Colder weather is here and with shorter days, both humans and pets can get a case of the wintertime blues. No need to fret, worry, pace or line the house with sunlamps. There are things pet parents can do in the name of pets to keep them in tip-top mental and physical shape as winter envelops us. So, how can we keep our pets safe and happy during this time?

Exercise: Have you seen how busy gyms are this time of year? We make our New Year’s resolutions and take to treadmills and workout machines. The same can apply to our pets. Try some indoor activity such as chasing your pets from room to room. You can also run up and down the steps a few times. For older pets, or those with vision problems, hold a treat in one hand and allow them to roam with you from room to room. Movement is good, muscles stay active and dogs will not get bored.

Play Dates: Throughout the year, it is important for your pets to have play dates. If you have a monthly or twice-monthly play date for your dog with other canines, it will stimulate their mind and give them something fun and out of the ordinary to do. Visiting and playing with others comes in handy especially when outdoor play is at a winter minimum.

Brighten Your Home: Natural light will help brighter their mood and they get happier when the light is brighter. Make it a daily routine to open your curtains and shades for natural light to come in and help improve your pet’s mood. Cats love to look at the window!

Food Quantities: If your pets are spending less time outdoors, they do not need to eat as much food. Smaller quantities of food will prevent weight gain and allow for more energy. If your pets live outside in a sheltered location, make sure they have extra calories to help them stay warm.