Saturday, November 24, 2012

Winter Games

Today's post doesn't include small pets, but instead I am going to talk about entertaining your dog or cat during the long winter breaks. I'm sure many of you have dogs and cats, and you probably have let your pet outdoors during play. Every day your pet exercises, most often outdoors. With protected paw-pads(you can buy little fabric sheets that stick to the bottom of your pet's feet) and a fluffy layer of just-grown fur, your dog is ready to face the weather. But it's winter now! Your pet doesn't really have a lot to do, right? Sure they do! From searching for lost treats to pulling a sled, dogs can now appreciate the time when "all this fluffy white stuff falls from the sky"(what dogs probably think of it)!

Activities for Learning Purposes

Hey, even dogs can go to school! Okay, not real school, but you can train your dog in a fun way and he'll still learn a lot!

  • Treat Hunt- Choose a place where a lot of snow is all clumped-up into hills. You know, some big hills, some little. Dig a hole half the height of the snow on the ground for some places. For others, challenge your dog and put the treat and the very bottom where the dead grass is. Bury all the treats. Then, take your pup over and watch him sniff for the hidden loot.
  • Sled Dog Tryouts- If you have a sled, see if maybe your dog will grab it in his mouth and drag it. If you do this on a daily basis, your dog will realize what he is supposed to do. One day you'll be able to  pile snow or even rocks in the sled and BINGO! He will pull the sled to the place you choose. Oh, but just don't sit on the sled while your dog pulls it. It doesn't matter if you a kid or an adult. Just don't. Not a good idea. Your dog could get injured or you could fall out if he runs too fast down the hill. Ouch.
  • Memory Check!- You know those tricks you taught your dog a long time ago? He caught on quickly, huh? These are the tricks your dog could just forget if you don't practice. You don't want your dog to be able to do these super-cool tricks like "Unload the dishwasher," or "Pick up the house", and never "sit" or "stay"! Before you teach your dog any other new things(like the "sled-pulling" trick above), test his skills--and then you can really see if he was paying attention during the puppy years!

Activities for Entertainment and Exercise Purposes

Now it's time to bring in the fun! That's right, Fido, you can stop all that sitting and laying down and instead, run wild!! 

  • Fetch the snowball!- Golden Retrievers and Labs are great at this game, because they love to retrieve things. Also, they have a "soft mouth", which means they practically can even carry an egg in their mouths without cracking it! (They were originally used by hunters to retrieve the animals they had shot from afar.) Simply mold a snowball and toss it. Your pet will race towards the ball and bring it back. Sometimes, your dog may not want to hand it back, but that doesn't matter. Snow is a great resource for water(for animals, anyway), and if your pet stubbornly turns away, he will most likely eat it. Oh well, at least it was a snowball, and not your dad's prized autographed baseball that he chewed up.
  • Meow "Marshmallows"- Nothing frightens a feline more than water, or a form of it. Snow is one of those forms. While Critter Corner doesn't recommend letting kitty come outside, they do say it is wonderful to provide some outdoor-indoor activities for them, including....

Catnip(or self-grown cat grass)

Cotton balls--you can tie them to a string or just let your cat dig in!

Hidden treats--place special treats for your kitty around the house for her to find.

Cozy cat sacks--you don't have to be great in needlework to design a cat sleeping sack! Just get a fleecy sweater that you don't want, cut off the very top, right at the part where the arm holes are, and get some adhesive no-glue fabric stick(Stitch Witch works great!)and there you go.(you can even tie a cat toy to the inside to intrigue your pet)

I hope you keep your pet warm and cozy this holiday season! That's all for now, animal-lovers, but I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff for your cat, dog, and small pet to enjoy!   



  1. These are very helpful ideas you can also buy or make coats or sweaters for your dog because sometimes it's very cold outside and even though they have fur they still can get cold,especially if they're a small dog.

  2. Small dogs that have very little hair should wear coats but Labs and Goldies have long fur that traps heat--kinda like polar bears


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