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As I write this post, snow drifts outside my window on this 12-degree day. It’s pretty looking out at it, but the thought of walking my dog Cooper in that? No way!
However, even in the wintertime, he needs exercise. Our dogs are just like us in the winter: they can feel cooped up and stir crazy being stuck in the house for cold, icy, gray weeks on end.
The solution? Play dates!
It’s a Date!
Cooper’s BFF Cady spent last weekend at our house playing with him, and he gets to spend the day with Otto, my mom’s dog, this coming weekend. Arranging play dates for your pup allows him or her to get exercise and the stimulation of socialization. If the weather accommodates, play dates at the park or on the hiking trails double the fun!
Make It Work
Choose a playmate your dog is already comfortable with before having them over to your home. If you want to do a fresh introduction, pick a neutral spot like a local park first. Just like you wouldn’t want your kiddo to frolic with the school bully, make sure you feel comfortable with the behavior of the other dog. Same goes for vaccinations: If you want to be sure the playmate is vaccinated for, say, rabies, ask.
Not Just Winter
Play dates are a great way for your dog to burn off a ton of energy while getting the socialization he or she needs. For dogs who aren’t comfortable in large groups—like at the dog park or doggy daycare—small-group or one-on-one socialization can be invaluable!
So, text your favorite dog moms and arrange your pup some play time!