Keep Your Dog From Going Stir Crazy This Winter

by on 03/01/11 at 2:31 pm

Dogs have to go outside, if not to relieve themselves then to stretch their legs and get some much-needed oxygen pumping in their blood. When bad weather strikes, however, you may find you have to limit trips to brief moments in the backyard while he does his business…and you vow to clean up later. While it’s nice to spend a cozy evening at home, your dog may get a bit anxious if his routine is altered and there’s nowhere to expend his pent-up energy. So how do you cope in the house with the dog who likely doesn’t want to be there 24/7?

It’s important in times when you can’t always exercise your dogs’ legs to instead exercise their minds. When a pet is occupied with something – be it a toy or with a loved one, there is less of a chance he will explode and run amok. If you plan ahead for inclement weather, there are ways to keep your pup happy and healthy while you’re cooped up.

1) Play hide the treats. Your pup loves a good treat, no doubt. If he’s been good or can perform a trick, he will probably expect something good to eat. While you’re stuck indoors, why not make a game of it? Hide the treat in a certain place that is safe where the dog can reach, and see how quickly he can find it. If he can remove a lid from a plastic jar, or sniff out the snack from under a blanket, it’s his to keep.

2) Buy “calming” toys. There are special dog toys available where you can hid a treat or dollop of peanut butter. Like puzzle boxes, they need to be opened a certain way, and your dog can spend a good amount of time on such a brainteaser without tearing up the house.

With these tactics in place, you can keep your dog happy and your family sane.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on pet supplies and dog supplies.

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