Anyone else excited about the above freezing temperatures? We all know winters in Missouri and Kansas can be brutal if they want to be, but what do we do about our furry friends? They still need regular exercise and mental stimulation, even with frigid temperatures. We thought we would provide some nice ideas for you and your pets to stay healthy in the winter!

1. A brisk morning walk.

I know that sounds awful, but doing a quick 5-10 minute walk gets the heart pumping and both of you will benefit from the fresh air, no matter how cold that may be. Of course, know your pet’s limits before going on these walks, and consider getting them booties or a sweater.

2. Old-fashioned game of fetch.

Yes, this can be played both indoors or outdoors. Grab your dog’s favorite toy, and toss the ball around for a good interval of time. Especially if space permits inside, this is a fun, safe way to stay warm on a chilly day.

3. Dog Stairs.

Oh yes, this is a thing. It’s kind of like the stairs workout at a gym, but at home, with your dog. Start by walking up and down the stairs, and then make it into a game of chase. Both of you will be burning some calories by the end of it!

4. Doga.

This is exactly what you think it is. Combining dogs and yoga, this is a relaxing activity you both can do together. Just some few basic stretches can bring your bonds closer together, and you can de-stress both yourself and your pup!

5. Squat Tease.

Get into a squat position with your dog’s favorite toy in hand. As you squat down, tap your dog with the toy. Then, as you rise, bring the toy above your head so that he jumps for it. While squats may not be a favorite, both of you will benefit from a quick session!

6. Make mealtime stimulating.

For cats, it’s a little harder to get them to stay active during the wintertime. Your cat can easily become overweight if all he does is eat a big meal and then go sleep all day. You can avoid this by hiding small portions of food around the house in bowls or in feeding toys. Feeding in this manner will also increase their daily physical activity and hone their hunting instinct!

7. Make treat time fun, too.

Play a game of hide and seek with a catnip toy or their favorite treats. When they get the toy give them a treat and start again. As they begin to understand the game you can make the toy more difficult to find. You’ll be surprised on how much fun this is!

8. Get some extra playtime.

Cat toys come in all shapes and sizes, and for a good reason. It is meant to entice your cat to get up and get moving! Their hunting instincts come alive, and they have a pretty good time! It’s also fun if you can get an interactive wand toy to join in with; your cat can enjoy your company.

9. Cat Obedience Training.

Believe it or not, cats can learn obedience. They can be clicker trained too! Just like dogs, cats can learn tricks like come, sit, fetch and stay too. Start with a treat that your cat loves and practice for 15 minutes a day. You may need to break up the treat in small pieces to control calories and limit weight gain. Once your cat performs the desired action you should reward them within 1-2 seconds so he will associate the treat with the command.

10. Make your home a cat adventure land.

We mean make your home interactive for your cat. Cat trees are always nice, because cats typically like being high up and exploring. Another positive is they are made out of material to entice your cat to scratch that, and not your furniture!

We know some of these are silly, but we can promise all of them are fun! You get to bond with your pet, and they get the needed exercise and stimulation they need during those brutal winter months. We’re curious to see how many of you are going to start doing doga!

Please visit our shelter during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.