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How to help your dog beat the winter blues

In the winter months, it’s natural for both pets and owners to feel the winter blues due to the colder weather and darker evenings. Here are some tips to help you ensure your dog stays happy this winter.

Take a walk

Just because the weather is cold doesn’t mean you should stop your dog’s regular walk routine. Getting out and about in the fresh air doing a bit of exercise can do wonders for a dog’s mental, as well as physical, happiness.

Keep them warm

Make sure your dog has a warm enough bed or blanket to sleep in, otherwise they could have trouble sleeping. If your dog wears an Animo activity and behaviour monitor, you can use this to keep track of their sleep quality each night. If their sleep quality is poor, try adding a warmer blanket to their bed or setting the heating to come on during the night to see if their sleep improves.

When out for a walk, consider giving your dog a coat or dog boots to wear if they are happy to do so.

Socialising

If your dog usually likes spending time with other dogs in the park and you end up spending less time there during the winter, consider sending them to doggie day care for a few hours each week to enable them to interact with other dogs and burn off energy.

Indoor games

Your dog might feel less inclined to play in the garden if it’s cold, wet or snowy outside, so it’s important that they have access to plenty of indoor games. Games could include treasure hunts with treats, puzzle feeders or an indoor dog agility course (provided you have the room!)

Playing with your dog should not be limited to the winter months, but it is a time of year when you might be acting more lethargic. If you’re sitting on the sofa watching a film, why not have a ball to hand to throw for your dog or a rope to play tug of war.

Your dog’s temperament

Consider your dog’s temperament during the holiday season. If your dog doesn’t like crowds of people, reconsider the Christmas gathering at yours. Or if your dog hates being home alone and you’re planning a festive retreat, go somewhere where dogs are welcome so that you can take them along with you. And if your dog has an excitable temperament, reconsider putting up flashing lights around your home and opt for plainer decorations.

Cheer yourself up

If you’re feeling the winter blues, your dog will sense this, and it could affect their own happiness. Take some time to do some of things you love to banish your own winter blues and keep the whole household happy.

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