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Monday, January 21, 2013

Staying Active in the Cold

As we navigate these wintery days of ice, snow, and sub-zero temperatures, it is important to stay healthy and active.  This is also true for our canine companions.  Admittedly, it's not as easy to be active with frigid temperatures outside, but there are many options that can be found indoors that are both fun and engaging for your dog.

In this issue, we will identify some great ways to stay warm and active during the dog days of winter.

Indoor Agility

This is a great way to engage your dog both intellectually and physically.  Agility takes your dog through a series of obstacles where the dog must work with you and follow your verbal commands to navigate the course.  This activity is fantastic because it offers a myriad of benefits such as burning off extra energy, building endurance, and stimulating your dog mentally.  Dogs of any shape and size can don't hesitate to invite your friend's Pug to join you and your Golden Retriever.  Plus, agility is a wonderful way to bond and strengthen the relationship between you and your dog.  Courses cannot be completed alone, you both need one another to complete the course which promotes team work and trust. 

Be sure to check out a class near you!  Businesses offering agility classes are becoming increasingly popular all over the country.  If  you get really serious about agility, you may want to consider entering agility competitions in your area.

Indoor agility obstacle course

Indoor Dog Parks

Indoor dog parks are also becoming more popular, particularly in urban areas where green space is limited.  Indoor dog parks are a great way to allow your dog to exercise off-leash; which can be quite exhilarating for dogs dwelling in the city where leash laws are heavily enforced.  Secondly, taking your dog to an indoor dog park, or any park for that matter, is a good way to socialize your pooch.  By interacting with dogs of all shapes, sizes, smells and personalities; your dog will be better adapted to social scenarios.  In fact, it is believed that most dogs would "prefer" to meet off-leash.  This puts both dogs on neutral playing fields and eliminates the anxious and/or protective behavior that can occur when on leash.

Indoor dog park

Indoor Activities at Home

Never underestimate the convenience and comfort of staying home.  If you don't feel like braving the elements and driving to your local agility course or indoor dog park, use this opportunity to get creative with activities at home.  One of our favorite home activities is hide-and-seek.  Our 6yr old Japanese Chin, Jack, absolutely LOVES this game!  He gets so excited with the anticipation of knowing he's about to find you and loves to be surprised and chase us when he finds us hiding around the house.  Additionally, a good old-fashioned game of fetch or tug-of-war can be a great deal of fun for your dog.

Happy playing!


A & A

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