Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
Powder Hounds: Keeping Pets Active Throughout Winter’s Chill
The Rocklin area boasts a fairly reasonable winter climate that allows for keeping up with a year-round schedule of outdoor activities. But, even in light of our geographical luck, we can all get into a seasonal funk that perpetuates a serious lack of excitement regarding the simple act of going outside.
Regrettably, pets can suffer a similar seasonal happiness deficit. So what do you do when a pet doesn’t want to have anything to do with the backyard, let alone a hike or the dog park? If you and your pet are trying to cope with colder temperatures, shorter days, and less sunshine, we have some suggestions for keeping pets active throughout the coming months. And, by the time that first crocus pops up, you and your pet will be ready to go!
Focus and Commit!
Arthritic, elderly, or ailing pets aren’t the only ones that turn up their noses at the cold weather. The mere thought of paw pads touching cold concrete or frozen grass can turn off any pet, but there are ways you can help.
Invest in a cozy sweater, vest, or jacket to keep the chill off your pet’s coat. Your pet may even like booties once he or she realizes how helpful they can be. Likewise, do your best to take your pet out during the warmest parts of the day if possible, instead of the colder early morning and evening hours.
New Spots + New Friends = Excitement!
While it’s nice that you and your pet have solidarity when it comes to the winter blues, get out of your collective ruts by visiting new places.
There are lots of parks and attractions in and around Rocklin that are designed for you and your pet to enjoy. Get yourselves layered up in new winter duds and try to enjoy the crisp air and winter landscape. Chances are you’ll meet new pets and families that share the same seasonal struggle. Socialization is fabulous for both you and your pet as it increases your interest in going outside.
Another way for you to stay active is to build a temporary agility or obstacle course in your yard. You can also encourage certain tricks indoors using brooms or mops to make jumps, a dog bed for a pause box, and a hula hoop for the tire traditionally used. Employ treats and kudos to keep your pet begging for more.
You can also up the ante with any of these activities:
- Play fetch down your hallway or up and down the staircase
- Laser pointer fun!
- Hide and seek with toys or healthy treats
- Chase bubbles
- Get inspired to install or build climbing structures for kitty
- Or go big with a cat or dog exercise wheel
Why Keeping Pets Active Matters
Whatever you decide to do this winter to keep weight off and morale up, we guarantee your pet will thank you. In addition to the time he or she will get with you, their favorite person, certain health problems will remain at bay.
Boredom, depression, anxiety, or stress can all lead to issues like weight gain, behavioral issues, and diabetes. With just a little motivation and focus (not to mention cozy winter wear), you and your pet will grow accustomed to the weather to the point where you might not even notice it at all.
By giving your “all” to your pet’s health, you will both begin to see life in a new way that you both can appreciate.