Staying Out Of Trouble On A Snow Day
With the recent snowpocalypses and arctic cold blasts that have been gracing the midwest, it is safe to say that we have all experienced a few days of physical and mental “hibernation”. On those days where it is so cold your face feels like it is burning off upon exposure, or the white out conditions make driving “unadvisable”, what is a dog to do?
Physical and mental stimulation is important for both human and canine. While many dogs don’t mind a good romp in the snow, some just aren’t about having ice in their toes. When walks are cut short for safety, it is time to get creative. Here are a few ideas to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated, and of course, out of trouble on the next, and hopefully last, snow day:
Kong. As dog owners, we all know the brand Kong. Kong has many different stuffable toys, softer versions for puppies and senior dogs all the way to versions for extreme chewers. They can be stuffed with almost anything from peanut butter to biscuits and you can tailor your stuffing to your dogs liking and difficulty level. Also, most of their rubber toys are Made In The USA!
As a side note, Prissy and Portia started at 12 weeks old with a puppy Kong and eventually graduated to a red standard Kong. At 7.5 pounds, they can chew with the best of them and they sure like food. We like to use Stella and Chewy’s dehydrated dog food and supplement their meals. We line the bottom of the Kong with the dehydrated chicken and then add rabbit and finally lamb. The powdery consistency of chicken is easier for them to clean out of the bottom and the layering of meats provides a good hour of chewy, licky and healthy fun.
IQ Balls. If your dog is more into kibble, IQ balls are awesome. They have to be knocked about and rolled around, which provides an added physical element with the mental play of finding their food. The ball has different settings (i.e. an adjustable sized hole) for different levels of difficulty. Just add their favorite kibble and off they go.
West Paw’s Topple. Locally made in Bozemont, MO, West Paw strives to provide eco-friendly and safe toys, beds and other products for our canine and feline friends. Like a Kong, the Topple can be used solo or the two sizes can be combined together to create another challenging food puzzle for your dog.
The “Find It” Game. If leaving a toy for your dog isn’t your cup of tea, engage in a game of “Find It”. Place your dog in a sit/stay and hide some of their favorite treats around a room. Then say the magic words, “find it”, and let them loose. This is a great way to make your dog use their nose!
These toys and games are great for a snow day, or just to keep your pup out of trouble on a regular work day. Just make sure you account for the extra calories and adjust their meals accordingly. They will actually enjoy the challenge of finding some of their food.
Ask your dog walker to leave one of these toys behind after their mid-day walk or to play a quick game of “Find It” after their walk for extra fun in the dead of winter or anytime.