Pet owners may feel confined in the house with their pets during colder winter months, but you don't have to be. Change up your winter routine with some of these fun dog-friendly activities. But remember that cold weather, snow, and ice bring with them a list of outdoor hazards too. Not all breeds are suited for outdoor play in winter, and even dogs with thick coats are subject to frostbite or hypothermia. A good rule of thumb is: if you’re cold, your dog probably is too.
Here are some creative winter activities to keep your dog busy during this time of the year:
Visit Pet Stores
It’s never a bad time to go to the pet store, so head out and let your dog sniff around the aisles. Let them pick out a new toy or bone to bring home as a special treat.
Who says you must be in the backyard to enjoy a good game of fetch? If your house has a long hallway or a spacious room or two, grab your dog’s favorite toy and toss it around for a while. Prior to fetching, remove any valuables that could get knocked over by them!
To make a snow maze for your dog, simply create narrow pathways in your yard with a snow shovel or snow blower. Then connect the pathways in fun, twisty patterns like a maze. Once you create your maze, release your dog, and watch him navigate through the pathways. Not only will your dog get plenty of exercise running through the maze, but they will also get mental stimulation from trying to find his way out. Be sure to make your snow maze in a fenced-in area where your dog cannot get away. Otherwise, keep your dog on a long leash
Indoor Dog Park
Depending on the size of your city, you might find a few indoor dog parks to explore. Research your area and visit a few locations to see if your pup enjoys them.
Holiday Markets that allow pets
Check out your local pet friendly events and plan your next outing to bring your dog. Find a local brewery hosting pictures with Santa, free farms, or drive-thru Christmas light shows are just a few examples to spread holiday cheer with your dog!
Indoor training classes
Winter is a great time to practice training with your dog. Enrolling into a training program could be a great option! Programs may introduce you to new tricks to work on with your dog at home as well.
Mental Food Challenge
Dogs are highly intelligent beings whose brains require a lot of stimulation, or they become bored. Working different problem-solving exercises into their day-to-day activities will gradually improve their instincts and mental capabilities. The easiest way to include fun and rewards in the same activity are puzzle toys and games, which provide enough stimulation for your dog to stay occupied even when being left home alone for a few hours.
Invite your dog’s best friend and owner over for dinner or just some quality time. It’s a win-win for both human and pet for social interaction!
Practice their training at home
Keeping dogs busy with new commands or tricks is a wonderful way to spend time with our furry friends! All you need is a schedule and patience; by the end of winter, your dog will learn useful commands and indoor manners while being kept happy and entertained!
Play hide and seek with their food/treats
Place their treats around the house and let them go fetch.