Here at VCVC we are fully understanding of how hard it is to get outside in the winter, as well as how it feels to get cabin fever in the colder Colorado months. It is still important to find a way to exercise your pets during this season and even more important to keep their minds entertained. Even though it is adorable to see our beloved pets gain a couple chunky pounds in the winter, the best health is kept by steady exercise and mental stimulation. In a couple seconds, you will read all about our suggestions for this winter and the winters to come.
Now, as you are out and about, or snuggled up in the house, please take a moment to text us with any needs or concerns. Yes, you read that right, TEXT us. We have launched a texting program with our hospital, which you can now tell us your preferred method of communication (call, text, email… etc). The application is through ZipWhip, in which there is no extra charge to use this program. We are excited about this change and hope it brings better communication for all our clients. Now, enjoy these tips for the winter months, compiled by the team here at VCVC.
- Buy an indoor puzzle game that the pup must work for the food. The holidays (or just the busy colder months) normally mean people do not have time to fit in that extra activity time with their animal. Good news - local pet stores are always carrying treat dispensers that require your pet to work for the treat. This can keep your pet entertained for hours! For a little added inspiration, try smearing some peanut butter in the center of the toys or for our feline friends – some cat nip! If you cannot find these toys or want a more frugal indoor activity, try playing hide and seek with some yummy treats. Our little four-legged loves will enjoy the challenge of sniffing out treats all over the house and they will be exercising their cognitive thinking skills at the same time. Not only that, but this is a great bonding experience and a fun game to play with your animals, even cats will enjoy a little hide and seek!
- Plan a hike. Colorado is infamous for giving us random heat waves in the winter. Try planning ahead and watching the weather for an opportunity to get outside. Many local pages will have the information about how well the trails are and the hot spots to go in the winter. Keep in mind that the higher you go in elevation – the more likely there is to still be a good amount of snow on the ground… and always – pack smart! Have your kiddo wear a hiking back pack filled with treats and snacks for the both of you.
- Take a class/join a club. Many people do not realize this, but there are clubs around Colorado that you can join that are centered around doing things with your pup. The MeetUp App, Facebook groups, and/or a simple google search can lead you to the direction of finding local dog groups to join. Many of these clubs even focus on a certain breed and their needs (agility, hiking, lower vs. higher elevation.. etc). There are also training classes and agility courses that run all year long. Enrolling your pet into these may be an efficient way to get some exercise in while staying warm and is a perfect time to bond with your pet over new activities.
Now, please enjoy some of these moments we have taken with our staff pets on some snowy days…