Winter can be a tough season to get through, especially if you have pets cooped up in the house. Just like people, your dogs can be susceptible to cabin fever. This can cause health issues and make them act out due to boredom. When the snow piles up and the cold wind starts blowing, here are a few ways to fight back against cabin fever.
Teach a new trick
One of the best way to stimulate a dog’s mind is to teach them a new trick. From beginners to salty veterans, dogs love to learn new skills, please their owners, and earn their favorite treats. Grab some small, inexpensive training treats, and try to spend 20-30 minutes per day working on your dog’s new skill. Some of the best ways to help your dog think critically come from “chain” tricks, where they have to link previously learned skills in order to get to the new one. “Sit” into “lay down” into “roll over” will test their abilities and keep them from getting bored.
Play hide and seek
If you have extra room in the house, consider a game of hide and seek with your pooch. Load up on some training treats or their favorite toy, have another person hold them in a room (or use the tip above and tell them to “stay”), and find yourself a good hiding spot. Call out and let them come search for you. They will be thrilled to find you, with tail wags and smiles aplenty, and will start sprinting to seek once they know they will get rewarded for it. If your dog is having trouble finding you, give them a another call out to move them along.
Toughen up and take them for a walk
This is probably the one you do not want to hear, but the best way to fight cabin fever is to just bundle up and brave the cold. Especially if you have a bigger dog, they most likely will not be bothered by anything but the most bitter cold. Even little dogs or dogs without heavy winter coats can bundle up a bit. The most likely discomfort for your dog will come from their paws on cold or wet concrete: grab them some booties and they should be fine. They will love getting out of the house and romping through the snow, and it will do you good to get up and get your blood flowing as well.
Don’t let you or your canine get those winter blues! Stay active and fight off cabin fever by trying these methods. It follows that your dog will probably not be as active in the cold winter as they were when the weather was nice - keep a supply of a stain and odor eliminator like Bio-nihilator on hand to clean up any messes in the house.