Now that it’s December, wherever you are, the weather is likely pretty icky. Some dogs are completely fine to brave snowbanks, cold temperatures, or icy trails, but for some dogs it’s not a possibility. Many breeds are extremely sensitive to cold, not tall enough to navigate through inches of snow, or perhaps have health problems that prevent them from strenuous activity. Never fear, though! At PetFaves, we think it’s very important to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated during all months, so we’ve put together a list of ways to keep your dog from ripping up your favorite pair of shoes out of boredom this winter!
1. DIY Nosework
Your dog has up to 300 million olfactory receptors in his nose- let him use them! Take a favorite high- value reward (such as small pieces of deli turkey) and hide them around a room in your home. Good places include low shelves, windowsills, or chairs. You may need to guide him to the first treat, but after that, he’ll likely catch on fast! Encouraging your dog to use his nose is a great way to keep him from being bored!
2. Sick Tricks
Although your dog most likely knows the basics, there are literally endless tricks that you can teach. Called “party tricks”, these are great fun for your dog to learn, and even more fun to show off to friends! Some popular tricks include spinning in a circle, waving, taking a bow, or picking up and holding an object. As a bonus, the AKC awards Trick Dog Titles to dogs who can perform a certain amount of tricks off of the designated list! https://www.akc.org/sports/trick-dog/
3. Try Something New
No matter your location, there is likely a dog training facility somewhere near you. Even though your pup might be far past age for puppy obedience, many trainers offer fun, physically active classes such as Agility, Rally-Obedience, or Nosework!
4. Will Work For Food
Now that you’re teaching your dog new tricks, take it a step further and make your dog work for their meals! You can use your pup’s breakfast and dinner as a reward during training sessions. This can not only increase motivation, but can strengthen the bond between you two as the food is coming directly from you- rather than coming from a bowl!
5. Field Trips Aren’t Just For Kids
If you’re going to a store or location that is pet friendly, bring your dog along! The new sights, smells, and sounds will be beneficial to your dog becoming a more well rounded, socialized companion- as well as tire him out! If you’re not sure if a store is pet friendly, the best thing to do is to check the website or call- sometimes the most unlikely stores are actually pet friendly!
6. Spend Time
All the things we’ve listed here are good ways to keep your dog mentally and physically active, but as a good dog owner, the best thing you can do for your pup is to spend time with him. Destructive behaviors are usually born out of boredness and excess of energy, so this winter, even during the holiday rush, make sure you spend some extra time with Fido doing something both of you enjoy!