If you have a dog that spends most of its time romping in your backyard, or a kitty that whiles away the day in a sunny patch on the front porch, winter’s arrival may be a rude awakening. Sure, your precious petsare covered in fur. But many just aren’t equipped to be out in frigid temperatures for prolonged periods.
Walking your pup on a bright sunny day is a breeze. Your dog gets exercise while you talk to neighbors or enjoy a leisurely stroll around town. It’s not even a chore. However, dogs and rainy weather is an entirely different story. There are days when getting your dog to relieve himself can be an all-day (miserable) affair. Here on the east coast, we have had more thunderous downpours than I care to remember during these couple weeks of May. Perhaps we are making up for the lack of rain in April.
Lately, I am paying extra attention the weather forecasts focusing on what time the rain is supposed to start. If (and this is a big if) the forecasters are correct, I try to put my dogs out in the yard an hour before the rain comes because every pet owner knows that dogs and rainy weather can be an unfortunate blend of bad scent and filthy floors. It’s not always possible, but when it works, it’s a lifesaver. The times I can time it perfectly, my dogs are relieved and can happily snooze through the thundershowers, avoiding the whole wet mess.
Of course, there are those days when it rains all day long or rain comes quite unexpectedly. Consequently, I have gathered some helpful ways to care for dogs in rainy weather which have worked for me.
Here are ten tips to help you and your pup get through the messy spring showers:
Many people in areas of North America have seen air quality indexes downgraded to unhealthy status in recent weeks, due in part to wildfires in the U.S. and eastern Canada. Many forget that the poor air quality affects dogs as well as people. Continue reading →
Ah, summer—a season for rambles, picnics and water fun. Longer days and warm weather inspire us to get ourselves and our dogs outside to soak up some sun (judiciously) and get some exercise. Continue reading →
4 techniques to help your pup rest, relax, and rejuvenate
By Lola Michelin| Illustrations by Margo McKnight
Ahhh— yeahhh— that’s the right spot. What’s that? No, it doesn’t hurt, it’s divine! Don’t stop now… Who doesn’t love a massage? You can’t beat something that feels so good and is good for you, too. Massage lowers blood pressure and reduces stress for both the giver and receiver and takes only minutes a day. Better yet, learning how to give your dog a massage is easy. And if you believe in karmic retribution, just think of all those massages waiting for you down the road!
There are some amazing games by Nina Ottosson where your dog has to figure out the puzzle to find the treat. I have a few for my dog, and they’re good for short-term, supervised entertainment. The only problem is that while these are entertaining, they’re also food-based and don’t require a whole lot of movement from your dog. The mental engagement is there, but physical exercise isn’t. It’s kind of like playing a board game while eating a whole bowl of popcorn and chocolate pretzels — you’re entertained, but not staying healthy.
Here are six ideas for active games you can play that will tire out your dog, engaging him (and you!) physically and mentally so that being inside is every bit as fun as being outside. Continue reading →