It’s mid-December and approaching the thick of winter. The days are shorter, the weather’s worsening, and the last thing you want to be doing is standing in the pouring rain exercising your dog.
But try telling that to your pup when he or she has been couped up in the house all day while you’ve been working or out shopping in preparation for decking the halls with boughs of holly.
“I’m a dog, I need a walk. Now get me the hell out of here,” is what your best friend would say if he or she could speak. “Outside right now or the Christmas tree gets it!”
Mental and physical stimulation
Having a canine companion is about so much more than food, walkies and, if they’re really lucky, cuddles on the settee of a winter’s evening. Dogs need mental as well as physical stimulation. And luckily for you when the weather’s bad, you can tire out your dog more easily with mental stimulation than ever you can with physical exercise.
Dogs can walk forever. It’s what they’re designed to do. Unless your dog is unwell or elderly or you yourself are a seasoned triathlete, you’re highly unlikely to have the energy to walk your dog into tiredness. It simply isn’t going to happen!
Indoor dog games
The solution? Indoor dog games. You’ve heard the saying “a tired dog is a happy dog.” Well the same goes for a mentally stimulated dog. And it doesn’t matter what the weather or where you are, you can always play games with your best friend.
Sadly, a great many dogs end up in rescue shelters with so-called behavioural problems. Very often, these are not the fault of the dog. They’re the result of a bored, understimulated dog resorting to unruly or destructive behavior in order to vent its frustration. Its lack of exercise or lack of mental stimulation. Very often, its lack of ‘we’ time – that’s time spent doing things with you.
So let’s put an end to this lack of mental stimulation. Play indoor games with your dog and see how quickly your dog becomes a much, much happier one!
(Look out for my next post in the series, Dog Treat Treasure Hunt coming shortly!)