Winter Boredom Busters
With the onset of the winter weather, it may become harder to keep on top of your dog’s energy requirements with more time spent inside and less outside braving the elements! However there are a number of simple ways we can increase mental and physical stimulation to engage our dogs and create calmer housemates during the colder months.
Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell– getting them to really use their nose can be even more tiring and rewarding for your dog than physical exercise! Change up your walk routine to take in new neighbourhoods and slow your pace to allow dogs to smell their surrounds – this provides fantastic mental stimulation. There are sniff classes and activities run around Hobart such as K9 Nose Works – please let us know if you would like more information.
Play is good for your dog physical, mentally and emotionally. Choose games that are fun and rewarding for you both. Mix it up with different toys and games to keep their minds working. Play hide & seek around the house, teach your dog to fetch, or engage in a fun game of tug with a good quality toy. Teach your dog basic rules such as “take & release” to keep these games safe. Interactive play & puzzle systems such as the Nina Ottoson range are fantastic for engaging in safe indoor play with your dog – this type of toy should only be used with supervision.
Read more about Nina Ottoson toys here.
Most dogs are extremely food motivated and feeding time is a fantastic opportunity to challenge and engage your pup Food dispensing toys such as Kongs, Kong Wobblers and other products of this type are brilliant and you can up the levels of difficulty with different fillings and trickier toys. Products such as snuffle mats, slow feeder bowls and even feeding from a muffin tin can slow your dogs eating time and really make them think. It’s great fun and very rewarding to watch your dog learn! Do ensure you account for any treats or extra food in your dogs daily intake so as not to overfeed.
Check out these great ideas for Kong Stuffings.
Invest in some really good quality toys of varying shapes, textures, sizes and interactivity -squeaking, crinkling etc. Rotate your toys to keep them interesting and be sure to always initially supervise play with any new toy to ensure they are safe. Longer lasting toys such as hard nylon bones (for example the Trio Tasty Bone) can provide a safe way to engage in chewing which is a natural stress reliever for dogs. Ensure you seek advice to select appropriate toys for your dogs breed and chewing strength.
Learning new tricks and skills can really give your dogs brain a good workout! Obedience and trick training gives a wonderful opportunity to build the bond between you and your pet, as well as being lots of fun for you both. There are endless possibilities using positive reinforcement training methods – check out YouTube for some amazingly creative canines. Have a look below at what Jasmine can do!
We stock a great range of quality toys, treats and many interactive toys including Kong products and Nina Ottoson puzzle games here at North Hobart Veterinary Hospital. Come in anytime or contact us to discuss ideas for keeping the winter blues away!
Follow us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with current news and specials.