How Can I Entertain My Dog in the Darker Months?

How do you keep dogs entertained and stimulated in the cooler, darker months when the grass is damp and daylight reduced?  Below are some suggestions:

Walk regardless of the weather.  The only problem with variable weather is the wrong clothing!  Go for the muddiest walks and enjoy.  Don’t worry about the mud, it will wash off when you get home.  Be sure to always have a decent dog shampoo, towel and brush for grooming afterwards. 
Check out our grooming accessories To Travel – Tagged "Grooming"–

 A cosy blanket will help protect your furniture from dog odours when they are damp after the bath – beware of the inevitable zoomies!! To Travel – Tagged "Blanket"–  For those who are super conscious of doggy smells pet cologne can deodorise while rejuvenating skin and fur.  Some even have calming and soothing properties for anxious pets.

A light weight rain coat will prevent your dog from getting drenched on a rainy day, and a well-chosen colour will also help motorists to see you when the skies are looking grey or light starts to fade.

When the temperature drops, remember your dog may benefit from the warmth of a dog coat.  We like ones that are machine washable and easy to put on and take off. 
To Wear – Tagged "Coat"–

We love our daily walks no matter what time of year.  In the winter they offer a change of scenery, fresh air, exercise and the reward of cuddles in the warmth of home at the end of it.

Ditch the food bowl.  Rather than simply feed your dog from a bowl use the opportunity to play games together and give their daily food allowance as the reward.  It’s far more challenging and invigorating and it will strengthen the bond between you.

Play.  Research some games and mix it up.  There are lots of dog games that you can buy but so many you can do from home without spending much money.  Otto absolutely loves hide and seek.  We hide a goats ear around the house and watch him sniff it out.  When he finds it and gets his applause he’s literally so proud of himself.  He parades his find in front of us until we take it and hide it again. 

Snuffle mats are basically tasselled mats that you can hide treats in.  Your dog needs to sniff out and dig around to find the rewards hidden between the tassels. They come in a few variants but can easily be made at home – a boredom buster for you and a great opportunity to choose the colours that will compliment your décor. Leather Noses has lots of treats that can be broken into small pieces and hidden for snuffling out. To Eat – Tagged "Training Treat"–

If your dog doesn’t enjoy scent games perhaps make a simple food puzzle.  Pop a treat into each hole of a muffin tin.  Place a tennis ball on top and watch your dog nudge each ball off to reach the snack.

Leather Noses has lots of chews that can be easily enjoyed in front of a fire as you snuggle down to watch weekend films together.  These are good at keeping your dog busy when you need time to yourself but also helps to keep their teeth in great condition.
To Eat – Tagged "Chew"–  

Bake – Make them a special snack.  There are so many dog friendly recipes online.  Be adventurous and be sure to keep them healthy.

Train - Master a new trick.  Dogs are happy to learn and interact with you.  YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are full of instruction videos on how to teach dogs new tricks.  Pick one that looks like fun and give it a go.  Some dogs can concentrate for longer than others so if they get bored, don’t give up, just try again tomorrow.  Over time they will get it. 

Camp - When was the last time you had a sleep over?  Set up a den in the lounge with blankets and bedsheets.  Your dog will love it!

Dance – Blast out the tunes and have a party at home.  We know you will be dancing around the kitchen together and your dog will love the increase in energy level.