Does your Dog Have Cabin Fever? Here’s How to Help!

Did you know that your dog can suffer from winter time depression? Short daylight hours and cold temperatures means fewer opportunities for outdoor exercise and dogs accustomed to running and playing can become frustrated at being trapped inside all day. 

You'll know your dog is suffering if he develops problem behaviors like barking and howling, chewing furniture or scratching at doors, and messing in the house. 

Of course, the best thing for both of you is to bundle up and get outside as soon as you get home from work. But that's not always easy during these cold, dark months, so our trainers offer some suggestions for keeping your canine friend busy until spring arrives:

-Give your dog a problem to solve. Treat puzzles provide mental stimulation, rewards to keep her engaged, and are available in a range of types and difficulty levels, like these treat toys. 

-Get rid of the food bowl. Hunting for his meal can keep a dog occupied for hours. Try a food- dispensing toy or simply scatter your dog's kibble around the kitchen so he has to work for his meal.

-Establish a training routine. Dogs thrive when they have a job, so practice basic obedience skills daily and add in new tricks. A professional trainer can help you develop a customized routine. 

-Invest in an Invisible Fence® system. On those cold, dark nights, it's great to be able to let your dog out for a romp in the yard while you watch from the window. 

For more information on ways to keep the family dog healthy, safe and happy year-round, visit