5 Ways to Entertain Your Dog During Cold Weather

Dog playing in snow

 

 5 Ways to Entertain Your Dog During Cold Weather 

Winter can be a lot of fun and many dogs love winter. They enjoy romping in the snow and burying their little faces in it to smell what is underneath. Unfortunately for them, their owners, us, are not always as enthusiastic about it. Plus, as responsible dog owners, we have to look out for the dog. Dogs will play forever if they are excited, but that does not necessarily mean that they are not damaging themselves. 

What does not occur to many dog owners is that their dogs can suffer from the same cold-related problems we do. Can they get frostbite? Can they get hypothermia? Are these two cold-related injuries as serious for dogs as they are for humans? Yes, they are. This means a winter of pent-up energy. What’s an owner to do? 

Tip One If your dog has a crate, particularly the wired ones, you can have a lot of fun with them that will require little interaction on your part. This is good for those times when you have to clean the house or cook dinner or perform some other chore that precludes you from actively being engaged in playing with your furry friend. 

If you have a tug toy, you can attach it to the top of the crate so that it hangs down into the crate. Your dog will try very hard to either find a way to get the tug down or will just enjoy tugging on it as she does with you. 

Tip Two Get a toy that dispenses treats. There are a variety of these toys and are not just limited to the type you throw. Some actually require your dog to use their brains to figure out how to find the treat and get it out. Dogs love trying to get the treats out, but once they master it, they will get bored. You can pique their interest again by rotating the types of treats themselves. This will make the toy a new experience for your pup. 

Tip Three Play the Find It game. When they are sleeping or simply not paying attention, take a couple of toys and hide them. When they are looking bored or starting to get into things they shouldn’t, challenge them to find their toy. This works best if your dog knows what you call the toy. Since they can learn about 100 words you should always name a new toy like tennis for a tennis ball. When you play with them, tell them to go get tennis when you throw it. They will quickly learn the name and will be better at this game. 

Tip Four Another “find it” game is to hide treats in various places. Tell your dog to go find the treat. You may have to accompany him on his first couple of tries, but he will get the picture. There are treats lying around and he’s missing this golden opportunity. 

Tip Five If you have a container or a ball your dog has chewed a hole into (like mine does), put some toys or bones into the ball. Let him watch you then give him the ball. I put his smaller bones in there and eventually he started getting them out, then tried to get them back in. He created his own game. 

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