Your dog is a social creature who craves time with you and meeting and greeting other dogs and people all over the neighborhood. Making some preparations ahead of time can help you both enjoy your outings more. Don’t forget to take some pictures of your pup chasing snowballs and gallivanting through the drifts. You’ll enjoy looking back at the wintry fun in the heat of summer.
Even if you snicker at the neighbor’s dog dressed up from head to toe, depending on your dog’s coat and personality, you may wish to try some gear out for yourself prior to judging. After all, the main reason for coats, booties and hats is to ensure your dog is warm and dry; not to make a fashion statement. Do some research online to discover what fellow dog owners are using and get some feedback prior to spending a ridiculous amount of money. Ask if exchanges or refunds are available if your dog refuses to cooperate.
Indoor walking venues
Many people walk malls and ice arenas during colder months. Is there a dog-friendly location for indoor exercise within your city? Call your favorite pet store or vet clinic to inquire if you are looking for the best spots.
More car and truck rides
One way to compensate for less outdoor time is to take your pup on quick outings. As temperatures are dropping, you definitely don’t want to leave Rover unattended in your vehicle for extended periods of time. However, next time you are running to drop off or pick up the kids or grandkids or filling up at the gas station, consider inviting your beloved doodle. Any quality time with you will be more than appreciated.
Muddy weather gear
Have an extra blanket in the car to save your seats and some old towels available at home if you don’t already. Being prepared will save you from cleaning excess muddy footprints all winter and keep your frustration level from rising. Keep an extra umbrella handy in your car as well. Any small steps that can minimize the potential of your pooch shaking a wet coat in close proximity will keep you happier and drier in the long run.
Many of us naturally go into hibernation mode as the days get shorter and colder. Don’t beat yourself up for honoring your natural rhythms. Keep your puppy happy by incorporating more snuggle time. If you allow your dog on the bed or couch, you’re all set. If not, create a new habit by hunkering down near their restful place and read or watch TV together to max and relax.
While you may not want too rowdy in the house, you can still have fun and exercise with your dog. Find a soft ball that you can throw for a light game of fetch. If you have a treadmill, consider training your doodle to use it for walking and jogging. Use treats to teach the dog where to stand and start slow. The last thing you want to do is to scare or injure your four-legged friend. Alternatively, consider running stairs in your home together. Playing tug-of-war can be another fun way to engage during less savory weather.