Ah, it’s the season of sweaters, hot chocolate and cozying up in your favorite nook– a time of year where you may feel like doing nothing else other than gorge on comfort foods and stay indoors. Oh, but what about your pets who still need regular exercise and stimulation?! It can be easy to assume your pets enjoy snuggling in the warmth as much as you do – who likes the cold, right? – but, especially if you have a young puppy, you need to find a way to keep them active year round.

Take a Walk!
While you may not want to leave the warmth of your home, it’s important to maintain regular walking schedules with your pup. So, bundle up and grab the leash! If your dog is particularly averse to the cold, invest in a sweater, coat, and/or booties! Most dogs, however, actually enjoy a nice stroll on a brisk winter’s day. However, be on the lookout for salty sidewalks! The salt can irritate your pups paws, in which case booties are a great option. If you don’t have booties, be sure to rinse their paws once you’re inside; the salty residue can be harmful to your dog if ingested.

Play Games!
Remember when you were young, it was cold out, and your parents had to keep you occupied? Back before cell-phones and the internet, we played board games and worked on thought-provoking puzzles! Well, dogs like games and puzzles too! If they can’t have their usual playtime outdoors, stimulate their minds another way. Jazz up meal time by using a feeding toy rather than a regular food bowl.

Practice Tricks!
If you’re spending more time indoors with your pups, it’s a great oppawtunity to have some fun and teach them new tricks– or practice old ones! These tricks will teach your dog discipline and good behavior; plus, it will strengthen your bond with them! Don’t overdo it though– keep training sessions short to prevent your dog from becoming distracted or bored. On that note, plenty of cities also offer indoor classes and agility courses for dogs; the winter season is a perfect time to enroll them in these activities to keep them happy, healthy, and active!

See? A bit of snow and a chilly bite in the air doesn’t have to mean your pets need to go into hibernation! There are plenty of activities to keep their minds and bodies active; it just takes a bit of creativity and dedication to their health and happiness. As much as we humans may like to stay inside, nice and cozy, your furry friends may feel cooped up. Avoid cabin fever with the above tips and the winter season will fly by!