By Jen Fuhrman, GPG Blogger/Volunteer

You know, we’re not the only ones that get cabin fever in the winter! You may be noticing already that your pups are spending a bit less time outside than usual – I know mine are. Instead of wrestling in the yard for most of the morning before I head off to work, they go outside to take a trot for a few minutes, then right back inside and preferably under the top fleece blanket of the bed. (I admit it; I let them.)

So, just like you and me, they can get a bit stir crazy when the temps aren’t really bearable for long periods of time – or sometimes even at all. That’s why we need to get creative when it comes to in-house activities. But what on earth do you do to keep a dog busy inside? Well no, you can’t turn on a movie, you can’t clean out a closet or two and you definitely can’t bake cookies. Don’t worry, we have some suggestions.

Practice Makes Perfect
My sister has the ability to teach a dog a new trick in no time. My pups picked up, ‘Paw. Other paw. High five!’ in just minutes. So when winter comes, there is no better time to practice commands and tricks. Without the distractions of the yard, they’re better able to focus on you – and the treats they’ll get as they master the commands.

Hide and Seek
As silly as it sounds, go old school! Hide in different spots throughout the house then call out their names. Try pairing it with a command like, ‘Let’s go!’ or ‘Come!’ You’ll be amused, and better yet, they will be to as they “hunt” you down. And if you can get them to reciprocate by having them hide from you, well then call me because that’s impressive.

Play Dates
Whether you have a pup friend come over or you decide to send yours to play for the day, you’ll be so grateful that they’ll be utterly exhausted when it’s all said and done. There are multiple dog parks or doggie day cares in and around St. Louis. Need a suggestion? Ask us!

You can walk them! I’m not sure about you, but I’m not a fan of the cold, but I know my dogs love a walk. I find the trick about winter walks is to make them short and sweet. Depending on your dog, they may not mind a coat or sweater. I have two Boxers and they end up looking at me like I’m crazy if we’re heading for a walk without refuge. But remember, those paw pads get cold awfully quick, so be sure to clean out any packed snow!

While it’s always nice to cozy up on the couch be sure to get them up and moving so they don’t get bored and into trouble! Do you have any go-to activities when the weather starts to get cold? Tell us!

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