January and February can’t be your dog’s favorite months of the year. The sun can be hard to find, there are hardly any flower beds to sniff, and neighborhood playmates may be vacationing or hiding from the cold.
Yet even when temperatures are constantly below 50°F, there’s still a lot you can do in or around Leesburg, VA to keep your canine companion upbeat.
Keep them busy with indoor play
No one is playing fetch while housebound. But lucky for your dog – and your own mental stimulation – you can devise a few other activities. These include:
● A treasure hunt, where your dog searches for favorite toys or treats around the house
● Hide-and-seek, where your pet tracks down treat-bearing family or friends
● The cup game, where he or she sniffs out a mystery snack from under a cup
Simple tricks – like “stand”, “sit”, “spin”, or “wave” – can also be turned into rewarding games while keeping your pet’s skills sharp for any visitors.
Treat them with homemade goodies
You can also keep your pet’s mind occupied – and their stomach full – by preparing treats for them.
Let them stay in the kitchen as you do so. With their eyes turned to you for a couple of hours, that should keep them from chasing their tails and running circles into your carpet. It will also keep you stocked with yummy rewards for indoor play. (Of course, it would be good if you’ve successfully taken your pet through behavioral dog training before bringing them to kitchen duty.)
Pick a warmer day for special adventures
Is there a nearby park or beach you can easily go to? Check the forecast for milder days. Take advantage of these and go where crowds normally won’t in the winter. The change of scenery from your house, however un-summery, can help lift your dog’s mood. The fresh air will perk you up as well.
Just remember: before planning any trips, double-check how safe going out in winter will be for both you and your dog.
Find an indoor play facility
Dog training and daycare facilities are also open during the winter – and you may certainly bring your pet there to lift their spirits. Your dog might still miss the feel of soil and grass, but playing in one of these indoor parks can burn away all the restlessness of winter.
He or she could even enjoy group playtime without additional stress, since some facilities can schedule sessions with dogs of similar temperament. As your dog lets loose under the eyes of certified trainers, you can kick up your heels and relax as well.
5 Ways to Help Pets (And You!) Beat Winter Boredom, OneGreenPlanet.org
How to Beat Your Pet’s Winter Boredom, PetSafe.net
Bored Dog? Try These Winter Games, PetFinder.com