Tag Archives: staying cool

Boredom Busters

In a little over a week I will be going back to work. A week after that Andrew will be returning to work and Logan and Tayla will be left to entertain themselves during the day.

The basis of this post is the fact that a bored Husky is a destructive Husky. Digging, chewing, destructive behaviours and escape attempts are all symptoms of a bored dog.

Exercise

The best way to keep your dog from getting bored during the day is to make sure they don’t have an excess of energy. Keeping the dog well exercised will keep energy reserves away from destructive levels.

Keep in mind, leaving an anxious or energetic dog in the morning pretty much guarantees returning home to a destructive dog.

Playing in the yard

A key to keeping dogs entertained in the yard when you aren’t home is to keep dogs entertained in the yard while you are home. Playing and training in the yard can help develop a good relationship between the dog and it’s environment.

If your dog needs exercise, don’t just take him for a walk. Think about playing in the backyard for a while instead.

Toys

Well now, this is a rather obvious one isn’t it? Make sure that the dog has toys that interest him, things that he enjoys playing with. Logan for example doesn’t like hard or rubber toys, so we need to supply him with soft toys or ropes.

While this is an obvious thing to do there are a few rules:

  • Make sure not to have too many toys available. This may cause the dog to get bored with them much faster.
  • Make sure that you change the toys regularly. Huskies get bored of toys easily, this can be avoided by changing the toys every day or so. We have a couple boxes of toys so that we can rotate the toys that are available. If Logan hasn’t had his monkey for a while then he goes crazy when it emerges from the box.

Treat givers

There are a lot of toys on the market that make the dog work to get treats. This keeps the dog’s mind active during the day. Some examples of this are Kongs, treat balls and food cubes.

The balls and cubes have one hole on one side that dispenses treats. The dog needs to move the treat giver around to make the treats fall out. The hole usually also has a device you turn to make the hole smaller or bigger.

A cheaper option than the balls and cubes are plastic bottles. Logan’s vet suggested this when we took Logan to his first check-up, and Logan loved them. Just get an empty 600ml bottle, make sure to remove the label and any plastic bits, and put some treats inside. The dog then needs to throw the bottle around to get the treats to fall out.

One issue with the treat balls is that smarter dogs can outwit the ball, and Siberian Huskies are notoriously cunning dogs. Logan figured out that if he pushes the ball into a hole, with the treat dispensing hole pointing down, he can get all of the treats out with very little effort. Logan also figured out how to turn the opening to make the hole bigger.

Logan also eventually learnt how to get the treats out of the bottles, although it took him a while to perfect it. He pretty much picks the bottle up and a lot of the treats fall out.

Kongs and food cubes may be better for smarter dogs.

Hiding treats

Hide some treats around the yard or house for the dog to find during the day. Logan LOVES his treat hunts. It keeps them entertained, and keeps their keen sense of smell.

If you are worried about your dog gaining weight you can take the food out of the dogs meals.

Sandpit

Huskies love digging, and if they get bored it is the main ‘go to’ thing to do. Having a sandpit, or a designated digging area, will keep your lawn from getting destroyed.

This will take a bit of training to get the dog to dig in the correct area, but will be worthwhile in the long run.

Pools

Kiddie pools or small ponds will help to keep your dog cool, and keep them entertained during the day. Whatever Logan is doing in the backyard, it’s a safe bet that it will end with him digging in the corner of the pool, getting himself absolutely drenched.

Daycare

Taking your dog to a daycare clearly isn’t an everyday solution. But taking Logan to DogCity Daycare once or twice a week has been very effective for us.

Logan comes home so tuckered out that he sleeps and lounges around for the next day or two. This is a great way to combat boredom for the day he is at daycare, and the following days he is too tired to care. This effectively removes any destructive behaviour for a few days.

Does anyone have any other ideas for keeping dogs entertained during the day?

By the way I wrote this post with Tayla sitting next to me licking my shorts. That girl is a little strange 🙂

Keeping cool, with conservation in mind

As part of this years Blog Action Day, here’s a few tips for keeping your Huskies cool this summer, while staying conscious of water conservation. It is important to keep your Husky cool in summer, but keep in mind that all it takes is a little consideration to keep wasted water to a minimum.

Firstly, and momentously important, do NOT shave your Husky’s fur. Siberian Husky fur keeps them cool in summer, warm in winter and a general defence against everything in between. Shaving or cutting your Husky’s fur can seriously demoralise a Husky, as well as be a health risk in extreme weather.

It is important that your dog is acclimatised to the heat. Don’t keep your dog inside with the airconditioning until you go out, or until you take them for a walk. You need to acclimate your Husky, so that when they are stuck in the heat it won’t be as much of a shock.

Use the following tips to keep your dog cool while they are in the heat.

Shelter

Ensure that your Husky has access to a shelter or shade during the day. If possible, let your dog inside during the hottest parts of the day.

Last summer Logan had a dog sized gazebo outside that provided plenty of shade for the little Husky.

Huskies like to dig themselves little ditches to sleep in during hot weather. This is one of their innate ways to keep themselves cool. Logan has a little ditch down the side of the house, in the shade, where he whiled away the hot days.

Ponds and Pools

Last summer we got Logan a children’s clamshell pool, one half of which we filled with water for Logan to play in. It was quite a cool spot for him in his pool, underneath his little gazebo. However there are a few issues with using little pools like this.

Water saver: If the Husky doesn’t use it for a while then the water can start to stagnate and get dirty. This means that you need to refill it regularly to keep the water clean. If you are in for the long haul, and have some spare money, a better option is to get a little pond installed. There are small ponds that can be picked up at gardening stores that come complete with pumps and filters. This will reduce the frequency that you will need to replace the water.

These pools also look much better than a kiddy pool. Just be sure not to put any fish in it, although your Husky might like that sort of thing 🙂

Freezing Fruits

Freezing fruits in water is something that pet owners have been borrowing from zoos for years. It’s a great way to keep pets cool, while giving them something to play with. This involves using an empty ice cream or butter container, filling it with water and freezing an apple in it. This does however, waste a lot of water.

Water saver: One alternative to this is to just freeze the fruit by itself. Putting the frozen fruit in the pool or pond will help to keep the water cool and give the dog something to play with in the water. We did this for Logan and he spent over half an hour pushing the apple under the water and watching it bob back up.

Beaches

Water saver: This is an obvious one. Huskies to love to wade and dig in water. Rather than setting up sprinklers and waste a lot of water, a trip to the beach is a great alternative.

Be sure to always keep your Husky on a leash when at the beach, regardless of whether it is the law or not. Huskies can generally not be trusted off-leash, especially at the beach.

Brush Regularly

While it is important not to shave or cut your Husky’s fur, be sure that you still brush it regularly. Huskies should start shedding when the hot weather hits, so make sure to regularly brush your Husky to remove any excess fur that would keep them from cooling effectively.

Huskies need a lot of special attention during the hot months but if you keep an eye on them, try to keep them cool, they’ll be fine just fine.

Was a short post, I know, but we’re getting ready to go on holidays tomorrow so life is a bit too hectic. When we get back we are picking up Tayla, and then life will be turned completely upside down. Sounds like fun 🙂