Keep Your Dog Happy and Engaged During the Cold Season

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Lynn, Jen M

Have you noticed how sad and gloomy your dog is when it's too cold to go outside the house? Your dog understands that it is too cold to have fun outside because of the snow or the heavy rain. As a responsible dog owner, you should understand that your dog needs daily exercise routines, even if walking or outdoor activities are not possible. It is necessary for them to be healthy and fit even during the cold months. You cannot afford to keep all that pent up energy inside your dog. There are certain activities that you can do to keep your dog happy and engaged during the cold season. It's up to you to make sure that activities and living conditions inside your home are fun and dynamic. When your dog is happy, you're happy because you are sure that your dog is not suffering from any negative behavior.

Ways on How to Keep your Dog Happy and Engaged During the Cold Season

Making sure that your dog is happy and engaged during the cold season is very doable. All you have to do is give time and attention. Here are some effective ways you can do this endeavor:

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    Play "Hide and Seek". You can play this game with your dog by hiding several objects inside the house.
    1. Hide small pieces of food or treats inaccessible places. Your dog's sense of smell will help detect the objects and reward your dog at the same time.
    2. Hiding toys and telling your dog how to find them is also a good means of conducting the game.
    3. Use easy and challenging places to hide your objects.
    4. You can also hide and make your dog look for you. Hand your dog a treat once you are located.
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  2. 2
    Play the game of "Fetch". Fetch can be an indoor game with your dog. It's an effective way to release all that pent-up energy, even if you don't go outside to do it.
    1. Choose an area inside your home that is free of any obstacle such as display tables or unstable ornaments. If there are children in your home, tell them to clear the play path of your dog.
    2. Grab the favorite dog toy in the house. This will definitely get your dog's attention and stimulate excitement.
    3. Throw the toy across the hall and let your dog bring it back to you. Do this several times until your dog gets tired. Rest for a while and do it again especially if your dog just couldn't get enough of the toy.
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  3. 3
    Enroll your Dog in a Class.  
    1. Signing up in a doggie class will also help your dog spend that accumulated energy.
    2. Obedience classes can help channel your dog's energy and learn obedience commands at the same time.
    3. Classes also allow your dog to socialize with other people and other dogs.
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  4. 4
    Take short walks. If the weather doesn't involve blizzards, hurricanes, and typhoons, you can still go outside and go for short walks. This will only cost a few minutes in a day. The fresh air and physical activity will help your dog remain active.  
    1. This will help your dog eliminate on a regular basis. Small dogs can be trained to eliminate on paper or one corner of the house. If you have a large dog, you have no choice but to take your dog out.
    2. Make your dog wear socks, a coat, and booties.
    3. Wear extra layers of clothing and gloves. Your gloves will prevent you from losing grip of the leash. Anti-skid footwear will also help you have traction on slippery paths.
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Keeping Your Dog Happy and Warm

Frigid weather is still an issue for dogs, even though they have fur coats. Below are some ways on how you can keep your dog happy and warm during the cold weather:

  1. 1
    Line your floor or the doghouse with carpeting. Concrete or tile flooring gets too cold during winter or during the rainy season. Attach the carpeting firmly on the floor so that it won't get dragged outside.
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  2. 2
    Provide heating lamps. This makes sure that the electric wires are well-hidden so that your dog won't be able to chew on them.
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  3. 3
    Use hay to line the doghouse floor. Hay is a good insulator that is inexpensive. Keep the hay from seeds and leaves. These bits might get stuck to your dog's fur. They also might be ingested accidentally.
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  4. 4
    Place heated pads in the doghouse. This is expensive but very effective. Most heating pads cost $50 and can warm up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. There are heavy duty heating pads that are chew-proof and protect your dog from getting electrocuted or burned.
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  5. 5
    Make the doghouse smaller. This will help your dog stay warmer than a large doghouse. Just give room for the dog to change positions.
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  6. 6
    Properly dress your dog. Sweaters and boots are helpful in providing additional warmth for your dog. Make sure to cover their paws because they use these to regulate their body temperature.
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  7. 7
    Make sure that your dog's fur is free of knots and their paws free of ice. Regular grooming will help your dog go through the cold season with much comfort.
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  8. 8
    Feed your dog properly. Staying warm through the cold season needs many calories. You can help your dog stay warm. Also provide supplements of fatty acids to prevent dryness in a heated environment. If your dog exercises less during winter, you might want to reduce the amount of food you give.
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Keep Your Dog in a Garage?

Many dog owners may think that keeping their dog in the garage is the best thing to do. If you are considering this, read the following behaviors that your dog might develop if your dog is left in the garage during the cold season:

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    Swallowing. If you know that your dog has a tendency to chew, swallow, or lap on anything within reach, then you should clear your garage of toxic materials. You should also clear the garage of small auto parts, insecticides, trash, solvents, antifreeze, pesticides, and tools.
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  • 2
    Chewing. Because your dog doesn't get proper exercise, chewing can easily be an outlet to spend energy. You should give interactive toys to make sure that your dog's mind and body are properly stimulated.
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  • To make sure that your dog has everything it needs in the garage, supply the water, food, and areas of elimination for your dog. Provide a raised bed that is layered with blankets. Also install a thermometer in the garage to help monitor the changes in temperature.

    Instead of the garage, you could just consider letting your dog stay in your warm home with you. Aside from physical warmth, they also need your companionship to feel happy and secure during the cold season.


    • You can also practice tricks, like sit and stay, inside the house.
    • Provide fresh water all day.
    • Healthy snacks such as carrots and bananas can also give extra energy to your dog.
    • You can take your dog with you during grocery runs to get him out of the house.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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    Categories : Dogs

    Recent edits by: Lynn, Mian Sheilette Ong

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