The leaves have fallen off the trees, the days are shorter, and it’s getting cold outside—winter is here! A change of season means a change in activities and routines. Ice skating, skiing, building snowmen, soaking in hot springs, and sipping hot cocoa are just some of the activities people like to take part in around this time of year. But what about Fido?
What activities can your pooch enjoy when temperatures drop? Cold weather doesn’t mean your pup has to stay inside all day. In fact, many dogs love the snow and chilly weather! Check out the following fun activities for dogs on cold days to make sure winter isn't boring for your furry friend!
For a grrreat workout on cold days, try snowshoeing with your dog! Not only does snowshoeing get you and your pup off the couch, but it also lets you explore the beautiful winter landscape together. Unlike other winter activities like skijoring and sledding, snowshoeing is gentler and slower-paced. That said, it’s still important to make sure that your pup is fit enough for a snowy adventure—they need to be healthy, have good stamina, and be able to handle the cold. Canines who are overweight or have short legs are advised to sit this one out for their own safety and comfort - ride along with you in a backpack!
Practicing nose work is a puptastic way to beat boredom on cold days. A treasure hunt engages your dog’s sense of smell and curiosity, providing mental stimulation as well as building confidence. It’s good physical exercise too, since they’ll be dashing around excitedly trying to find all the hidden treats. Even if your pup has played this game before, doing it in cold weather may pose a different challenge, as wind and snow can affect how scent travels. This activity can be enjoyed by canines of all ages and fitness levels, especially those who love to sniff!
If you have a pup who loves to play fetch, they will definitely have a tail waggin’ good time with 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 snowball. When your pup has searched for the missing ball enough, you can quickly create a new snowball and surprise them when the ball is magically back in your hand! Throw the snowball once more and the game starts all over again.
Give your pup a total makeover while you stay nice and warm inside. Brush their coat, file their nails, and even treat them to a nice warm bubble bath or full body massage. End your pampered pooch's spa day with a nice cuddle by the fire and a fresh bowl of water.
Indoor agility is a furrific way to ensure your pup still gets exercise on days when they have to stay inside. Using items you already have around the house such as chairs, pillows, and broomsticks, you can create an obstacle course that's pawfect for your dog's skill level!
Invite another dog over to play in the cold with your pooch. Chilly weather can be invigorating, exciting, and new, and it 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.
Your dog needs physical activity and mental stimulation regardless of weather. Winter doesn’t have to be dreary, and there are several activities that your pup can do even when it’s cold outside. Plan for a meaningful winter to keep your dog engaged and entertained throughout the season. Start with the ideas listed above, and your pooch will surely have a pawsome time!
New adventures are exciting, but they can sometimes result in an injury. Before venturing outside, compare pet health insurance plans to keep your furchild in the best “pawssible” shape for all your winter adventures!