Winter is officially here, and although there isn’t the usual snow on the ground, it’s cold outside. Last week, the Climate Prediction Center released an updated winter outlook for December, January, and February, predicting below average temperatures and a good chance of a wetter than average snow season for Minnesota. So, that means the days are short, the cold is here for a while, and the snow is coming—-perhaps with a vengeance.
The hibernation that comes with winter can make us feel cooped up with cabin fever. For our canine friends, we must make the extra effort to help them expend their energy so they can be well-behaved. Below are a few ideas that may help.
- Make the most out of each walk.In order to help Leo burn more energy while
on our shorter winter walks, he wears a vest with two side pockets—a weight vest of sorts. In each pocket, I add bean-bag weights in half-pound increments, up to ten percent of his body weight. For Leo, that’s a total of three pounds. This helps him burn extra energy, even though our walks are shorter. (Leo’s vet confirmed that this was safe. The key is to make sure the vest fits properly so there is no rubbing or slipping.)
- Let ’em play! A day of play each week at doggy day care, like Pampered Pooch Playground, can leave your dog tired and well-behaved for an extra day. This also helps take some of the pressure off of you to be the only source of physical and mental exercise.
- Mental workouts are just as important as physical workouts. Training classes, such as agility training at The Canine Coach, are a great way to socialize, exercise, and challenge your dog.
- Socialize with your dog at Dog Days at the Dome. The Metrodome is open for doggy fun and socializing from 5 p.m.–9 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, Tuesday, January 31, Thursday, February 9, and Tuesday, February 28. It’s just $5 per dog (with up to two people), and free parking is available.
- Go to a dog park—indoors! Have you heard about Ruff House, the Canine Social Club in Edina? There are five membership options to fit your schedule. The most flexible options include access 24/7.
What do you do to help manage your dog’s energy during winter? We’d love to hear from you.
*** Blog post by Birgitta who is a Pampered Pooch Playground customer. Read more about her by clicking here. ***