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Wednesday
Jan262011

Winter Activities

In the Season of Seemingly Never Ending Snow, you and your pooch may be feeling a little cooped up.  Here are some suggestions for activities to do with your furry friend to keep his sanity, and yours. 

1)      Teach him a new trick: Start with a tasty piece of food or pup’s favorite toy.  Get his interest by waving it just out of reach of his nose.  Once you have him following your hand with his nose, use that to guide him into the desired position. Once the dog is in position, give him the treat or the toy.  Try “take a bow,” “sit pretty” or “beg,” “roll over,” “spin,” “dance” or “hop”… you get the idea.

2)      Play hide and seek: Have your dog watch you hide food treats and let him go get them.  Once he understands the game, hide the treats in a different room and then tell him to go find them.  This will help him use his nose and his mind.

Note: Lots of dogs get a little portly during the cold season.  If you are using food to entertain your dog be sure to take it out of the dog’s daily allotment of food so he doesn’t get too jolly.   

3)      Indoor fetch: Just because you are stuck inside doesn’t mean your pup can’t play his favorite game.  A hallway or flight of stairs work just fine.  For more intense play and a more tired dog, throw the toy up the stairs.  After a few turns you will see how tired this makes your dog. 

4)      Outdoor play: If all else fails, bundle up and head outside.  Most dogs, even small dogs love playing in the snow.  Have a one way snowball fight.  Believe it or not, lots of dogs love this as they try and catch the snow.  Just make sure your snowballs are loosely packed.  Not in the mood for a snowball fight? Try snow angles.  Your pup will get into the winter spirit in no time.   

Hope this helps! Enjoy the fun.

Dr. Mary

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