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The past few months had a series of cold snaps that quickly reminded all of us in the Chicagoland area that winter is well on its way. It has been a lovely summer and fall full of adventures for you and your dog, but this month gives you a chance to remember a few cold weather safety practices that you might have forgotten since the last winter wind blew through.

In hopes of keeping you and your furry best friend safe, the team at Dog Training Now compiled this list of winter safety tips. Here’s to a cozy winter season full of plenty of snuggles with your dog!

Short walks are still sweet
By now, you know that our Trainers are serious when it comes to recommending daily walks to Owners and their dogs. Daily walks are a great way for you and your dog to get some much needed exercise, and your time outside is the perfect time to practice obedience commands consistently.

We realize that winter weather can tempt you to stay inside and hibernate. However, your dog will miss that walking routine and you may end up seeing him exhibit some unwanted behaviors. He has to get rid of that energy somehow! Instead of skipping your walks altogether, choose to shorten your walks if it is simply too cold for you or your dog to bear.

Increase your command practice
Your dog needs physical and mental exercise, especially in the wintertime. Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog! Give your dog the extra stimulation he needs by upping your command practice at home. Practicing “Place”, “Down”, and “Stay” commands not only promote good behavior and bonding, but can also be just challenging enough to exercise your dog’s endurance.

Light up your walks
With decreased daylight hours, you might be taking your walks outside in dusk or pitch black darkness. Keep yourself, and your dog, safe by adding extra light so that you can be seen by cars and fellow pedestrians. Try a reflector vest for your dog to wear, a rechargeable light up leash, or even button flashing lights to clip to your coat. Err on the side of too many lights instead of not enough; you may feel silly but you will be safe!

Visit the studio
Finally, cold weather can be dangerous for extended play time outside. For more rambunctious dogs, this lack of serious activity can be frustrating and even unhealthy. Give us a call to set up time in our studio for your dog. Whether you want your dog to learn obedience commands, or if you are a Dog Training Now alumni looking for a day or two each week to socialize and exercise safely indoors, we are here to help!