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Are the bells jingling yet? Have you finally dusted off your snowshoes? Do hot cocoa and a warm blanket sound better than ever? If so, then, as the Westeros folks say, the winter is coming. Now, even though it is getting snowy, even though the traffic is probably not in the best state right now, and even though you’d rather just stay in all day, there is probably one fuzzy creature that can get you to forget all the hardships of the winter – your amazing, loving, overall awesome doggo! Having fun in the snow will probably be your pup’s favorite part of this winter and having you by their side will make the experience even greater! You will learn how to keep your best friend entertained and safe in the cold, cold winter, at the end of which your bond will be even stronger than before. And hey, you will be their synonym for fun!
Whether your dog is energetic or lazy, they will love playing fetch! It is an inexpensive way to entertain your four-legged friend (and yourself) and even get some exercise minutes in your daily lives. Keeping your dog active in the winter months will prevent weight gain, muscle atrophy, and depression, and make that order double, as you will also avoid the perils of winter blues if you keep moving. The game itself is pretty self-explanatory, but what is special about this version is that instead of a ball, frisbee, or any other toy, you will use nature’s ball – a snowball! The fun thing about this one is that your dog will have a good time searching for the exact ball of snow in the already snow-covered park and that they will sharpen their senses by paying close attention to the exact one you are throwing. To make things easier for them, you can stick pieces of leftover dried up leaves in your snowball of choice, making the ball easier to find in the white rhapsody around you. Snowball Fetch is very inexpensive, as all you will need is gloves – so your hands don’t freeze, a jacket for your dog – if they need it, and most importantly – all the free snow nature provides you with!
Dogs are naturally very good at finding things due to their keen sense of smell, their sharp hearing, and their great eyesight. Train that cute nose by having an exciting scavenger hunt in the snow! Not only will your dog exercise those super senses, they will also get quite a bit of exercise at the same time! If your best friend is already a fan of these games, which most dogs already are, it can be a great way to reward their detective skills by hiding snacks or toys around your backyard! Even better, have a doggo-scavenger party with other dog lovers you know. Make some friends and play some games – the winter will never be boring or sad again!
If you are an avid skier and your dog is a fan of running, why not try skijoring? Don’t let the strange word scare you, skijoring is actually a favorite activity of many dog lovers in the world, especially those who live in non-urban areas. Next time you go for a walk, why not make it a run? Utilize all the goodness that Mother Nature has given you, and actually go on that trekking path you always wanted! All you will need is a bit of preparation, and you will gain a lot. Both you and your dog will get plenty of exercise, raise your serotonin levels, and have an adventurous day in the nature with your best furry friend.
Spice up your regular walks with a little cardio. Instead of just walking at a steady pace, make slight variations. Try speed walking for 20 seconds, jogging for another twenty, do a little shuffle in the snow, walk slowly for a minute, lather, rinse, repeat. Your pup will love the change of pace and try to keep up with you.
Grab your friend by the hand, bring your pup along, and have a twist on capture the flag game. Find a decent sized piece of wood, perhaps a piece of a tree branch, and have yourself a little competition. Place the item at least 10 meters away from everyone and on three try to grab it first. You will run, you will trip, you will run some more when you do capture the “flag”, trying to escape the other contestants, one of which has two more legs than you. Great, fun activity that exercises the muscles and the brain at the same time.
Anything is paw-sible with your best friend by your side! The winter months do not have to be the time of lounging around and gaining the inches around your waists. Having a bit of fun in the snow never killed anybody, but it did make their dog love them more! So, put down that cup of tea and put on the winter jacket, and go have a fun day outside with your beloved doggo.