The change from extremely hot to mild, cooler weather provides the perfect opportunity to spend time outdoors playing and exploring with your dog or puppy and a chance to plan indoor activities to entertain and keep your pet occupied on rainy days.
A minimum of around 30 minutes of daily exercise is recommended for most dogs and whether it’s inside or outside, if you vary the routine, you’ll have a better chance of keeping your dog engaged and interested in exercising every day.
Dog-friendly walks, parks and beaches can be great fun and we’ve listed some ideas below for creative ways to challenge your pet as you exercise and bond together indoors and outside.
As the cooler weather sets in, some pet parents believe they need to increase the amount of food they give their dog or puppy, however in these modern times when a growing number of dogs are considered obese or overweight this is not a good idea.
A young, very fit and active dog or puppy may need small increases in its daily meal; however, this doesn’t mean extra meals or unlimited treats. Most adult dogs do not need to increase their consumption in cooler or warmer weather.
Frequent exercise, good nutrition and regular checks at the vet will ensure dogs of all breeds and sizes will maintain a healthy weight, preventing them from developing joint or other chronic health issues later in life.
A happy and healthy dog has a high, waggy tail, floppy ears, clear eyes, a relaxed body, a playful disposition and leans into you to show his contentment.
Indoor activities to keep your dog engaged and well-exercised
Hide and seek or Tug-of-war – play together to build your bond and reward your dog when he finds you or he beats you at the game.
Practice old tricks and learn new ones – any activity where dogs practice or learn a new skill and get positive feedback will make them, and you, feel good.
Scent games – hide your pet’s favourite treats or a special toy around the house and reward your dog when he brings the item back to you.
A space with a view – provide an area where your dog can sit and look out through a window or door and watch the world go by.
Turn on the TV – dogs love to watch things and just like people, they enjoy watching TV, often because they can spend time with their humans.
Buy new toys or puzzles – look on-line or at your pet store for toys and puzzles that will suit your dog or puppy, keep him occupied and the house intact!
Set up an obstacle course – you and your dog can exercise and have fun as you manoeuvre your way around chairs, stacks of books and other household items.
Outdoor activities for active, fit and healthy dogs
Dog-friendly beach trip – dig those toes and paws into the warm, white sand at one of WA’s many picturesque dog beaches. Take a dip and throw a ball to your puppy.
Geocaching – take your dog on a tech-inspired scavenger hunt. Geocaching takes the whole “X Marks the Spot” adventure to a new level. A free smartphone app will get you started.
Camping – a fun activity for two or a vacation to remember for families and their pets. Check on-line for pet friendly camping grounds and caravan parks.
Tour your town – take advantage of the cool weather and walk your pet as you explore your suburb, town, capital City or a local attraction.
Join a walking group – get together with friends who have dogs or set up or join an established walking group for dog owners (see Heart Foundation and others).
Host a patio dinner – mix up mealtime and include your pets at a patio dinner or a restaurant with outdoor seating and a pooch-friendly policy.
Go hiking – get in touch with nature and bring your dog along for the adventure. It’s important to check in advance to see if your trails are dog friendly.
Pamper your puppy – many owners believe a spa treatment and groom helps strengthen immunity, improve circulation, relieve stress and promote better indigestion in their pets. Go to furbaby.com.au to make a booking.
Treat your dog to a fun-filled day at Furbaby – even dogs deserve a day out to socialize and meet new friends in a safe and secure environment that provides outstanding care and attention. Call 9440 6690 for bookings and information.