For a dog, play and attention equal love. Consider your dog's overall health and obtain veterinary approval before embarking on a new training program. That said, there are many ways to keep a dog active and playing all year round, especially in the winter months.
Short but brisk walks
Staying active is key to keeping a dog's mind and body in shape. No matter how old (or young) a dog is, mobility is important. Of course, be careful if a dog has arthritis or other mobility issues. When venturing outside, protect a dog from the elements with a warm sweater. Pay close attention to the paws and use something like a dog paw coating product or outdoor booties.
If you're like Grigri (my 13 year old Pom) you like a short brisk walk while being carried around ;)
Dogs and cats get cold, especially short-haired breeds, seniors, puppies, and pets with medical conditions. Look for an insulated sweater with a turtleneck that covers the belly and offers protection from the neck to the tip of the tail.
Yes I know, turtlenecks are soooo not done.. so just don't tell your dog :)
Never force a dog to wear clothes if he is really uncomfortable. While many dogs benefit from the extra layers in colder temperatures, try letting your dog wear the coat inside the house for minutes at a time. If he or she doesn't respond -- or does the famous "freeze in place" pose -- scrap the idea and move on.
Yes, Freeze & Drop move, done by Grigri every time I try to put on a coat.. he prefers to be nakkid.. So when I take him for a walk I make sure it's not too cold.
To lead a healthy canine lifestyle a dog needs to be given 20 to 60 minutes of exercise every day and whether they need to lose weight or just maintain a healthy fitness level, that means consistency
Sitting up to beg for about 10 reps (Lily's signature move) helps strengthen your dog's core muscles and improves balance and stability. Those core muscles are used for walking, trotting, jumping and many other actions, so it's important to strengthen them regularly.
Rolling over is another good exercise for the core muscles. Do four to five rolls in each direction, evenly targeting the muscles.
Shake Hands is a nice stretch for the shoulder muscles, but make sure you do 5 to 10 reps on both front legs for a balanced workout.
Crawl on his stomach for 10 feet after a healthy, low-fat treat. This is good for the back, shoulders and core muscles.
I"board games" for dogs are designed to train a dog's brain. This activity toy encourages problem solving in several ways: find hidden treats by lifting and pushing blocks, pushing pieces and spinning discs.
Put a treat in your hand or under a cup and see if your dog can find it from his sitting position. Since sedentary dogs tend to gain weight, limit the type of treats to a low or healthy snack.
Paint like "Paw-casso"
Dogs channel their inner Rembrandt with this activity. Mix cornstarch, flour, water and food coloring to a thickened consistency. Put paint on art paper, put plastic wrap on top and let Bowser walk over it. Remove the plastic wrap, let it air dry and then proudly display it. always used non-toxic finger paints. You can always do this project and send paw print holiday cards.
Don't forget to check out our number 8 tomorrow...
a 'Senior Dog' mom-O-Holic