Combat the Winter Blues with Environmental Enrichment!
The chill of winter is creeping into the air, and for many dogs and cats, this means spending more time inside lounging around the house. Though some pets may be content to curl up with Netflix and a good ear scratch, this is not the case for all.
With daylight hours getting shorter, temperatures dropping and the weather getting wet and miserable many owners are reluctant to take Fido out for their evening routine walk. This can lead to “bad dog” behaviour (destructive chewing, barking, and pacing the house), Fido is just trying to tell you they are BORED.
If the weather is keeping you inside it is essential to provide appropriate toys and another stimulus around the house to keep Fido entertained and relaxed.
There are a variety of toys to choose from, and it is essential to identify what type of chewer Fido is before stocking up.
Gentle chewer – Prefer to carry toys around in their mouth, or gently nibble on plush toys or ropes.
Moderate chewer – Plush toys might last a few days, would benefit from more robust built toys or ropes.
Power chewer – Highly destructive, rips through plush toys in under 5 minutes, would require tough toys such as KONG or Nylabone products.
What if my dog doesn’t chew?
No problem! Keeping your dog busy doesn’t just have to include chew toys. Another good tip can be hiding treat filled KONG or treat balls around the house. This will encourage your dog to use their nose and sniff out the prize. Make sure the treats are challenging to get out of the toy (and don’t just fall out) this can provide hours of entertainment and get Fido thinking – allowing you to sit back with your glass of wine and catch up on those Netflix shows you’ve meant to binge.
For more tips and ideas go to https://indoorpet.osu.edu/home
Written by Caity, CCR
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