Skip to main content

How to keep your dog active in the winter

In the bitter cold of winter, these little guys absolutely cannot stay out for more than a minute or two. And dogs are like us...they eat more in the winter to build the fat they need to keep warm. So how do we keep them from getting overweight?

Although my dogs love to wrestle and chase each other, it's not sustained long enough for them to get a good workout. So I devised a little game where I grab some of their toys, throw them and make them chase the toys throughout the house. I toss it up the stairs, into a different room and across the basement floor. Our oldest loves his toys. God forbid anyone takes one of them because he'll hunt it down until the end of time. Our youngest doesn't give a rip about the toys, unless he's taking one to tease his brother. So the chase scenario works rather well. Our oldest tears after his precious toy and the youngest follows because he wants to grab it first so he can torment his brother with it. The other part of the game is "hiding" the toy. I'll pretend to throw it and then when they go in the direction they think I've thrown it, I'll hide it on them. Well, they'll tear around the house 5 or 6 times before they actually find it. Then they get praise and we do it again.

This is just something I came up with. Other times I'll walk or run up and down the stairs and around the coffee table and from room to room so they chase me. Hey...I could use the exercise too. :-) But the bottom line is you must keep them moving for a period of time to keep their energy levels up and prevent them from becoming overweight and sluggish.

In the summer it's so easy...we take them for walks in the park or let them run on the beach. In the winter, we simply can't because it's too cold. And keeping them active throughout the winter will mean in the spring their walks will be easy for them because they've stayed active through the winter months.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ear infections

Dogs with long, floppy ears are prone to ear infections, and Shih-Tzus are certainly not immune. My oldest just got treated for one.

At first, I didn't even realize he had an infection. When I was growing up, we had a Lhasa Apso and whenever she got the infection, there was a distinct odor that came from her ear so we knew it was time to go to the vet. However, when I checked my oldest, there was no odor so I let it go longer than I should have because I thought that it was just overly itchy and perhaps a bit irritated because of this scratching. I realized something was wrong after my husband told me he got up in the middle of the night and found our oldest scratching his ear and crying. That was enough to convince me something wasn't right. I immediately made an appointment with the vet and, lo and behold, he had an ear infection.

So what are the signs? Assuming there is no odor (which is a dead giveaway), this is what you need to watch for:
1. repeated scratching of the affec…

Grooming the Shih-Tzu's eye area

The eye area, and the face in general, are the hardest parts of grooming simply because you need your dog to sit perfectly still in order to cut away in these delicate areas.

The most important tool? Sharp, snub-nosed scissors. I picked mine up at a holistic pet shop where the owners regularly show their dogs so they had a lot of expertise in grooming and actually cater to people who groom their dogs for show, so they had all the right supplies. However, many pet stores carry grooming equipment. The owners explained to me that the snub-nose is most important because if your pet does move, there is no pointed tip to harm them.

Now I have trained my boys to sit still by using voice commands...speaking gently to them and raising my voice slowly and adding firmness if they continue to squirm around. Now they will lay in my arms or sit quietly on the floor while I groom their face. This method of training requires an inordinate amount of patience (which, thankfully, I have). However, I know …

Shih-Tzu hairstyles

I, for one, am fascinated by the hairstyles given to Shih-Tzus. In particular the "top knot" seems to be the thing to do with this breed.

Although my boys have short hair, I've found some links for those who are a bit more adventurous and want to give their dog a bit more panache.

1. Shih-Tzu top knots - illustrations of how to tie the top knot, show knot and puppy knot.
2. A casual Shih-Tzu top knot and the illustrated guide to the Show knot (curling iron required. Really!)
3. One of the most fabulous pics I've seen of a Shih-Tzu. I have no idea how they got the dog to look so perfect, but I suspect it took quite a few hours and hairspray was involved.