Do you dread winter? When winter approaches do you often stay indoors and become less active? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you probably have the winter blues and more often than not, your pet does too!
Just like humans, pets can become depressed during the winter as their routine and schedule drastically change. Did you take your dog for long scenic walks in the summer? Did you play outback in the dog run with your pup for hours in the spring? Did your dog lay at your back door and soak in the warmth of the sun on long, hot, summer days? If so, your pup is probably confused and upset by his/her shorter walks, gloomy days and cold weather. This is not to say that some people and/or pets don’t love the winter, but for most, the mix of cold air and snowy grounds aren’t as appealing as fresh summer grass and mid-summer heat.
If you find your pup has a case of the winter blues, consider some of our CLV Group tips and tricks to help keep your pup happy and healthy throughout the winter season.
Brighten the Atmosphere
The winter season usually calls for gloomy, snowy days which means that your apartment won’t necessarily be as bright as it was in the spring, summer or fall. Additionally, daytime light may begin to become blurred with nighttime. There are also just less daylight hours in general over the winter! Simply adding more colour or brightness to your living space will help to boost your pup’s engagement throughout his/her everyday routines. Consider adding colour to your dog’s everyday goods such as dishes, toys and beds. Brighter objects will help keep your dog alert and peppier on gloomy winter days. You can also consider leaving drapes and curtains open during the day to let the natural light shine in when the sun comes out.
When possible, it is great to allow your pup to still remain active during the different seasons. Fresh air is sure to brighten your pup’s mood and taking him/her on a walk will help relieve some built up energy from being indoors as well as allow your pup to stretch their muscles and stay active. Although the weather may not always be ideal for walking and a quick in-and-out might only be possible, it is good to try and take advantage of the days where going for a walk is doable.
Is your pup afraid of the snow or doesn’t like being outdoors long enough to go on a walk? It’s okay! Every dog is different and every routine can be customized to suit your pup’s personality. A walk around the building might be enough for your Pomeranian, but a walk down the street and back might be needed for your Golden Retriever. You know your dog best, and it is great to know your dog’s capabilities and needs throughout different seasons.
Set a Play/Walk Date
Did you see your neighbor down the hall just come back inside with her dog? Consider meeting your neighbor and seeing if you can organize a doggy play date or go on a walk together. Your pups are sure to love some time in a new atmosphere and engaging with one another. Your pup might even love walks more with a friend! Many of our pet-friendly locations offer new fenced in dog parks where your pets can play with other “pet residents” safely off-leash.
Dress for the Occasion
Will you be going outdoors in shorts and t-shirt in the middle of February? Probably not – and your pup shouldn’t either. Although every dog is different, some are not build for Canadian weather and become colder a lot faster than others. Consider visiting your local pet store and purchasing a coat to help keep your pup warm during the winter. You might also consider booties to help protect your pup’s paws. Did you know that winter salt can irritate your pup’s paws? There are many different styles of booties for you to choose from to best suit your pups needs. Many people also use booties or socks to help protect their interior flooring (dual purpose!).
Encourage Play Time
Although our lives can become busy, it is great to set aside time to play with your pet; and your pet will be thankful! Does your dog love to play fetch? There are a TON of different indoor toys that your dog will love that can act as alternatives to their favourite outdoor games. Consider engaging, tactical and exciting toys and games that are sure to keep your dog distracted from the winter weather. Check out Chuckit! and other indoor toys for your pup such as stuffies or chews.
Just like humans, older pets may have a harder time adapting to the winter season. Ensure that your pup has a cozy place to curl up in your apartment so that he/she can stay warm during the day. Consider placing a bed near your balcony door so that your pup will have a soft place to lay while looking outside. Try to keep your older pet active indoors and out by encouraging indoor play or by going for short walks to help stretch his/her legs.
Do you have any winter pet tips to keep your pup happy this season? Send us your tip to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can share it on the blog! Tag us in your winter adventures with your pet on social media using #clvgroup.
Wishing you and your pets a safe, healthy and active winter season!