When the sleet and snow is falling and temps are hovering just above freezing, what’s a dog owner to do? In our house, favorite activities include Find It, when I leave Sasha in a long down-stay and then stash tiny treats in odd places. (I try to change up the locations to keep her working.) I think her favorite version might include searching for treats I’ve hidden within a folded blanket. I tried the same with a towel, but Miss Smarty-Pants Sheltie quickly figured out she could grab the towel and shake it so the treats fall out.
Another favorite is the Muffin Tin game. With Sasha in a sit/stay or down/stay (I like to vary the commands), I place a treat in some of the muffin tin holes and add a tennis ball to each hole–including those without treats. (Sasha is a “peeker” so I have to leave her in a different room while I set up.) Sasha had a bit of trouble nudging the balls out until Buddy The Wonder Cat showed her what to do. Sasha now sets the balls aside to get the treats while Buddy enjoys rolling and tossing the balls. I’ve considered teaching Sasha to replace the balls in the tin when she’s done digging for treats but I don’t want to spoil the cat’s fun!
Buddy The Wonder Cat encourages Sasha
Here are some other ideas for games and activities I found while browsing the Internet:
Better Homes & Gardens offers 8 ideas for indoor games: https://www.bhg.com/pets/dogs/dog-training/games-for-dogs/ The Muffin Tin game is #7 on their list. They chose a pricey tin, while I prefer the 99¢ version (and seriously, the dog is not going to know the difference!)
Whether your dog is a puppy or a grizzled senior, check out https://www.puppyleaks.com/brain-games/ for suggested activities sure to stimulate your dog.
Find more ideas at https://barkpost.com/life/12-rainy-day-entertainment-ideas-for-dogs/ (great site, by the way–check it out!) And if all that isn’t enough, BarkPost offers 33 more ideas sure to entertain both you and your dog!
Want to suggest other games and activities? Just add a comment!
Sasha says “Let’s play!”
From the super-talented artist Maria Scrivan:Whatever your resolutions and goals may be, here’s wishing you a joyous 2020!
While researching information for my Waterside Kennels series, I’ve learned a lot about dogs in general and about the people associated with breeding and training dogs. Sadly, some of these people are all too often motivated by profit. This has given rise to a veritable cottage industry populated by backyard breeders, puppy mills, and stores who may sell puppies (for hundreds of dollars–or more) from people who have limited or no knowledge of bloodlines, standards, or even breed-specific temperament.
In contrast, responsible breeders work diligently to maintain clean, well-managed facilities, follow industry standards for healthy breeding stock, and work hard to preserve breed characteristics. If you’re interested in finding a responsible breeder, the American Kennel Club (AKC) offers a list of breeders as well as tips to help you make an informed decision.
If you’re not sure which breed might be best for you, you can compare breeds, talk to breeders and owners, and watch the dog in action.
For an example of a purpose-bred dog, check out this story of a coon hound that demonstrated her ability to apply tracking skills in a totally unexpected situation.
Read more about Billie in an article authored by Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz and published online at akc.org.
Find this photo and details about food safety at akc.org
Whatever holidays or special events you celebrate as the year draws to a close, take time to remind yourself what’s safe–and what’s not–for your dogs. Here’s “must know” info straight from writer Mary Keal, whose articles have appeared on the American Kennel Club’s website.
It’s not just humans that overeat at the holidays. Some of us may also be a bit indulgent with our dogs. But it doesn’t have to be the turkey bones or other not-so-great items from the Thanksgiving or Christmas menu. There are healthier choices to share with your dog. From green beans to sweet potatoes, plenty of fall favorites can be tasty (and safe) options for your dog to share in small portions during holiday festivities.
It may be tempting to offer up the turkey bones to include your dog in your family’s celebratory feast. But, because they can potentially cause damage to your pet’s digestive tract, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends keeping them out of reach. However, though turkey bones are off the table, there’s no need for your pet to feel left out.
Safe and satisfying foods that you can share with your dog this holiday season are discussed by Gary Richter, MS, DVM author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide: Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats and Veterinary Health Expert with Rover, Sara Ochoa, DVM and small animal and exotic veterinarian in Texas, and the American Kennel Club’s Jerry Klein, CVO and emergency and critical care veterinarian who has been a valued member of the Chicago veterinary community for over 35 years.
Here’s a quick look at “safe” foods your dog can enjoy. Note: read details and disclaimers in the full article online.
- Sweet potatoes
- Turkey meat (no bones & no skin)
- Green beans
- Peas (plain, not creamed)
- Pumpkin (plain, not pre-spiced)
Photo courtesy of akc.org
Continuing from the article, Dr. Richter, Dr. Ochoa, Dr. Klein, and the AVMA caution the following foods should NOT be served to dogs:
- Turkey bones, skin, and gravy
- Mashed potatoes
- Creamed peas
- Chocolate, cookies, pies, and sweets (especially anything containing xylitol)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Raisins and grapes
- Onions, scallions, and garlic
- Yeast dough
- Fatty foods
- Foods containing spices
Read the entire article online at https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/thanksgiving-foods-to-share-with-your-dog-or-avoid/
To read more dog-related articles authored by Mary Kearl, see the list at https://www.akc.org/author/mary-kearl/
This week, Sasha went to the groomer for the usual shampoo, trim, and tidy work in addition to a long-overdue blowout. Considering how much hair was left on the groomer’s table and floor, I’m grateful Sasha doesn’t have the super-thick coat commonly seen on Shelties.
The additional time required for a proper blowout meant that Sasha was out of the house much longer than usual, and her absence–and the resulting silence–affected all of us. (If you’ve ever spent time with a Sheltie, you’ll know that silence is rare.) Perhaps most affected, though, was Buddy The Wonder Cat, who frets whenever his dog is away from home. He prowled and yowled his way through the house, refusing to settle until Sasha was once again safe at home.
Whether he’s supervising the Muffin Tin Game, overseeing meal time, or just hanging out in the backyard, I can always count on Buddy The Wonder Cat taking care of his dog.