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Staying Sane during the Polar Vortex

Updated: May 29, 2020

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Here is the small segment I did for CBC Radio today with Jenny Howe! I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to say in the time I had so I made some extra notes. Take a listen and let me know what you do during this cold snap (and what you do while it’s too hot or smoky outside during the summer)

  1. Trick training! There are a ton of easy tricks that anyone can train their dog to do that will help tire their mind during the cold snap. Try behaviours like High five, Shake a paw, Rollover, Take a bow, Crawl, Spin in a circle, Leg weaves, Figure 8’s or Play dead – If you need any help on how to teach these, feel free to contact me!

  2. Practice your basic obedience: Why not work on your sit or down stays, loose leash walking around the house and you can play a fun game of hide and seek that will improve your recalls!

  3. Treat puzzles and toys like Kongs, Kong Wobblers, snuffle mats or Outward Hound Puzzles by Nine Ottosson. These toys wear the dog's mind out by making them have to work for their food. Dogs are natural foragers and were never meant to eat out of a bowl; teaching your dog to work for their food is beneficial for you both. If you don’t have a food toy or puzzle at home, don’t fear! You can make your own with some items you have laying around the house! Use a 2L pop bottle or a cardboard box and out some kibble in and let your dog figure out how to get it out. You can make it more of a challenge by adding additional elements like paper or blankets inside of a cardboard box

  4. If you have a friendly, well-mannered dog. Take them to pet-friendly stores to work on attention and loose leash skills. These include pet stores, Bass Pro Shop, Michael’s, Winners and some Rona’s and Canadian Tires! Otherwise, you can rent out training facilities by the hour to let your dog blow off steam by running around an open area or training in a larger space.

  5. Join an indoor dog training class! There are many different types of classes out there beyond basic obedience! You can try an array of different sports from both low and high impact which is great for any dog no matter their structural or health limitations. These can include Disc, Agility, Nosework, Barn Hunt or Rally obedience which we all offer at High Tails Pet Resort. Call us to join a class!

Mental stimulation is just as important as exercise. If I could use an analogy of going for a hike in the mountains, you can go for 8 hours and still go home and do some chores. Although if you go to a college lecture or a conference on a topic you are learning, after an hour or two your brain is mush.

That is our best scenario – we want our dogs to have that brain worked overbuilding stamina exercising while in a cold (or hot) snap. If stamina, endurance and strength are important for your pet or sports dog then research ways to use canine fitness and conditioning as their workout. These things can be done in small spaces so it doesn’t matter if you live in a house or a small apartment.

If you have any questions feel free to email or phone!

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