Keeping your four-legged friend active this winter

Our homely hounds don’t hibernate through winter and neither should we, even when the weather is cold and/or wet outside, we should be aiming to make the most of our free time with our pet pooch! If you’ve made the trip to enjoy Wales holidays, there is many a great place to keep everyone entertained, whether two-legged or four, so you’re in the perfect location to get some lovely walking done, which will tie in nicely with your dog getting their daily exercise.A cute image of a puppy with nice eyes looking at caravan holidays North WalesThe following tips are predominantly aimed at the younger dogs who are still learning but check out the four ideas we have for you as they can always be used for dogs who are older. Nothing beats the outdoors!As a rule, dogs simply love the outdoors. They can get an amazing workout by trotting along through the sand on the beach or running up hills in the countryside. Take the time to spend at least 30 to 40 minutes walking your dog a day, and they will get a workout that will leave them tuckered out, while keeping their muscles toned too. When you arrive home, just be sure to wash your dog’s paws to clean off any salt if you’ve been on the beach, or if you’ve been in the snow, in case there’s any little annoyances picked up from the walk they’ve not yet noticed. Play a gameBy playing a game of hide-and-seek with your pet you are providing an ideal way of getting your dog active and mentally engaged. Alternatively, you can be the object they are looking for; begin things by throwing a treat to get them to go away from you, then hide in another part of the house, side of the holiday home, behind a bush etc. This game can be really effective in tiring a pup out (adult dogs too) as they rush around seeking, it’s also good for emphasising training of the “come” command too. Target practiceBeing indoors in one of our caravans prior to going out is the ideal time to put this game to practice. Teach your pal to touch their nose to the back of your hand on command; this will give them some good training to focus on a target. If your dog gets good at this and you think they are ready to handle some distractions, then try it outside- but build up to it- don’t go heading for a packed area or it might be too much and they’ll just get distracted by the sights, sounds and smells. The really good thing about this tip is that once your dog’s learned how to do this, you can exercise the training whenever you want them to stop what they are doing and concentrate on you.  For example, if you’re out walking and they find themselves becoming excited when they see another dog, you can use targeting as a method to redirect their attention. Additionally, your dog won’t be able to bark when they are touching their nose to your hand! Test your doggy’s noseWe are all aware of how masterfully powerful the scenting capabilities of dog’s noses are. Making the most of exercises that require your pet to use their nose are particularly stimulating. In the evening when you’re at home/back at your holiday home, why not make your dog work for their dinner by creating an obstacle course that they have to get through to find their food?

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