Winter was a wonderful time for you and your dog to spend cuddling together as couch potatoes. The holidays kept you busy, but the inclement weather and short days made laid back snuggle time a must. Spring has officially arrived. Days are getting longer and the weather is warmer. Some of you may still be having fun in the sun in the snow. Hold a positive thought and plan ahead. Warm weather is on the way even if it hasn’t arrived yet.
Before you start romping with your pup, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is up to date on necessary immunizations, heartworm protection, and appropriate flea and tick safeguards. Then get ready to get fit!
Spring is a great time for you and your dog to get your muscles moving and perhaps even take off a few holiday pounds. If you and your pup are ready to play outside, take a look at these spring activities you’ll both enjoy. You are set to go so get a move on.
Depending on your dog’s age, and perhaps yours, you may want to start out with easy walks around the block or in the park. Use a long leash and give your pup plenty of time to sniff and explore his surroundings. If you are a bit more adventurous, you may take a hike on a rugged trail in the woods. Remember to check your pup’s pads for pebbles or small twigs after a long walk or hike.
Playtime is another way to provide your pet needed exercise and lots of fun. Rummage in the toy box. Pull out tennis balls, stuffed animals, Frisbees, and other favorites. Playing Frisbee or fetch helps your dog hone his coordination skills while having a good time. You can add interest to your activities by setting the usual toys aside and going on a giant stick hunt. Find the largest stick your dog can carry and use it for a fun game of fetch. Both of you will get a workout and enjoy it.
Change things up with some water fun. When it is warm enough, get out the sprinklers and garden hoses for some splash time. Put on your shorts or even a bathing suit and run through the sprinkler with your pup. It’s even better if you have kids to play the sprinkler game with your dog.
Have a water fight with your dog. Set your water hose at a safe level of spray and have a blast watching your pup chase the water. Be careful. Don’t set the spray too high and avoid spraying sensitive areas like the face. You may even be able to give your friend a bath while you are playing this game.
Grab your camera and a pocketful of your dog’s favorite treats. The two of you are ready to leap into springtime activities. Together you can have fun celebrating the end of winter.
C. Sue Furman, Ph.D. spent 40 years at several major universities including the University of Maryland, School of Medicine and Colorado State University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences teaching future physicians and veterinarians and conducting research involving nerve and muscle. Learn more about Dr. C. Sue Furman here.