As winter begins and that cold weather makes us wanna hunker down, it is important to remember to get up and get moving with our pets! Play time will benefit you both this winter and we’ve got some inspiration to get you started!
- Staying in shape with exercise: Being glued to the TV or Internet wont be doing our bodies any favors this winter. Getting outside with your dog and tossing the old tennis ball, snow ball, or Frisbee will have outstanding cardiovascular benefits. Who knew burning calories could be so fun! Another way to increase activity is to add one or more walks or lengthening your walks in your daily routines. Adding just 15 minutes to your routine can help you burn 200 calories and could mean a few extra treats for your four legged friend without packing on inches to their waist.
- Social media boost: Same old profile pictures of you and your pet snuggling on the couch? Not to worry! Give that account a boost with an updated pictures in fun new places! Make it an adventure and see how many likes you can get for an action packed shot with your main squeeze! Check out new places, parks, or landmarks. Bring snacks and enjoy the time together and then share it with the world!
- Meeting new people: Think of how many people and other dogs you and your furry friend will meet going to dog parks or dog friendly places this winter… I can tell you that you’ll meet more people this way than by playing a video game at home by yourself. Of course use caution when taking your pup to dog friendly places, know their limits, have them fully vaccinated and up to date on heartworm, flea, tick, and intestinal parasite prevention, and above all else have fun!
- Socializing your pup: Most dogs benefit from socialization with other dogs. This is where those dog friendly areas like dog parks again come in handy. They aren’t just for well adjusted all loving pups. A shy dog may find the perfect playmate that is gentle enough to encourage him/her to come out of her shell. Much needed “Dog time” can be good for the soul. As always if you have a fearful or shy pup, use caution and know when your pet is uncomfortable with a situation and when enough is enough.
- Seeing new places: Don’t wait for your friends schedules to line up, this can be so difficult. Grab your pup and hit the road. Take your dog to places you have never been before. Small road trip or walk a new neighborhood or route than you are used to. It’ll be fun exploring for the both of you. I bet you’ll get some awesome new pictures to post about as well!
- Mental stimulation: Does your dog destroy things in the home? It is likely that your dog may have an active brain and is high energy. When they don’t have something to stimulate them mentally and physically they turn to destruction. You can combat boredom by hiding treats around the house for your dog to search and find, get brain puzzle games for your pet, playing fetch, or hiding treats in a bucket full of snow can keep your pet busy for hours. On the other hand some of you may have a pet who is totally content being a couch potato which is great but they can always benefit from mental stimulation as well!
- Training: Playtime is a great time for training your dog. A simple game of fetch can teach your pup valuable commands like the “recall” command and “drop it” command. These simple commands can help keep your pet safe. You can teach your pet to “wait” also, pick games that can teach your pet new skills or just simply reinforce ones they have already learned.
Do plenty of snuggling this winter but remember to keep moving too as it will keep you and your pet healthy this winter!