Friday, December 3, 2010

Wintertime Play

Most dogs enjoy spending time outside, even when the wind is blowing and snow is covering the ground. Being homebound can be plain boring for your dog; however, there’s no reason to be stuck indoors with your this winter! Just be sure to keep things safe by avoiding ice and limiting the length of time you stay outside. Here are some great outdoor wintertime ideas for you and your dog:

The game of fetch is not just a summer sport; it can be enjoyed all year long, even in the snow! In fact, you can make fetch even more fun by throwing a toy into a pile of the white stuff. Your dog will test his or her tracking and digging skills by searching for the toy. Just be sure to pay attention to where you throw it in case Fido can’t find it!

Obstacle Course
Exercise your dog’s body and mind by creating an obstacle course. Dig paths through the snow with a shovel and set up obstacles for your dog along the way. For instance, place a ramp in the path so your dog will have to walk up and jump off. Position a low sliding board your dog can easily walk up somewhere along the path and watch your pooch enjoy sliding down. Make lots of curves along the course and end it with a loop so that the dog ends up back at the starting line. Once your dog gets the hang of the game, time it to see how fast he or she can complete the course. Be sure to give your pooch lots of praise when it finishes the course, and always supervise his play.

Snowshoeing through the snow is great exercise for you and can provide lots of entertainment for your dog! Bring your dog along for the walk (on leash if you’re in an open area) and watch him bound through the drifts.

Scavenger Hunt
Among dogs’ favorite activities is finding objects, so a scavenger hunt is a perfect way to keep him busy and happy this winter. Set up a scavenger hunt for your dog by hiding treats in a tree or evergreen bush. Place the treats in low-growing branches and allow your dog to sniff and search for the goodies. Alternatively, you can place treats in other hiding spots throughout your yard, like a bird bath or wood pile. Just be sure your choice of hiding places are clean and safe for your dog to be nosing around.


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