How to Keep Your Pet Active this Winter
During the colder weather months, it’s quite easy for us and our pets to fall into a bit of a lazy routine. This being said, it is important to maintain physical activity for your pets during this time to provide them with overall, optimal health. Here are a few tips to help you and your pets stay busy this winter.
Our canine friends are sure to enjoy these:
Nice Walk Outdoors
- Be sure to dress you and your pet up appropriately during this time. Smaller dogs and dogs with a thinner coat should wear sweaters/jackets. If walking on a salted path, be sure to provide your pet with booties and wash their feet thoroughly when coming inside to avoid further irritation.
Practice New Dog Tricks Indoors
- There are countless tricks and training lessons you can do from the comfort of your own home. Start with a simple dog trick like "stay" or "shake," and work up to something more complicated like "roll over." These tricks will result in good behaviour and help you and your dog bond.
Find an Exciting Activity
- Outdoor activities like hiking or agility training are excellent ways to keep your dog in tip-top shape. Agility classes normally teach your dog to navigate a course of obstacles to jump over and run through. Most cities have training centers that offer a variety of classes that can introduce you and your dog to new challenges… some are even offered indoors!
Both Cats and Dogs will enjoy these ones...
Make Mealtime Stimulating
- There are many ways to stimulate your pets mind and body without venturing into the winter weather. Offer their meals in a feeding toy rather than just a food bowl. This will be beneficial for your pet as it will make them work for their food, in addition to slowing down how fast they eat, which can help prevent serious gastrointestinal conditions.The same can be done for cats as well, you can hide small portions of food around the house in bowls or in feeding toys. Feeding in this manner will also increase their daily physical activity and hone their hunting instinct.
Make Treat Time Fun
- There are two simple ways to make giving your pet treats more interesting — use a treat-dispensing toy or play a game of hide a seek using the treats. Start by keeping your pet in one room while you hide treats in another. Then let them loose to find all the hidden goodies. For cats, a catnip toy or favorite treats will work as well. Start easy by showing them the toy and then placing it in a location that they can see. When they get the toy, give them a treat and start again. As they begin to understand the game, you can make the toy/treat more difficult to find.
More for our Feline friends...
- There are a wide variety of cat toys — from feathers to balls to pretty much anything dangling from a string — that can get your cat off of the couch and moving around. Find one that you two really enjoy and make them bounce and pounce around.
Make Your Home a 'Cat Jungle'
- Pick up a cat tree for your kitty to increase the vertical space in the house. Cats love climbing up to higher spaces so they better observe their environment. Cat trees give kitty new nooks to explore and places to relax in. They are usually made out of material that encourages your cat to scratch so they aren’t ruining the furniture either.
Any changes in your pets activity can lead to weight gain or weight loss. Monitor their body condition closely. Should you notice a fluctuation in weight, give us a call and we can discuss a suitable dietary change for your pet to ensure they remain on the right track to optimal health.