Ideas to Keep the Winter Blues at Bay

It’s been a long, cold winter already and with January feeling as though it lasted 131 days, I think we’re all feeling the winter blues a little. It’s important we make sure that our canine family are happy and healthy, both physically and mentally during the cold season as they play a big part in keeping us healthy too!

Dog in a field covered in snow

Did you know?

  • Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than non-dog owners
  • Dog walking increases your social interaction – you’ll make new friends in your local area in no time!
  • Playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax us
  • Dog owners generally have lower blood pressure & cholesterol and visit the doctor less frequently than those without pets
  • Pet-owning children have fewer days off school due to sickness

Whether you have a new pup, an old boy or are a home boarder looking after a dog whilst their owners are away, we have some great ideas to keep everybody stimulated, entertained and the winter blues at bay.


Go on an adventure

Every good dog walk ends at the pub, but you’ve got to earn that pub grub first! With so many dog fur-iendly bars and restaurants now, you have no excuse to stay at home.

Getting outside is great for your mind, body & soul, and we know it can be a bit cold and wet at this time of year, but it’s perfect to find a new woodland walk! Your pup will have a great time surrounded by new smells, they can make some more friends and no doubt chase some wildlife, but you know they’ll have plenty of fun and return home ready for a snooze.

There are plenty of Local Dog Walks around the Greater Manchester area and most of them end with a good pub!

Labrador carrying a stick

If you fancy some human company or want to meet new friends yourself, how about joining a guided dog walk at The Pet Café in Bents Garden Centre. They are paw-fect for your pooch to build their confidence and socialisation skills too!


Indoor entertainment

Get involved with some Barks & Crafts or a game of Hide & Treat!

Enrichment games keep your dog’s brain healthy, stimulated and can prevent boredom – which can sometimes lead to anxiety and stress. Indoor entertainment is perfect to promote their mental health and a great idea for when conditions may be a bit too rough to go outside!

Games can be simple, inexpensive and even homemade. Simply use a few bowls and hide a toy or treat underneath one, move them around and allow your dog to use their brain and nose to find it. Snuffle mats are also a fantastic way for your pups to use their noses, focus their brains and tire them out!

Dog licking a kong

Or, if you have a spare cardboard box lying around, then you can place a toy or treat in there and let your dog work out how to get into it! Guaranteed to create a pile of shredded cardboard, but it will certainly provide hours of fun!

You can also fill their Kongs with Peanut Butter or even a Licki-mat but if the dog has to sniff the food out before they can eat it, this will stimulate their senses and build a closer bond with you, whilst you enjoy watching them learn!


Spend some quality time with each other

With hectic schedules and today’s on-the-go lifestyle, we understand it can be difficult to fit some quality family time in, but it is important to build a trusting relationship with your four-legged friend from an early age. Cuddling a dog reduces stress, loneliness and anxiety and family dogs help children display better social skills and boost their self-esteem.

Doga (doggy yoga) has gained popularity in recent years and is filled with petting, looking into each other’s eyes and cuddling in the comfort of your own home. You can now even practice yoga surrounded by adorable puppies, which other than being very cute, is also great for them to learn to socialise with people in a calm and stress-free environment before they move on to their forever homes.


If you don’t have a dog of your own, Digs for Dogs has plenty of furry friends for you to borrow!

Digs for Dogs provides the perfect alternative to kennels, with a one to one home boarding service for dogs

Couple holding a happy dog

Being a home boarder brings all the benefits of having a dog at home but without the full-time responsibility of owning one yourself. We’re always on the lookout for new hosts to provide a loving home to one of our dogs. Whether you are a family, a couple or live alone, the only criteria is that you must love dogs of all shapes and sizes – and be on hand to give out lots of cuddles! Easy!

by Georgie Pomfret

Next: A Day In The Life Of A Digs for Dogs Dog Walker