As the mercury drops in our thermometers and the sun sets later and later in the day, it can become more difficult to keep your dog as active as he needs to be. That in combination with holiday handouts and table scraps can create the perfect storm of extra calories and unwanted begging behaviors.
So, how can you keep your canine friend healthy, trim, and having fun?
1. Bundle Up and Go for a Walk
Just because it’s chilly out doesn’t mean you and your dog must stay indoors. Throw on a scarf, coat, and boots, grab that leash and continue your normal walk routine. Spending time in nature has a profoundly positive effect on you and your dog.
From burning calories to releasing endorphins, walking helps you and your pup make the most of your time together while staying in-shape and healthy.
If your doggo is older or smaller, you will want to find a well-fitted sweater to help keep him warm. And if you’re walking at night or during sunset or sunrise, use our dog reflective vest to stay visible and safe on your journey.
2. Turn Mealtime into a Game
As winter approaches, dogs tend to spend more time indoors. This can lead to boredom and bad behavior. Bust that boredom and provide your pup with indoor playtime by enhancing mealtime with a snuffle mat. Foraging provides dogs with much needed mental stimulation and allows them to release their extra energy as they seek and hunt those tasty bits.
The hide-n-seek experience is exciting and entertaining for your pup. If your pup can’t get enough of this game, try hiding treats in his mat from time to time.
3. Consider Doggie Daycare
If you work all day and come home after dark, consider bringing your beloved dog to doggie daycare. Doggie daycare helps your pup or dog work on his social skills under the supervision of people who just love, love, love pups. Your dog will come home sleepy and rest well.
Doggie daycare also helps prep dogs and pups for holiday boarding if you’re planning on going out of town.
4. Schedule a Puppy Playdate
Do you go to the dog park or have friends with their own dogs? If so, set up a weekly or twice weekly playdate for your dog with theirs. This is the perfect way to keep your dog active without having to brave the cold more than necessary.
Encourage more play with new toys for when your dog’s friends come over. Dog rope toys are ideal for tug-o-war and interactive play. And stuffingless plush toys will eliminate the clean up after your doggie’s playdate.
5. Encourage Guests to Give Dog-Mom-Approved Treats
You’ll be thankful if you establish dog-friendly handouts before guests arrive for Thanksgiving or your holiday dinner.
Keep a small candy dish here and there with training treats to discourage unhealthy and potentially dangerous handouts. And when you know what your pup is munching on, you’ll enjoy peace of mind and be able to enjoy hosting friends and family without worrying about your dog’s diet.
Fall and winter don’t have to be doggie downtime. Choose a few of these tips and have the time of your life with your 4-legged friend this fall and holiday season. Active play, healthy treats, and regular walk all contribute to a healthy lifestyle while keeping your pup in shape all year long.
And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, consider hosting doggie Thanksgiving.