13th December 2016

Best in Show's tips for keeping your dog fit and healthy this Winter

Winter is full of temptation. As the days grow shorter and that dreaded nip in the air gets ever more noticeable, healthy greens and brisk walks seem like an unappealing prospect. We crave warm comfort food and spend most of our time curled up on the couch with the fire blazing… Bliss! 
But the reality is, all of those Christmas chocolates and boozy shenanigans will take it’s toll. Come springtime, you’ll regret every bite and wish you’d kept more active over the winter months. It happens to us all. Our pets too.
We can often forget that our routine will also affect that of our dogs and cats. Your dog’s fitness, especially, relies on you. Without regular exercise your dog will become overweight and lethargic, just like humans. So, it seems the solution is obvious. Team up with your pets to keep you both fit and healthy this winter.
There’s some science in our theory too. It’s proven that dogs boost your energy and endorphin levels. As does exercise! We couldn’t think of a better work out buddy than your four-legged friend.
Keeping your dog fit and healthy is vital to your pooch’s wellbeing. It helps avoid illness and disease whilst keeping them feeling tip top. Your dog’s fitness regime should always include the daily walk, or two, outside. The great outdoors and all of it's fresh, albeit frosty, air is beneficial to your dog whatever the weather. Admittedly, walks may become shorter. Usually a mutual decision made silently between you and your dog. 
Because if you’re cold, your dog probably is too. The symptoms of coldness in pets are similar to humans. Animals may shiver or seem reluctant to leave of the house. You can buy coats for dogs of all sizes, just for that extra bit of puppy protection. If it’s wet and gloomy out there, a good scrub with the towel or a blast with the hairdryer after an adventure would go down a treat too! Especially those paws! The pads on their paws may become sore or cracked if they’re left wet.
Whilst you’re pampering your pooch, how about a healthy and natural dog treat too? A firm favourite here at Best in Show is the White Carob Pup Pop. A theobromine free snack especially formulated your dog and taste tested by yours truly. 
With shorter walks and less outdoor activity in your dog’s fitness routine this winter, Best in Show have compiled a list of indoor exercises you can do together, to burn off those mince pies you tried to save for Christmas Day. 
You probably play this one every day! How about playing a little bit longer or throwing that little bit further? Simply, throw your dog a ball and get him or her to bring it back to you. Just remember to hide the ornaments first. 
The Squat
We love this fun dog exercise. As you lower into your squat, tap your dog gently on the end of his or her nose with their favourite dog toy. As you rise again, raise the toy above your head, encouraging your dog to jump for it!
You could always use a pet toy from our Grin and Tear It range? Your doggy dentist’s best friend, the rope toys come in a variety of designs and actually polishes and flosses your dog’s teeth as they fray during playtime. 
Chasing Bubbles
Dogs love bubbles. And their face when they suddenly disappear is adorable too. Get them chasing, jumping and chomping to catch those runaway bubbles. It’s a good idea to use animal friendly bubbles, but they’re readily available from most pet shops.
Hide and Seek
This is a three player game. So, it's a great opportunity for some family time. Two people position themselves in different places in the house and take turns to call the dog. Once he or she finds you, give them a treat and find a new hiding place.
How about the delightful cinnamon toast dog treats from our Dog Toy Box Gift? Wheat free, grain free and all 100% natural ingredients. One taste and they’ll never stop playing.
Obstacle Course
Using all sorts of sturdy household items, such as pillows, chairs and tables, you can create an entertaining obstacle course to challenge your canine friend. Great for boosting your dog’s fitness and really getting that heart rate going. You’ll be able to judge your dog’s balance, endurance and agility.
Then, it’s your turn to take the test and see how you compare! It’s a great cardio exercise as well as offering mental stimulation too. Remember to have plenty of treats on hand to reward your talented pooch. Even better, how about something you can share? We now offer human-grade popcorn that you can now share with your pup! During exercise or in front of your favourite flick, they’ll love our natural dog treats available from Best in Show’s Dog Wicker Basket.
Fun, free and simple ways to keep your dog’s health and fitness levels up when staying indoors is your best option over the winter. However, if you do start to get a bit of cabin fever, you could always venture out to a local doggie class. A quick Google search and you can discover boot camps, swimming classes or even Dog Yoga sessions near you. That’s right, yoga for dogs! More commonly known as Doga, it’s a unique way to decrease stress and anxiety in dogs. This could be especially helpful through the festive period. 
Getting involved in dog classes can be a great way to get social and interact with other dog owners who are trying to keep fit too. It also means, there'll be more people to keep you motivated and help prevent those post-Christmas blues from ill-fitting trousers.
There’s an abundance of things you could do to keep your dog active. You could invest in a dog treadmill, or even a trampoline à la Buster the Boxer. But the team at Best in Show believe your dog will be their happiest and healthiest when interacting with you and your family. Building bonds and having fun.