·       Burrr it’s cold outside! When is it just “too” cold to go on long walks?

With the official beginning of Winter right around the corner, there is no better time to talk about  how the cold affects your dogs playtime, than now. Chilly temperatures for many dogs are the highlight of their year, but for some it can be downright miserable. 

So, how do we go about making the decision of whether we go out for a long walk or a quick potty break ?  There are many factors involved in making that decision that can change day to day and sometimes hour to hour based on wind, precipitation and temperatures. Below are a list of the questions that I, as well as you can use to help make a more informed decision .

 The Infographic by PetPlan provides a great visual guideline to also help you make a more informed decision about dog walks during the often frigid New England Winters.   Credit to : www.petplan.com

The Infographic by PetPlan provides a great visual guideline to also help you make a more informed decision about dog walks during the often frigid New England Winters. 

Credit to : www.petplan.com

Here are a few of those considerations:

-       Type of coat? Long coat, double coated, short coat

-       Size of dog?

-       Are they use to colder temperatures?

-       Breed suitability to winter?

-       Are their adverse conditions such as sleet, snow, wind and ice?

-       Safety for the person walking the dog?

-       Are they a puppy, senior and/or medically unhealthy, which could cause them to not tolerate the cold well?

On the days, that we at West Side Pet Sitting determine that shortened walks are best, we do supplement the time with indoor playtime/mental stimulation. Below are a list of ideas, that we as well as you can use, to help burn off some of your dogs pent up energy. 

Gwynne and Tucker Winter 2016.jpg

Indoor Alternatives to Stimulate the Brain and Body:

-       Working on tricks/manners such as sit, stay, paw, touch and short range recall

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-       Brain games such as this puzzle made by Outward Hound

-       Hiding small treats, such as under blankets, tucked into corners, in between stairs etc, throughout the house and letting Fido find them

-       Creating an indoor obstacle course with items around the house

-       And some time some quality snuggles and love is just what the doctor ordered