—Uncle Walter has great energy but, like any Lab worth his weight in biscuits, Wawa is a champion sleeper (who likes to be tucked in)!
On a recent evening while Uncle Walter was sawing logs nearby I was doing some reading online and ran across a great tip for caring for dogs who aren’t such sound sleepers. Animal trainer Miriam Fields-Babineau’s post for Yahoo! Voices offers “5 Brain Games To Stimulate Older Dogs.” Here’s number two:
“Jog to Bed
Many old dogs, especially those with canine cognitive dysfunction, have a tendency to pace and whine at night when everybody has gone to bed. When the dog was younger she would normally sleep at this time, but now her biological clock is askew due to the synapses of her brain not firing as they should.
The best means of ensuring your old dog will sleep is to give her a lot of exercise just before bedtime. A tired dog is less likely to have the energy to pace and whine. Generally, it only takes 20 minutes of your time to play a dog game such as fetch, or go for a walk around the block. When you return home your dog will be … let’s put it this way: dog tired!”
My mom, Walter, Mason and I were out on a before-bed stroll the other night when a skunk strutted into view. Nothing like the threat of a skunking to motivate some nighttime cardio—we ran home!