Dogs need year round play and that means dogs of all ages and sizes. To a dog, play and attention are equal to love. Keep in mind your dog’s overall health and get veterinary clearance before starting any new exercise program. That said, there are many ways to keep a dog active and playing year-round, especially in the cabin fever-inducing winter months.
Short But Brisk Walks
Keeping active is the key to keeping a dog’s mind and body in shape. No matter how old (or young) a dog is, mobility is important. Use caution if a dog has arthritis or other mobility issues, of course. When venturing outside, be sure to protect a dog from the elements with a warm sweater. Pay close attention to the paws and use something like a paw coating product or dog outdoor booties.
If you are like Grigri (my 13 year old Pom) you like a short brisk walk while being carried around ;)
Dogs and cats get cold, particularly short-haired breeds, senior citizens, puppies, and pets with medical conditions. Look for an insulated sweater with a turtleneck, that covers the belly, and that allows for protection from neck to tip of tail.
Yes, I know, turtleneck's are soooo not done.. so just don't tell your dog :)
Never force a dog to wear clothing if they are truly uncomfortable. While many dogs benefit from the additional layering in colder temperatures, try letting your dog wear the coat in the house for minutes at a time. If he or she is not responsive — or does the famous “freeze in place” pose — scratch the idea and move on.
Yes, Freeze & Drop move, done by Grigri every time I try to put a jacket on.. he prefers being nakkid.. So when I get out I make sure it's not tooo cold for him.
To live a healthy canine lifestyle, a dog should be getting 20 to 60 minutes of exercise each day and whether he needs to lose weight or is simply maintaining a healthy fitness level that means consistency
Sitting Up to beg for 10 reps 'Lily's signature move) will help strengthen your dog’s core muscles improving balance and stability. Those core muscles are used for walking, trotting, jumping and many other actions so it is important to strengthen them regularly.
Rolling Over is another good exercise for core muscles. Do four to five rolls each direction so you are targeting muscles equally.
Shaking Hands is a nice stretch for the shoulder muscles but be sure to do both front paws 5 to 10 reps for a balanced workout.
Commando Crawling on his belly for 10 feet following a healthy, low-fat treat. This is good for rear end, shoulders and core muscles.
Indoor “board games” for dogs are designed to exercise a dog’s brain. These activity toys encourage problem solving in a multitude of ways: finding hidden treats via lifting and pushing blocks, pushing pieces and turning discs.
Put a treat in one hand or under a cup and see if your dog can find it from his seated position. Since sedentary dogs tend to gain weight, keep the type of treats to a low-cal or healthy minimum.
Paint Like “Paw-casso”
Dogs channel their inner Rembrandt with this activity. Mix together cornstarch, flour, water and food coloring to a thickened consistency. Put paint on art paper, place plastic wrap on top of it and let Bowser walk all over it. Remove the plastic wrap, allow to air-dry, then proudly display. always used nontoxic finger paints. You could always do this project and send pawprint holiday cards out.
Do not forget to check out our number 8 tomorrow...