Winter Activities to Keep Your Dog Entertained in St. Paul, MN
Winter can be a difficult time to provide our dogs with enrichment and entertainment as both they and us may be reluctant to spend much time outdoors in the cold. It can also get to temperatures that are dangerous for them to spend much time outdoors as well, so indoor activities can be beneficial.
Read our St. Paul, MN animal hospital‘s article below to find out which interactive toys are best for your best friend.
Many toy companies make interactive toys that can keep your pet engaged and entertained. PupPod is one company which utilizes an interactive toy and feeder system where your dog is required to perform a task to receive a treat.
Giggle balls and other motorized toys like the floppy fish, and Hyper Pet Doggie Pal Monster toys are toys that move on their own and their erratic movements and sounds make them fun for our dogs. These toys should only be used with supervision as excited dogs might chew too vigorously on them and hurt themselves.
Slow Feeders/Puzzle Feeders
Slow feeders are types of treat/food dispensers which require our dogs to solve a puzzle or figure out how to get to the food inside them. The Starmark Bob-a-lot toy, West Paw Toppls, Kong Classic Toys, maze/slow feeders, snuffle mats and Nina Ottoson by Outward Hound puzzle feeder toys are good options to mentally stimulate our dogs.
Basic Obedience Training
Working with your dogs to learn some new tricks or add new skills to their repertoire is also a great way to keep your pup engaged. Make training a game and teach them fun new tricks beyond just sit and stay. Not only will this provide mental stimulation for your dog, but it will also help build your bond as you have fun together.
Indoor activities can be done around the home without much effort or clean up required. Flirt poles are a fun way to help your dog burn some energy. These are a long pole somewhat like a fishing rod with a rope on one end that is attached to a dangling toy. Wave the pole around like a wand and your pet chases the toy on the end around. Make sure to keep it interesting, allowing your pet to catch the toy every now and again to keep them engaged with the game.
Other activities like hide and go seek where you hide high value treats around the home and send your pet after their nose to find them or scent work basics are good options as well.
DogTV and similar videos on Youtube can provide short periods of entertainment for your pets. These are programs designed specifically to be interesting for your dog to watch. Rapid movement and fun sounds keep your pup entertained. Keep exposure to these types of shows limited to prevent over stimulation
Lastly, when weather permits, outdoor activities like hiking and skijoring are great opportunities to let your pet get some much-needed physical activity. In addition, some facilities provide indoor spaces for dogs to play. In the Twin Cities area, The Canine Coach, Unleashed Hounds and Hops, and other doggy day care facilities are great options to help your pet burn energy as well.
If you have any questions about any of these activities, then reach out to our St. Paul, MN, veterinarians at (651) 789-0099! We would be more than happy to help you navigate winter with your pup!