Activities For Dogs On Cold Days

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Introduction

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!

Hit the Trails

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Snowshoes
Hands-free leash
Dog coat
Dog booties
Snacks
Activity description

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!

Step
1
Know before you go
Not all snowshoe trails are dog-friendly, so make sure your destination welcomes four-legged visitors to avoid disappointment. Check the weather conditions as well before you leave—you wouldn’t want to get caught in a snowstorm with your pooch!
Step
2
Dress for the weather
Some dogs will need clothing for extra warmth while on the winter trails. If you know that your pup will be more comfortable with an additional layer, get them a coat days before your outing and have them practice wearing it. You’ll also want to protect your pup’s feet from snow and ice; properly fitting booties or paw wax should do the trick.
Step
3
Carry snacks
In addition to poop bags and a hands-free leash, snacks and water for your pup are essential items to bring on your adventure. Snowshoeing is a real workout, and you’ll want to keep your canine companion energized and hydrated.
Step
4
Go at your dog’s pace
Your pooch may have to work harder to keep up with you, especially if they’re not used to hiking in snow. Go slowly and keep an eye on your dog’s energy level. If they’re struggling, it’s OK to cut your trek short. Build up their stamina over time until they get the hang of it.
Step
5
No snow, no problem
If you live in an area where it doesn’t snow, you can just go for a regular hike with your pooch. Most of the above steps still apply.
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Find the Hidden Treasure

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Cold Day
Free
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

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!

Step
1
Ready the treats
Grab your dog’s favorite treats and head to the backyard. You can have your pup follow you outside and watch you while you hide the treats to make the game easier for them, or have them wait inside the house until you’re done to make it more challenging.
Step
2
Set the stage
Depending on how much snow you have, you can simply press the treats into the snow to hide them. If time permits, you can also dig shallow holes and create little mounds of snow to place the treats in.
Step
3
Start the treasure hunt
Once you’ve concealed all the treats, set your dog loose and encourage them to find the hidden treasures. As mentioned earlier, wind and snow can make scents harder to detect, so you may need to guide your pup to the different hiding spots. Remember to praise them after they’ve found (and gobbled up) all the treats!
Step
4
The no snow hunt
This activity can be done in different places and weather conditions, so your pup can still go on a treasure hunt even if there’s no snow. Hide the treats around a snowless backyard or inside your home, and watch your pooch get a good mental and physical workout! You can also use a snuffle mat or some cardboard boxes to make the game more interesting to your dog.
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Fetch the Snowball

Popular
0 Votes
Cold Day
Free
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Mittens
Dog coat
Activity description

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.

Step
1
Get ready
Head outside in your full snow gear. Maybe your furry friend will need a coat too depending on how cold it is. Mittens or gloves are recommended as you will be packing snowballs with your hands. Grab a scoop of snow and pack it into a tight ball. Show your dog the “'new” ball and get ready to play!
Step
2
Fetch!
Throw the snowball for your dog and watch them chase their new toy! Egg them on by saying, “Where's the ball?” and “Find the snowball!” Maybe they will actually find the snowball but chances are it broke apart and disappeared when it landed. 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, make a new one and call your pup over. Surprise! In your dog’s mind, you had the ball the whole time! Throw the ball again and start the game over. Your dog will have a blast romping in the snow!
Step
4
Hidden treat
You can make the game even more interesting by putting a treat inside the packed snowball. Whether they catch it out of the air, or search through a snow pile to find it, they'll love the reward!
Step
5
No snow fetch
If it doesn’t snow where you live, stick to regular fetch. It may not have a surprise twist like snowball fetch, but your dog will still have fun, and that’s what matters the most! Regular fetch can also be played indoors, which is better for dogs who can’t tolerate cold temperatures.
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More Fun Ideas...

Spa Day

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

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!

Play Date

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.

Conclusion

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!