Here in the Bay Area, we are lucky to enjoy weather that is the essence of “sunny California.” Most of the time, anyway. When the weather is lovely, it begs us to head outdoors for some exercise with our family, and the family dog. But when the weather turns rainy – as it does in normal winters – outdoor activities aren’t so attractive.
The grass is green, but it’s no fun
If your pup’s favorite dog park is turfed with natural grass, it’s likely to be a soggy, muddy mess once the rains hit. You’ll both get filthy, and chances are good some of that mud and debris will wind up inside your house. Your dog’s popularity will plummet, as will yours. And your fun play time will conclude with a tussle over muddy paws.
Natural grass is also extremely slippery when it gets wet. So while you can expect to get decent traction on the grass in dry weather, all bets are off when it rains. You and your pooch will be slip-sliding away instead of throwing and fetching. And while it might be somewhat funny to watch your dog rolling around like some cartoon character, if you slip and fall, you could easily wrench your knee or sprain your ankle. Who’s having fun now?
And yet your four-legged friend needs exercise, to stay fit and healthy and to keep his doggie mind stimulated. So what can you do to keep him busy during rainy weather?
And be glad you made the decision to replace your natural grass lawn with artificial turf. It laughs at rain, quickly draining away water from even the heaviest downpours. Fake grass is not slippery when it’s wet. And it doesn’t generate mud and debris to track into the house. So what if it’s raining? Play ball!
Rather stay inside? Most dog owners know Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer – an online guru when it comes to training and care tips to keep your canine happy and in tip-top condition. No surprise, Cesar has some suggestions for helping Fido get his exercise during the rainy weather. For example:
- Play “hide and seek” and practice recall at the same time. Hide somewhere in the house, call your dog, and reward him when he finds you.
- Make him “nose around” for his dinner, putting portions of it in a box, a Kong wobbler, or other puzzle toys.
- Take an obedience or agility class at one of the local doggie day care or training facilities.
Doggie day care is a great option for busy pet parents who must, sadly, go to work instead of staying home to play with their beloved pups all day. For example, there’s Sanity’s Play N Stay in Campbell, or Allies’ Doggie Day Camp in downtown San Jose. Both get 5-star reviews (and, presumably, 4 paws up from pooches). Doggie day care is a treat for pups and their parents any time, not only during rainy weather. And there are lots to choose from all around the Bay Area.
Last summer we wrote an article on practicing yoga on your artificial grass. If it’s not raining too hard – or in between showers – why not invite your pooch to join you for an outdoor Doga session? Doga is all the rage right now. You can both strengthen your flexibility, and perhaps you will both achieve a more Zen-like state to carry you through the rainy remainder of the day.