Notice that your dog has a little extra “pep” in their steps these days as the weather gets warmer and days get longer? If he or she is anything like some of our dogs, they’ve been running in circles in the yard more often, digging up holes in the dirt, and eating some new spring grass.
Just like you might seem to have a little more energy in the spring, it could seem like your dog has followed suit lately as well.
“The warmer weather shouldn’t impact itself on a dog’s energy levels but the warmer temps definitely mean we can head out and do a whole lot more with our dogs outside and for them this is most definitely exciting and something they love so they may come across as a little more excitable,” says Dr. Danielle Bernal, BVSc, MRCVS, Global Vet Nutrition Director at Wellness Pet Company.
Luckily, there are some ways to deal with your dog’s more excitable behavior during the warm weather months.
Get more exercise:
Take your dog on a longer walk—or two walks—and reap the benefits of the longer, lighter days.
Exercise is one of the best options (ensuring the dog has no health issues such as osteoarthritis that may be aggravated as a result) as it not only supports their physical fitness, but it allows dogs a great mental and social experiences as well as seeing and smelling different things helps their wellbeing, as does crossing paths with other dogs when out on a walk or at a dog park, says Dr. Bernal.
“Almost 60 percent of our pets are overweight or obese so this spring enthusiasm and encouragement to get them moving will help settle them down by getting that energy out of their systems—but it will also help keep them in good body condition which is so very important for their total wellbeing.”
Keep up with training practices:
If you’ve let some negative dog behaviors slide by the wayside this winter—like jumping up on people who come in the door or barking at every delivery person on the block—now is a great time to work on behavior training again. Not only will you work on improving unwanted behaviors, but you’re challenging their brains which requires energy and patience.
“Any additional training a pet parent can do not only supports ensuring your dog is obedient and responsive at all times but it also helps mentally stimulate them and, just like us, using that brain in an engaging way does help wear them out,” says Dr. Bernal.
Stimulate them with new toys:
Your dog’s old toys might be their beloved favorites, but you could help keep them occupied with some newer, more challenging toys.
“I am a big fan of puzzle balls and dental chews to keep them enriched, engaged, and busy when at home,” says Dr. Bernal. “These deliver an overall calming benefit but also provide a species-specific behavior that dogs simply love – chewing!”
Give them an occupy chew:
Check out our new WHIMZEES® by Wellness® Antler shape which is meant to keep your dog busy with a delicious distraction. They’ve been specifically designed to occupy your dog! We think these natural, rawhide-free chews with natural chamomile extract flavor are especially great to give if you’re working from home and need to keep an excitable pooch busy while you get things done.
Tag us in pics of your dog living their best life outdoors this spring on the ‘gram at @wellnesspetfood.