The Star-Herald

Winter fun for your pup

Here at the Central Aroostook Humane Society we are grateful for the many folks who continue to support what we do.  If there are hardy dog walkers available to come by the shelter, please dress warm and enjoy a 30 minute walk with one of our dogs. 

You can stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. (it’s closed from 12 to 12:30 for lunch). It will make your heart happy and especially the lucky pups as well.

Winter snow can be a great obstacle for a dog to sniff around and dig through to find things. Try hiding some of your pup’s favorite treats around the snow in your backyard and see if he can sniff them out. Your pup will love this game and the reward is in the treat when he finds it. It definitely is a win-win for your snow-loving friend.  

 Many dogs love to retrieve, so playing fetch with snowballs can be a fun, new game. Try packing loose snowballs to toss at your dog and watch him enjoy catching them in his mouth. Try sticking a treat inside each ball for some added fun.  Whether it’s actually caught or dropped, your dog will get rewarded for his efforts.

 Looking out my window right now I see four feet of snow, so possibly building a “snow maze” might be something new and different for your pup.  You can make twists and turns and have different paths cross each other. Then, place a line of treats all along the maze and let loose your dog. You both will have fun running through the paths and your dog will enjoy the tasty treats along the way.

 Some pups are more active and may be into agility workouts.  Try building a snowy obstacle course by packing up mounds of snow around a shoveled path or place objects like brooms and chairs for your dog to leap over. The kids can get involved by holding up a hula-hoop for your dog to jump or walk through, and of course try ending the course with some tasty treats as a reward.  The entire family will have fun building the course out of snow and your dog will love the physical activity.

 For those pups that truly love the outdoors, snowshoeing can be a fun and physical way to play in the snow. Not to mention that it is a wonderful way to keep us humans active and healthy even during the long winter months.  Always be mindful of the dangerous temperatures that may not be good for either pup or you.  Common sense usually is the best option.  Your dog will love getting outside and it’s a great way for you two to bond.

 A fun suggestion from the Animal Welfare Society says try making a snow angel with your dog. Living here in northern Maine, who of us hasn’t in their lifetime made snow angels?  Even some of us adults continue to recreate that youthful experience.  Bundle up and bring your dog outside in the snow. Chances are that once you lay down to start making your snow angel, your dog will no doubt join in the fun. 

Stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society or check out our Facebook page.  During these bitter cold days, remember to keep your pets safe and inside.  Also, please be responsible, spay and neuter.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a Central Aroostook Humane Society board member.

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