Activities For Dogs On Cold Days

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Introduction

You look out your window and all you see is white- it snowed! Or maybe you just see that the temperature outside is freeeezing. While your first thought may be that your pup may have to stay inside all day, this is absolutely not the case! There are many activities you can do with your dog in the snow and cold. In fact, many dogs love the snow and chilly weather! A new environment to play in can be fantastic for their playful spirit. This guide will give you several activities you and your dog can do in the snow and cold. Winter weather won't stop your pooch so get out there with them too! Put your boots and snow pants on and get ready to head outside!

Snowball Fetch

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Cold Day
Free
Easy
30 minutes
Items needed
Mittens
Activity description

If you have a pup who loves to play fetch then your dog will definitely love snowball fetch! The only difference between regular fetch and snowball fetch is, you guessed it, the ball is made of snow! What makes this activity so much fun is that occasionally, the ball you throw for your pooch will disappear…oh no! Watch your dog as they dig in the snow, frantically trying to find the snow ball. When you (and your pup) have searched for the missing ball enough, you can quickly create a new snowball and surprise your pup when the ball is magically back in your hand! Throw the snowball once more and the game starts all over again. 

Step
1
Get ready!
Head outside in your full snow gear (maybe your doggy needs a coat too depending on how cold it is). Mittens or gloves can be handy as you will be packing snowballs with your hands. Grab a scoop of snow and pack it into a tight snowball. Show your dog the 'new' ball and get ready to play!
Step
2
Fetch!
Throw the snowball for your dog and watch him chase his new toy! Egg your dog on by asking "Where's the ball?" and "Find the snowball!". Maybe he will actually find it but chances are, when the snowball landed, it broke apart and disappeared. What will your pup do? Dig, search and play in the snow, that’s what!
Step
3
Surprise
Once your dog has tired of looking for the snowball, pack a new snowball with your hands and call your pup over. Surprise! You had the ball the whole time (in your doggy's mind!). Throw the ball again and start the game over. You can play for hours or just a few minutes. NO matter what, you and your dog will have fun in the snow!
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Sledding

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Cold Day
Cheap
Normal
30 minutes
Items needed
Rope
Sled
Harness
Activity description

If you have heard of the Iditarod then you are familiar with dogs pulling sleds. Dogs pulling sleds through the snow is a long tradition in climates where snow is commonly on the ground. While certain breeds of dogs are better at pulling sleds (Huskies are the most common sled pullers), almost any dog will get a good work out with this activity. Keep in mind the size of your dog as you load up a sled behind them- you don't want to injure your pup or give them more than they can handle. Start off with an easy sled with little to no weight and then work your way up until your dog is able to pull you!

Step
1
Preparation
Fit your dog with a comfortable harness where he will be pulling with his full body rather than his neck or legs. Attach a rope to the harness and a light sled on the other side of the rope. If your dog is ready, add some weight to the sled - some extra snow on the sled is perfect and you already have plenty of it!
Step
2
Run, run, run!
Have your pup chase you around in the snow once the sled is attached safely to him. The sled will drag behind and give him a great work out as he works a little harder than normal to run around. Make sure to give your pup breaks if he seems tired!
Step
3
Make it harder
Add more weight to the sled as your dog gets better and better at pulling the sled. Don't forget to give him rewards and treats when he does a great job running with the sled. Once he is worn out from his snow day exercise, let him curl up by a warm fireplace and relax like a true Iditarod dog!
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Chilly Hide and Seek

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Cold Day
Free
Easy
20 minutes
Items needed
Favorite Treats
Activity description

If you dogs likes treats (like almost every dog ever…) then they will be sure to love this game! Hiding treats in the cold is a fun way to get your dog leaping and jumping through the snow or running in the cold, using their nose to find the hidden surprise. Cold weather can actually make it harder for a dog to find a treat as the cold air can mask some smells. This game can be as long or short as you like but will definitely get your dog excited to go outside. This is also a good way to train a dog who is wary of the snow to enjoy it. Make sure the treats you hide smell nice and strong so that your pup is sure to find them!

Step
1
Fill Your pockets
Bundle up for the cold weather and fill your pockets with your pup's favorite treats. Let your pup know that you have the treats but that they can't have them yet…they need to put in some work! Head outside and get ready for some fun, memorable times.
Step
2
Wait and hide
Tell your dog to sit or stay while you go around hiding the treats. If you are lucky enough to have snow, you can simply press the treat gently into the snow and poof, it's hidden! No need to hide treats any more than that! Make a show of placing the treats all about while your dog watches patiently.
Step
3
Begin the hunt
Release your dog and let them run to find the hidden treasure. Watch as he sniffs all over, searching for his frozen prize. When your pooch finds a treat, he will also probably get a mouthful of snow - that'll be a cold surprise! Hide more treats until you and your pup are ready to go back inside for warmth.
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More Fun Ideas...

Play Date

Invite another dog over to play in the cold with your pooch. Chilly weather can be invigorating,  exciting and new and can get a dog geared up to play. Two dogs wrestling and chasing each other in the cold is a great way for them to warm up.

Cold Run

Just because it is cold does not mean you have to be inside all day and skip your daily run. Go for a run with your pup as you normally would just proceed with caution as the roads may be slippery. Watch out for salty roads however, as salt may hurt your pups paws.

Spa Day

Give your pup a total makeover while you stay nice and warm inside. Brush their coat, file their nails and even treat your pup to a nice warm bubble bath or full body massage. Pamper that pup! The spa day can end with a nice cuddle by the fire and a fresh bowl of water. 

Conclusion

A chilly day definitely does not mean you will be stuck inside with a bored pup. You will have a lot of fun with your dog outside in the snow and cold if you are prepared. This list is the perfect place to start to get more ideas for chilly weather so the winter doesn't have to be as dreadful. Don't dread the cold any longer - it won't be ruff it'll be pawesome!