Activities For Dogs In Washington On Cold Days

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Introduction

Washington may be known for its mild weather, but it still sees a fair amount of cold and some snow, especially from late November through February. But like most other seasons, Washington still has quite a bit to do even when the temperature drops, and luckily, for visitors and residents alike, it doesn't get to the frigid levels of its Midwestern and Eastern counterparts, despite the fact that it is located further North than most. The best part is, whether the weather has you looking to get inside, outside, towards people or away from them, the Evergreen State will have you and your dog waving your boredom "Alki" (bye and bye, the unofficial state motto).

Winter Hike

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Free
Normal
30 - 120 min
Items needed
Winter Clothing
Leash
Dog Jacket/Boots
Dog Bags
Activity description
In terms of having beautiful scenery, Washington boasts a significant number of natural features from its towering mountain ranges to its bucolic waterways and down to its dramatic shorelines, all of which can be enjoyed year-round, even when the temperatures descend towards freezing. As long as you and your dog are bundled properly, there will be little to stop you from taking it all in, even in the cold. While taking in a winter hike may be a bit more cumbersome, it will get you outside, the hike will keep you warm from walking, and you'll be provided views you may not see any other time of the year, like the frosted tree tops and conifers contrasted against a dusting of snow. It's as easy as picking a spot, packing supplies and heading out, costs little more than gas as long as you have warm clothing, and will kill more than enough time between traveling and hiking.
Step
1
Plan the adventure
The first step is actually picking where you want to go and there should be several things to keep in mind. Unless you're experienced, we suggest picking a trail with only a moderate incline/elevation gain or less. If there is snow on the ground and you don't have proper boots, you may be risking a slip the steeper the trail gets, which will surely ruin your fun altogether if it's serious. If there's no snow and just cold, your options can open up a bit more. You'll also want to pick something within a reasonable distance and a trail where you'll get the best of what you can see based on the current season. Certain hikes are best in spring, summer, and fall, usually those with lakes or meadows that have flowers in bloom or large groups of deciduous trees that change into dramatic colors and reflect off the lakes, respectively. For winter hikes, we suggest somewhere like Deception Pass State Park, where you can see the Deception Pass Bridge or the Maiden, or the Discovery Park Loop Trail, where you can see the West Point Lighthouse and the shores by Magnolia Bluff.
Step
2
Pack accordingly
Planning for a cold weather hike is a bit more complex than a standard hike during most other parts of the year. For yourself, you'll want want gloves, a warm hat, a scarf, a winter jacket, good warm boots, and possibly long johns or thicker pants, depending on the temperature and your intended length of hike. If it's below freezing, hand and boot warmers don't hurt either. Make sure your dog is equally well-equipped. If they have a thick double coat, they may be fine, but if they have a thin coat or are small, they'll likely need at least a jacket. Doggy boots should only be necessary if there is an excess amount of ice or snow. You should also either have a physical map to follow or electronically-tailored gloves so you don't have to take them off to look at your digital map on your phone. Water is also a must, even in winter. Of course, a leash or harness should be included as well, unless your dog is well-behaved and allowed off leash by park regulations. Cameras don't hurt either!
Step
3
Hit the trail
Once you've figured out where to go, packed your things and double checked the weather, hit the road! Once you arrive, make sure to double check your map and supplies. Once you head off, have fun! Make sure to keep a close eye on your dog to make sure they're a comfortable temperature and do your best not to overexert yourself, which can be troublesome if you start to sweat when it's too cold. Once again, try to aim for things you may not see in other times of the year. For instance, Trumpeter Swans grace the Johnson-DeBay Swan Reserve in swarms in February and Elk come down from the mountains during lighter snowfalls at Oak Creek Wildlife Area, among others.
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Cozy Cabin Rental

