Winter Dog Care
I have had it with winter this year. 2008-09 has been the longest winter I've spent. I've spent most of this winter just waiting for nice weather so me and the girls can get back out and play and work in the yard. We don't get out for walks because of the bone chilling, sub zero temperatures, and in my area at least we have had weeks of frost bite warnings. Oh – and the record breaking amount of snow also helps make this winter seem endless.
Check out these two pics of the same view out my garden doors – Guess which one I like.
Did you know dogs get the winter blues too? Here are a few tips to ease the blahs, and help make your day a little better for you and your dogs.
PLAY HIDE AND SEEK. I have Lady and Lola find hidden TREATS (homemade and healthy of course). They know this game when I start going room to room with the treats, and they actually sit down in the TV room and wait for the ready, set, go command. It reminds me of when little children are hunting for Easter Eggs. They become exhuberant, happy, active and energized. It is good fun for me and them, and we have all temporarily forgotten about the minus 20 degree windchill outside.
GO FOR A CAR RIDE. A change in pace from the usual indoor boredom will pick you all up. Sometimes I don't have anywhere in particular to go, and just drive around on the county roads so we all have a new and different view of the world for a while. This breaks the tedium and I know the words “car ride” send Lady and Lola into jumps for joy. In these two pics we were on one of the concession roads by my house. There is never much traffic and the girls both like to smell the new and amazing environment around them. Lady is sitting beside me on the passenger seat, and her window is open, but she has always sat like a proper “lady”. Lola is in the back, and I took the picture in my rear view mirror. Both dogs know that jumping and playing is strictly forbidden. I have dog seat belts for them also, and have trained them since puppyhood, so I am not distracted from my driving duties.
INVITE OTHERS DOGS OVER FOR PLAYTIME. Just like us, social interaction is very important for your dog. If you have friends or relatives with dogs, they are probably just as bored as you are. Have a doggy play date at your house and then take turns every other week or so visiting them at their homes. Here Clyde and Tater, my nephews pugs are tuckered out at my house after romping with Lola.
TAKE YOUR DOG FOR A DAY AT DAYCARE. Just for a really different break find a good doggie day care in your area and book a half day to take your dogs in for a change of pace. They can make new friends and you can get away guilt free for a few hours all to yourself. I only have done this once so far this winter, but plan on another day out for Lady and Lola once more before spring. They came home in such good spirits and that alone made my day.
TEACH A NEW TRICK TO YOUR DOG. Just for fun and to pass the time, this also takes everyones mind off the long cold days you've spent stuck looking at the same four walls.
Lady loves the snow, and once out it is difficult to get her to come back in. I can't let her lay in the snow too long because of her recent flare up of limping and hip problems. See here about my old girl's ageing problems.
Lola really is more into running out and as quickly as possible getting back in the house. Do business and retreat. No fooling around for her.