National Walk Your Dog (or Pet) Month

HEAD: January is Walk Your Pet Month

Cabin fever isn’t just a people think – it’s a pet thing, too! Regular exercise is essential to our animal companions’ physical and mental health (not to mention our own!)

Some ways to motivate you both to get out and move include taking different routes each time you walk, inviting a dog-owning friend along with you, and by practicing leash lessons and commands as you stroll. Make sure to take along some favorite treats for that last one.

When the weather is especially non-cooperative, however, you may need to opt for some indoor activity. Here are some bad-weather ideas for when you & your pup just can’t get outside.

  • Create an obstacle course. Use cushions or chairs to build tunnels and using old hula hoops or inner tubes for him or her to leap through.
  • Play Hide & Seek. Put your dog in a “stay” or have someone hold him or her while you hide in the house, then call your dog from where you are. Reward with treats or lots of affection & excitement when they find you. This game can also be played by making a favorite toy or high-value treat the object of the search.
  • Teach your old dog new tricks. Pick something new to teach your pet—like “spin” or a “high-five”—and make that a project, practicing consistently every day.
  • Running on a treadmill. After helping your dog get comfortable with the device, put him on the treadmill and turn it on the lowest possible speed. Offer treats to keep Fido running on the machine.

Click here for more suggestions on how to make walks more fun—then when the weather clears a bit, get out there!