here’s how we keep boredom at bay!

  1. Make them work for their food!  Whether it be a puzzle toy, treat dispensing toy or our favorite indoor game- nose work- making your dog work for their food will stimulate their mind.
  2. Bones & Chews! Sometimes replacing a meal with a raw meaty bone does the trick!  Not only will chewing on the bone promote dental health, the intense chewing action will keep your pup occupied and exhausted. Stay away from cooked bones- they splinter! We love Bully Sticks!  They’re just natural beef tendon, and they help clean teeth!
  3. Training time!  Utilize staying inside in the cold weather to teach a new trick or work on the basics.  Just a few minutes of training time with yummy treats can get your pup thinking.
  4. Toys!  Make sure you rotate them.  Oliver especially gets bored with the same toys every day.  We make sure to have a stash on hand of new toys and toys he hasn’t seen in a while.  Give them a new or “new to them right now” toy on a cold winter day.
  5. Indoor games!  This is one we use a LOT.  Rachel is a fetch-aholic and Oliver LOVES to play tag.  Getting your dog’s heart rate up even in a small space will help keep them nice and quiet!

What are some of your favorite ways of entertaining your dog on a cold day?


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