We all know that it can sometimes be a bit of a hassle taking your pug for a walk or out for some exercise in the winter months. A lot of pugs will not even go in to the yard to do their business if there’s snow on the ground, let alone take a stroll to the park. The winter weather can also take it’s toll on you; no one wants to slip on the ice or get drenched in the freezing cold rain.
All dogs require a bit of daily exercise and it’s not really healthy for them to lay around all day without any activity. But how do you manage when there’s a blizzard or storm going on outside?
We wrote a post with some tips on preparing pugs for cold weather, but sometimes the weather is just too bad for either you or your pug to risk a walk. Here’s a few tips on warding off boredom and getting some activity going indoors.
Use the stairs. If your pug knows how to fetch, bring him to the top of the stairs and roll a ball or his favourite toy down the steps. When he reaches it, call him and roll it down again when he brings it to you. After doing this only a few times, your pug should be getting quite worn out, so don’t over do it and always remember to stop if your pug’s breathing changes. Also, try not to throw the toy/ball too hard down the stairs, so your pug doesn’t run too fast after it or it doesn’t bounce all over the place, causing your pug to have a fall.
Finding treats. It is common knowledge that pugs are food motivated. Put this to good use and hide some of your pug’s favourite treats around the house, such as under a rug, under the bed or behind the door. Your pug will have great fun trying to track all of them down! Remember not to hide the treats any place where your pug might push things over or cause things to fall on top of himself.
Create an obstacle course. Find things around the house that you can use to construct a mini obstacle course for your pug. Make an archway out of dinner trays, create a jump from stacking cushions or lay out a slalom using food tins. You could have hours of fun leading your pug through the obstacle course and you and your pug will definitely not be bored!
Play a game. The chances are that your pug always loves to be right by your side, so why not play a game of hide and seek? Hide yourself away somewhere in the house and wait for your pug to run and find you. Remember to give them lots of praise or a treat when they do! You could also play a game or two of tug-of-war. Find a good rope toy and let your pug pull and pull while you hold on to the other end, easy. Just don’t suddenly let go of the rope and make puggy fly backwards.
Learn a new trick. Learning any new trick is great for your pug and will keep them mentally stimulated when there is little to do outdoors. If your pug already knows the basics, like sit, paw or down, then try teaching him some more advanced tricks such as rolling over, speaking on command or walking on hind legs. There are endless tricks you could try to ensure that you or your pug are never bored when you are stuck indoors.
These are only suggestions and ideas, please do not attempt them if your pug is unwell or quite elderly. You know your pug better than anyone, so please do not start/continue an activity if your pug if uncomfortable or in pain. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian.