Let’s face it. It can be hard enough to motivate ourselves to go outside during winter, but it can be even more difficult encouraging your pets that dislike the cold to go outside too. Chilly weather or not, our pets do need their exercise!
By being creative with your pet’s entertainment during the cold of winter, you will be more likely to avoid unwanted behaviours as a result of boredom. There are many things you can do to encourage your pet to come outside with you for exercise, and here are just a few tips:
• Use winter coats to keep them warm and ensure the coat is well fitted. You might want to consider a fleece lining to keep them extra toasty!
• Use pet waterproof gear for wet days.
• Increase food intake, this may be necessary as staying warm during winter takes more energy. Make sure you are careful to not over feed however!
If you have tried everything and your pet is still reluctant to venture outside (or you are experiencing extreme weather), a great way to keep your pet stimulated is to engage them in extra activities indoors:
• Consider some trick training for mental stimulation. This could be behavioural training or why not try training your pet to do some household chores e.g. fetch slippers etc.
• Play games like ‘find your favourite toy’ or ‘find a family member’ around the house.
• Use enrichment toys such as tug-o-war ropes for physical exertion or usefood dispensing toys to develop fun foraging instincts.
• Another option for dogs is socialising at doggy daycare or maybe you could plan a doggy play date.
Whatever your techniques are to keep your pet active during winter, do make sure they have good access to shelter and water at all times!
Source – RSPCA Victoria