Norwalk CT, February 2011 -– This winter has been a harsh one almost everywhere across the county. With extreme weather limiting the opportunities for outdoor exercise, many dogs are releasing pent-up energy by misbehaving at home.
According to Best Friends professional trainers, signs that the family dog is suffering from “canine cabin fever” include excessive barking or howling, scratching walls or doors, chewing furniture or messing in the house. They suggest the following to beat the winter blues:
- Take a walk. Cold or not, the best thing for both pet and human is to bundle up and get outside for 20-30 minutes of activity, like an energetic walk or romp at the dog park.
- Stuff a Kong. If really bad weather prevents a daily walk, give your pet an interactive toy to keep him occupied while you’re gone. Stuff a Kong or cube with cheese, peanut butter or other favorite treat. Working to get that hidden treat will give him both physical and mental stimulation.
- Teach a new trick. Winter is a great time to practice obedience. Take a dog training class. Even once a week, it’s an opportunity for you and your dog to get out of the house, and you’ll have “homework”, which your pet is sure to enjoy.
- Send your dog to camp. If your dog is high energy and needs lots of exercise, consider doggy day camp or play group. Dogs socialize and play in a safe, supervised environment. Even attending once or twice each week can make your dog happier and diminish negative behaviors at home.
For more information, visit www.bestfriendspetcare.com.