small dog on leash

We are almost through Florida’s coldest month, but January’s passing doesn’t mean winter is over. Instead, we’ll continue to have chilly nights and shorter days just like everyone else. Sure, our extremes are less wild than, say Maine or Montana, but that doesn’t mean our pets anticipate the disruption to their routines. 

Of course, many of us would love to succumb to couch potato syndrome during the darker months, but our pets depend on us to keep us with their physical and mental exercise opportunities no matter the season.

King’s Trail Animal Hospital has some ideas for winter pet activities that you won’t want to miss!

It Affects Us All

For pets and people alike, the winter can have serious side effects to our overall wellness. We sort of slow down, sleep in, and generally let go of our motivation to get outside. Even though we have enviable seasonal temperatures, it’s not uncommon to let the fewer daylight hours get to us.

Keeping Them Occupied

Regardless of your zip code, it’s important not to let winter pet activities slide to the backburner. To keep your pet occupied, we recommend the following ideas:

  • Establish daily playtimes, and stick to them. Integrate new games or skill-buildings with their favorite pastimes. For example, instead of simply playing fetch every day, teach your pet to retrieve certain items and run them through an agility course. Likewise, in addition to their preferred round of tug-of-war, train your pet to sniff out their tug toy from a hiding spot first.
  • Commands are not only important when in public or around strangers, but learning new things is essential to keeping their mind sharp. 
  • Register your pet for daycare or a social group that meets regularly. This will inspire them to make new friends and learn new things. Plus, if they play for a couple hours every day they are less likely to look for trouble at home.
  • Check out all that Florida has to offer! With loads of pet-friendly destinations, you can boost your winter pet activities with a little adventure and exploration.

Seasonal Considerations

Although we may not see frost, arthritic pets and those with mobility challenges can suffer from drafts and damp weather. Be sure to supply your pet with a self-warming or orthopedic bed that is away from open windows or doors. Sometimes, beds or crates placed on higher surfaces can create more comfort than when on the floor. Be sure to provide ramps or steps that decrease the likelihood of falls or stumbles.

Older pets, young ones, and those with short coats can benefit from wearing light sweaters or jackets. Invest wisely, and be sure pet clothing fits snugly and doesn’t cause problems for your pet. Little booties can inspire pets otherwise daunted by rain-covered pavement.

Winter Pet Activities

Fortunately for us, our winter pet activities don’t vary too much from other opportunities throughout the year. The trick is keeping your pet motivated, safe and healthy throughout the seasons. 

If we can assist you further with any questions or concerns related to seasonal wellness and other winter pet activities, please contact us. Our veterinary team at King’s Trail Animal Hospital are always here for you.