Inside Information: Beating Your Dog’s Cabin Fever

Stuck inside and feeling bored?  We’re facing the coldest days of the year here in Wisconsin and it’s hard to want to take your dog outside to exercise. And even if you do get out, after just a few minutes you may find your dog running back to the comfort of his or her warm bed.  However, there comes a time when most dogs get sick of just sitting around and start to get cabin fever.  Here are a few things you can do to exercise your dog’s mind and body:

  • Back in May we published a list of 4 Class Kids Games to Play With Your Dog, including doggy basketball, hide ‘n seek and more. Each of these ideas can be done inside to keep your dog entertained.
  • If your dog is well trained around other dogs and people, find a store where dogs are allowed to shop along with you, such as PetSmart, Petco, Pet Supplies Plus or another local store geared towards pets. Just a quick errand like this can do wonders for your dog. The smells, sights and sounds of a store like this is very stimulating to your dog’s senses.
  • Teach your dog a new trick. Use positive reinforcement and take baby steps towards your goal. Do not try to get your dog to learn the whole trick at once. Eventually you can link all the pieces together and show off your new trick! Check out all the useful tricks this dog can do!
  • If you find yourself short on time to play with your dog, doggy daycare can be a good option. Even once a week during these winter months, doggy daycare can give your dog an outlet of energy and the opportunity to play with other dogs.
  • If you are a person who needs structure in order to stick to a plan, signing up for a dog training class can help you carve out time training your dog, and also give you ideas for fun games and training techniques you can do at.

It’s still important to get your dog some fresh air each day, just don’t stay out too long. Here’s an idea one of our clients shared “we shovel out a circular path in the snow so our dog can run around it like a race track!” This or a quick walk to the mailbox can help break up the long day inside for your dog.

When dogs get too little exercise – physical, mental or both – for prolonged periods of time their behavior can suffer. Dogs who don’t usually chew can start to find inappropriate things to chew on, for example, because they are trying to get out some of their energy. We hope these ideas will help put you on the right track to keeping your pup happy and balanced in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please let us know!

PetU is a family-owned, K9 Higher Education facility that offers dog training, daycare, boarding grooming and a campus store – all with education at the core. We provide a solid foundation of training, socialization and nutrition to help dogs and their owners be the best team they can be.