It’s Dark Outside, It’s Cold Outside… Now What?

by Melissa R. on February 3, 2012

This is the worst time of the year, in my opinion. It is dark when I leave for work, and it is dark when I come home from work. Add to that it is 10-30 degrees outside (if we’re lucky), and it’s tough times. I am not an outside person, and don’t like the cold. My dog (Mocca) on the other hand, could care less what the temperature is, or if it is light or dark out! So now what?

Typically, I go outside with Mocca several times a night, to toss the ball or toy for her. Or, perhaps we go for a walk. In the morning, she gets some ball tosses as well. Now that it is dark, and cold… I am hard pressed to do much more than run inside & out as quickly as possible. How though, am I to keep poor Mocca entertained and happy?

…I do other things with her…. Inside.

Mocca loves her Linkables toy!

Mocca loves her Linkables toy!

We have “Trick Time.” This is typically only 5-10 minutes a night, where we do her tricks (for treats) and work on new dog tricks! This could be just basic obedience reinforcement as well. Even though it may only be 10 minutes, the mental challenge of it is an activity to Mocca.

We utilize Treat Toys extensively. I have many different treat toys in my arsenal. The classic Kong and Buster Cube are old favorites. New favorites are the Linkables, and Busy Buddy Bones. These can keep her occupied trying to get the treats out for an hour or more if I stuff it right!

We also do just fun playtime. My dog is a huge fan of big fuzzy toys, and loves to attack them, fetch them, and play tugs. Sometimes I clear the downstairs family room, and toss a ball for her for 10 or 15 minutes while watching TV. Sure, it may not be AS FUN as being outside, but it gets the job done until spring comes!

Occasionally, on weekends, I take Mocca for a walk on the lake once it is frozen over. She LOVES this because she gets to be off-leash and just go crazy-wild RUNNING. We usually bring the Frisbee along for this as well.

All in all, we get through the winter. But I sure do like spring, summer & fall better! How do you change your routines based on the seasons?

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About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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It’s Dark Outside, It’s Cold Outside… Now What? | Lovely Pets
February 5, 2012 at 2:52 am

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammy February 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Hi Melissa,
I just came across a note you posted in 2010 about your kitty Zoe. Our kitty Ali is having the same symptoms and she has an appt today at the vet. Anyway, I couldn’t believe the pics of Zoe. Our kitty Kiki looks so much like Zoe it’s insane!! We lost him in July of 2011 due to fluid build up. 🙁 I don’t know how to post his pic here to show you though!!

melissa February 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

I hope your kitty Ali did OK at the vet yesterday and has no problems. Its so hard when they are sick and you can’t do anything for them. Give your kitty a hug from across the internet and let us know how she is!

Kim Shifflett March 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

Great ideas for when the days and sun are short! Thanks! #celebrate

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