Activities For Dogs In California On Cold Days

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Introduction

Old Man Winter crash your plans for the weekend? Has a local storm finally rolled into your neighborhood? When most people think of California, they think of clear skies, sunny weather, and sandy beaches. Little do they know, however, that California is also prone to becoming woefully cool during the winter and spring. What can dog and their owner do on a day where the sun is blotted out by massive rain clouds and strong, gusty winds rage across the streets? This guide endeavors to help dog owners find a variety of activities that they can engage in with their dog during a cold, Californian day.

Stay Indoors

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Cold Day
Cheap
Easy
2 to 5 Hours
Items needed
Dog Puzzles
Dog Toys
Doggie Treats
Activity description
California is often considered to be in a state of drought, so whenever it rains around Golden State, it rains hard. Very, very hard. And occasionally, massive hailstones tend to come down alongside the rain and the wind. Flash floods warnings are also given out quite frequently on rainy days and many of California's typically beautiful and world famous beaches lose much of their luster when they're shrouded in gloom. Suffice it to say, staying inside and playing with your dog within the warm confines of your home is often the best course of action during particularly cold days in California.
Step
1
Stock up for the winter
Granted, cold Californian days don't always come in the winter; one is just as likely to experience extremely low temperatures and strong gusts of wind during the spring. All the more reason to get over to your nearest pet shop and get a few entry level dog toys, such as a Dog Treat Ball.
Step
2
Warm up your dog
This step will require more work from certain dog owners than others, depending on which type of dog one currently cares for; dogs with thick coats like Siberian Huskies or Saint Bernards won't need as much, if any, extra coating or clothing while dogs with thin coats, like the ever popular Chihuahua, might need a sweater or even a blanket.
Step
3
Brace yourself
Continue to check the news or any weather apps you might have on your phone to get an idea of how things are going on outside. If there's no hail coming, and the rain and wind are relatively tame, then you and your dog should be able to go for a chilly stroll around the block before heading inside if either of you are growing a bit stir crazy.
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Visit Big Bear

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Cold Day
Moderate
Normal
5 to 8 Hours
Items needed
Skiis
Dog Harness
Sled
Activity description
The famous musician Albert Hammond once sang "it never rains in Southern California." Many natives to Southern California would likely be puzzled by Hammond's melodious line for a few moments before quickly asking Hammond if he meant to say that it never snows in Southern California? The reason a SoCal native might ask Hammond that question is due to the fact that snow almost never falls in any parts of Southern California, save for one area in particular; Big Bear Lake. During the cold seasons of the year, the Big Bear Mountains become capped with snow and ice, making the area the perfect place to go skiing, snowboarding, or sledding.
Step
1
Conduct some research
Dog owners looking to visit the Big Bear Mountains are definitely encouraged to read about the area and learn what amenities and resources will be at their disposal. The Big Bear Mountains resort has remained a popular Californian vacation spot, both for natives and tourists, for decades and many of its frequent visitors have written helpful reviews for the edification of others.
Step
2
Pack plentifully
Whether you and your dog intend to visit the Big Bear Mountains during a weekend getaway or for the duration of a week long vacation, you'll want to bring the appropriate gear for the trip; warm clothes and snacks will likely be the first things you pack for the trip, but be sure to bring some snow boots so that you and your dog can really get out there and play in the snow.
Step
3
Give skijoring a try
Skijoring is a Norwegian winter sport in which a skier attaches themselves to their dog via a harness and a bungee cord, then encourages their dog to pull the two of them across the snow. Skijoring is definitely an activity that'll take lots of practice, and you'll want to make sure you get sturdy and reliable equipment when you attempt it, but it's a fun and unique way to bond with your dog.
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Hit the Treadmill

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Cold Day
Expensive
Normal
30 - 60 Minutes
Items needed
Treadmill
Activity description
If your dog is feeling particularly wiry, or if you don't want to let the cold weather get in the way of your dog getting a quality workout, consider getting a treadmill that you, your dog, and anyone can use indoors on days where heading outside just isn't as enticing of an idea. Treadmills can be quite pricey, costing anywhere between from $500 to $1000 or more, but that's due to the fact that most treadmills tend to last for a very long time. Treadmills specifically designed for dogs can be purchased as well, but all dogs can use a normal treadmill without any problems after their owners have helped them learn how to use them.
Step
1
Get to know your treadmill
Most modern treadmills have a slew of nifty features and settings that can make a workout on one resemble anything between a brisk walk in the park to an intense sprint at a triathlon. Furthermore, treadmills also have settings that can increase their level of incline, making it feel like you're trying to scale a mountain. So before you let your pup put a paw on a treadmill, you'll want to learn how your machine works.
Step
2
Learn your dog's limits
After you've learned how to operate the treadmill, you can begin to start easing your dog into the process of using one. We suggest that you keep your settings slow and steady early on; even a dog who's prone to sprinting around or one who loves going out for a good jog needs to be eased onto a treadmill.
Step
3
Push your dog's limits
After a few sessions of trotting along the treadmill at a brisk pace, your dog will likely be eager to take things to the next level. Gradually increase the speed and/or incline of the treadmill over the course of subsequent sessions. Always keep the settings in a range that's comfortable for your dog but also try to set the parameters up to test your dog's burgeoning athleticism.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hide and Seek

If it's far too cold to go outside, try playing a game of hide and seek with your dog; you'll need to rearrange your furniture and create enough space as to eliminate any potential hazards that you or your dog might bump into in the heat of the game. Afterwards, try to hide away from your dog and encourage them to find you with their ears and their nose.

Advanced Dog Puzzles

There are a number of creative and inexpensive dog puzzles that are sold both locally and online, so consider adding a few to your inventory for a rainy day (or several). Swedish dog toy manufacturer Nina Ottosson has created a menagerie of puzzles and toys for dogs of all breeds and all ages. These toys will really tease your dog's brain, so consider building up your pet's puzzle solving skills before trying this activity.

Conclusion

As this guide has hopefully illustrated, cold Californian days can offer a variety of fun activities; skiing, snowball fetching, and playing a few indoor games and puzzles are just some of the many activities that you and your dog can embark on whenever it's cold outside. Medium to large size dog breeds, such as German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes will likely enjoy the cold weather more than other, smaller, dog breeds but we encourage you to try out these activities with your Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, or Shiba Inu anyway. You never know if you've got a snow dog on your hands until you try!