Winter is here again, and nothing is more enjoyable than cozying up with your furry companion to pass the long, cold days.
Emotional support dogs bring warmth, affection, and emotional stability to their owners, but dealing with them can sometimes be difficult, more so when hunkering down inside during winter.
To keep enjoying the company that your ESA gives you, here are some activities that you two can participate in:
Thanks to the freezing weather, exercising is the last thing you want to do in winter. However, both you and your little friend need to stay fit, and there’s no better way to do so than exercising.
Pets tend to grow restless and show unwanted behavior and restlessness when cooped up indoors for a long time.
Exercise provides mental and physical stimulation to you and your ESA, and it doesn’t have to be done outdoors. You can set up indoor games with your ESA, including blowing pet-safe bubbles and running up and down the staircase.
This will keep both of you mentally and physically occupied, besides strengthening your bond.
Hit the Snow with Emotional Support Dogs
Pets love frolicking in the snow. Whenever you have outdoor chores to run, consider tagging your furry buddy along. The pet will get the opportunity to play and exercise and take in some fresh air.
After coming from such errands, wipe off the pet’s coat, face, paws, ears, and any other place where eyes can get wedged. This prevents frostbite.
If you’re an outdoors fanatic, there’s no harm in going for a hike with your ESA. There’s no substitute for spending some time outside the house with your pet.
The change in scenery is right for your emotional well-being. Besides, dogs relish the chance to explore new places and take in new scents. Science also shows that hiking is beneficial to both humans and pets.
You get relief from the stressors of everyday life, and your creativity also improves. These benefits will also extend to your furry pal. Although you may not wander far when hiking with your ESA in winter, you two can still have fun by trying out new trails visiting an unexplored part of your neighborhood or even taking a drive to explore the beauty of winter.
Create an Indoor Agility Course
Just like it’s the case with you, emotional support dogs also need to learn something new every day, and the cold winter weather shouldn’t hold you back. You can bring the fun indoors by creating an agility course for your ESA.
Use chairs, hula hoops, blankets, and other items you have around your house to create a navigation course. Your put will enjoy working his way through and improve his agility while at it.
Take a Class
It’s common to come across communities that offer flyball, swimming, and even behavior classes for emotional support dogs. Enrolling your ESA for such classes can be a fun way to pass the winter.
Find whatever is being offered in your locality, and sure enough, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to beat the winter blues with your fuzzy friend.
Make Your ESA Work for His Food
This winter, you can beat boredom by making your ESA’s mealtimes more engaging. Mealtimes should be an excellent outlet for physical and mental energy, thus the need to make them fun.
Instead of just plunking down a bowl of pet food for Simba at mealtime, consider giving him a mental challenge. For instance, make him work for the food. This will stimulate him, and it’s just as fun as going out for a stroll in the snow.
Paint With Your Dog
While hunkering down indoors during winter, many people prefer painting. Letting your dog get creative is one of the best things to do in winter. Pets, too, can express themselves through painting.
To get them creative, get some washable pup-safe paints, spread out a tarp, and then allow the little one to express himself artistically. You’ll be surprised by how creative dogs can get with colors.
This is also an ideal strategy for keeping the pet occupied while you engage in other activities around the house.
Winters were made for skijoring, and nothing’s better than doing it with your ESA. Skijoring borrows a lot from dog sledding and cross-country skiing and is regarded as one of the best winter activities.
It’s ideal for those who own medium or large athletic emotional support animals and allows both the pet to exercise.
Winters can get stressful, more so if you spend most of it indoors. The lack of activity also takes a toll on your ESA. Nonetheless, you can create an indoor haven for recharging together with your four-legged buddy.
Keep in mind that as someone who needs an ESA, the pet’s presence and emotional well-being is good for you. After playing or going for hikes with your pet, he needs a quiet and comfy place to sleep, adequate food and water, and a toy or two.
Schedule Play Dates
Allowing your ESA to play with other pets is good for his health. For starters, a pet’s social skills improve when it plays with other pets.
Besides, play dates provide much-needed mental and physical stimulation, especially when the weather gets extreme, thus rendering outdoor activities impossible. You’ll also get the opportunity to spend time with other ESA-owner friends/neighbors.
Stay Indoors and Play Together
Sometimes, you may want alone time with your ESA. There’s no better way of spending such time than playing together within the confines of your house.
Some of the games you can play include hide and seek, fetch, and bubbles. These games get both of you the much-needed exercise without stepping out of the house.
Do Some Yoga
Believe it or not, dogs love yoga. If you’re a yoga enthusiast, you should as well do some doga with your ESA this winter. This offers you an excellent opportunity to incorporate the pet into your meditative and relaxation practices.
Some communities even have yoga studios that provide doga classes. Enrolling in such sessions enables you and your furry buddy to work out a couple of poses while bonding all the more.
There’s so much you can do with your emotional support animal to keep inactivity and boredom at bay this winter. Just because it’s cold and you don’t want to step outside doesn’t mean the two of you should turn into couch potatoes until spring.
Exercising and playing with your pet prevent both cabin fever and obesity. Also, you need an ESA card for you to travel or go to some restaurants with your emotional support animal.