When the cold weather hits, it’s time to come up with some fun activities to keep your furry family member happy and healthy. Just like people, dogs can start to go a little stir-crazy if they’re stuck in a repetitive routine, and regular exercise is so important. Fortunately, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor things to do — you just need to get a little creative with it! Here are 8 ideas to get you started.
1. Find New Places to Walk
Don’t let the chill get in the way of your daily routine! Many dogs love playing in the snow, and as long as the temperature is over 20 °F, most dogs should have no problem with winter dog activities lasting a half hour or so. On those extra cold days, you may want to keep outdoor fun to 15-20 minutes for smaller dogs. Pay attention to your pup to get a feel for their tolerance level.
Winter presents a fantastic opportunity to explore some new terrain. Icy roads can be painful on paws, so try to find an area that has softer ground — hiking paths are a great option. Avoid areas that may have rock salt, antifreeze, or other chemicals used to melt ice. Besides potentially irritating your dog’s paws, they can be harmful if your dog licks their paws and inadvertently ingests the substance.
Dog parks are perfect for winter dog activities. They tend to be well-maintained all year round, and their conditions are tailored to the needs of dogs. If you don’t have a local dog park nearby, try to find a grassy field that allows dogs. Simply put, one of the best things to do with your dog in the winter is to get out of the house. From there, dogs have their own way of creating fun!
2. Get Your Groove On
When you’re stuck indoors, turn on your favorite tunes and dance with your dog! Dog dancing (also known as canine freestyle) was popularized by the TV show King of the Hill, but it’s actually one of the best winter dog activities, as well as a real sport! Of course, training your dog choreographed moves isn’t always practical, but you might be surprised by how much fun you both have simply moving to the music. Just make sure you keep the volume at an appropriate level for dogs’ sensitive ears.
3. Bake Some Tasty Treats
Baking and winter go hand-in-hand, so why not make something yummy for your four-legged friend? You’ll have fun playing chef, and your dog will certainly appreciate the fruits of your labor. Besides making some delectable snacks for your own dog, homemade dog treats make fantastic holiday gifts. Check out these holiday dog treat recipes!
4. Snuggle Up With a Good Movie
Not all winter dog activities need to be active! Your dog loves spending time with you, and simply cozying up on the couch together can really boost their mental health. On those frigid days and nights when it just doesn’t make sense to go outside, make sure you give your pup some attention. Enjoy some snacks together while you unwind with your favorite winter flicks. If you’re content just chilling, there’s a good chance your furry bestie will follow suit!
5. Go Sledding
Sledding is a blast for humans, but it’s also one of the best physically active things to do with your dog in the winter. Dogs can have a whole lot of fun chasing the sleds or even riding along. In fact, many of your go-to winter dog activities can involve your dog too! For example, if you’re into cross-country skiing, try skijoring if your dog is large and strong enough to pull you along. If you’re a snowmobiler, bring your dog along for the ride.
6. Have a Photoshoot
Planning the perfect photoshoot with your dog is a fantastic way to spend a cold day. Groom your dog (if necessary), dress up your pup in adorable accessories, get the lighting right, and create photography magic! Not only will you end up with some fabulous photos for your social media pages, but you’ll actually be helping to train your dog important skills like sitting still for extended periods of time and behaving while getting groomed.
7. Go On an Adventure
Taking a trip together is one of the most exciting winter dog activities for both of you! Even if you can’t commit to a full vacation, consider spending a weekend at a local, dog-friendly bed and breakfast. Traveling with your dog is such a wonderful way to bond, and they’ll really appreciate a change of scenery. As you brainstorm things to do with your dog in the winter, think about what you want to do. You might be surprised by how many of those ideas can easily include your dog. Just make sure you plan the trip in advance to avoid any potential complications.
8. Visit Friends and Family
Sometimes the greatest winter dog activities are things you would do anyways, only with your pup included. Next time you’re going to hang out with friends or family, ask if they would mind if your dog comes along. Many folks who don’t have pets of their own absolutely love the opportunity to spend some time with a friendly dog, and of course, your dog will love the attention. Even better, if you know someone who has a dog, arrange a doggie play date!
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Hopefully, these activities will help you beat the winter boredom! While you’re here, check out our collections. We have so many fashionable and functional items that dog-obsessed people (and their dogs) are sure to appreciate.
These winter dog activities will get you through the chilly season, but we have plenty of year-round dog-centric content for you to explore too! Check out our pet blog for more tips and ideas that keep your dog thriving!