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Expensive
Easy
12 - 24 hrs
Items needed
Internet-accessible device
Activity description
When you live in the same place year-round, the sights, sounds, and smells can get pretty boring. If you've got 24 hours to spare and want something to do, find yourself a new spot to hunker down in the cold weather. If there is one thing Washington certainly has plenty of, it's cabins tucked away in the forests and mountains, many of which have fantastic views you can enjoy both outside and inside, as well as fireplaces, lofts, and other cool amenities that you can your dog can enjoy that you wouldn't normally have access to. It may not be particularly inexpensive, as prices can range greatly depending on the place, but it's easy, is perfect for cold weather since you can find cozy, warm, or fireplace'd lodging, and gives you a whole new venue to explore (and play) both inside and out.
Step
1
Find your spot
There are plenty of ways to find your next mini vacation spot, but the best place to start is usually the Internet (unless you have friends or family who own a cabin they're willing to rent or loan out to you, in which case, we'd like their number too). While Airbnb may be the most popular, there is also HomeAway, VRBO, FlipKey, TurnKey, TripAdvisor and so on. If you're looking for something special, we suggest searching all of them, but some certainly have easier ways to narrow down search results. Make sure to prioritize your results as well, such as selecting places with fireplaces you can enjoy, unique homes, or spots with spaces big enough for you and your dog to play in (let alone a yard as well if need be). Make a short list of your favorites, check their availability and narrow down your results until you have 1-3 to choose from. Contact them and make sure everything is in line, then book your favorite one.
Step
2
Show up and party down
Once your date arrives (unless you were lucky enough to get a booking the day of), pack your overnight supplies (don't forget your toothbrush and dog toys!) and head over to your new temporary crash space. Get the keys or make any exchange necessary with the host if need be (some have coded entries, or hidden keys to minimize host involvement) and get settled in. Once you drop your bags, take your dog for a sniff around the cabin. Then, check out the outside as well. Once you've figured out what your new place is capable of, you can plan your fun, such as playing hide and treat inside, talking a walk outside, going to nearby dog-friendly attractions, playing inside or in the yard, watching a movie, or just plunking down by the fire. While some of it can be done at home, much of it is more fun in a new environment and better yet, being in a new location means new things to discover all around you!
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Dogwood Play Park

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Moderate
Normal
20 - 120 min
Items needed
Cash
Internet-accessible device
Leash (for outside and in the bar area)
Dog bags
Activity description
As far as places you can take your dog, there are always going to be markets and restaurants that will allow them, but Dogwood Play Park is the only one that actually caters to them. While other dog parks might be off-leash, Dogwood is Seattle's first indoor/outdoor off-leash combination dog park and bar. You can leave them for a fee if you want as well, but you can also get them some good playtime and socialization, all while you enjoy some snacks and drinks. It's the perfect place to go if it's too cold outside or if you want an easy place to transition from inside to out and vice versa. It's only moderately priced, moderately easy to get into if all your paperwork is in line, and will provide loads of entertainment for the both of you.
Step
1
Get cleared
Although this place is easily one of the coolest we have seen in terms of entertaining both dogs and people, there are a few hoops to jump through. Before you can even bring your dog, you'll need to supply them rabies, bordetella, and DHPP vaccination details, which can be as easy as emailing it over. They should also be spayed/neutered if over one year old, have flea treatment, and be well-socialized. And remember, no outside toys or treat are allowed (excessive barking and fighting over items can quickly change a play space for the worst). Once you've got all your paperwork sent over, you just need to wait for the go ahead before you bring them in. You can stop in as well if all the paperwork is in line, but you may still have to wait while they get it all confirmed.
Step
2
Play time!
Once everything is confirmed, you can bring them over and get checked in. In the bar area, dogs do need to be on a leash, but in the play park, they are allowed to be as free as they want (as long as they don't bark too much or start a ruckus). There are even tennis ball vending machines, objects to interact with, and chairs for you to sit on. So feel free to socialize with others and let you dog do the same. Just make sure you are responsible and keep an eye on your dog so everyone can enjoy the space equally without having to watch others' dogs as well.
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More Fun Ideas...

Find the Seattle Barkery

It's a food truck for dogs! They operate year-round outside of spare vacation days and have tons of options. They even have a hand-fed delivery hole for skittish dogs so just a hand with a treat pops out instead of being paired with an intimidating face!

Find the Lester Ghost Town

Southeast of Seattle you'll find North Bend and in it, there is an old logging camp turned ghost town. At its peak, it held about a thousand people before several geographical and man-made factors forced it to be abandoned. It's pretty creepy during the warmer months, but add in the somewhat lifeless nature of the colder months, plus the additional quiet and you've got yourself a great creepy spot to check out in winter, the perfect hike-able distance from civilization for you and your dog.

Winter Dog Park

Okay, okay. Winter dog park is the same as all-seasons dog park. It's really just going in the winter. But as long as you're bundled up, you can still have a good time, burn off some energy, and give them some much-needed socialization, especially if they tend to get stuck inside.

Conclusion

When mild days turn to cold days, tell Mother Nature to bring them on in full force! With this list, you and your dog now have a small roster of ideas with which to start your cold weather adventures. If nothing else, we hope it acts as motivation to get creative and seek out some new things to do. Because there's no better time to get in the fold than to have fun in the cold!